- Mike Riedel
Anyone who has spent time in Utah knows that the seasons here can seemingly turn on a dime. Often, spring lasts only a week as a brief buffer between winter and summer. Your beer palate is just as fickle; before you know it, those imperial stouts are out the window in favor of lighter, thirst-quenching ales and lagers. These beers might not be around all summer, but they'll get you on your way.
Proper La Belle Peche: This has a light peach color that's unfiltered and hazy. The aroma is classic saison, with grain, a bit of spice, a touch of leather and biscuit, along with a slight peach juice presence. The flavor follows with peach, a touch of toast, spice, leather, a bit of lemon and bread. This 4 percent ABV beer has a medium/light body, good carbonation and is slightly dry—a solid peach saison.
Wasatch Lime Kellerbier: There are very nice aromas here, with a good balance of lime, pale malt and light earthy hop notes. The taste starts with herbal lime, crackers and a floral/grassy earthiness. The back end showcases more of an herbal and spicy bitterness that tries to punch through the lime, with some additional citrus elements in the finish. It's a clean 4 percent lager with nice lime flavors.
Kiitos American Pilsner: The nose has a noticeable hint of wheat cracker and lemongrass. The taste begins slightly bready with a hint of citrus peel. Once it hits the sides of my tongue, it shows itself to be more lemony. A hint of grapefruit hop flavor joins next, with some grassy and hay-like bitterness rounding it out. This 4 percent lager leaves you with a rather crisp and wheaty intensity that'll linger on your tongue.
Epic RiNo Pale Ale: This one packs aromas full of tangerine, peach, pineapple, mango and berries. The taste features a big fruit salad of flavors that consists of everything the nose introduced; add some complex flavors of citrus/fruity/tropical hops that light up the palate, and you've got a tornado of flavors. The moderate amount malt sweetness makes all of these flavors possible with zero lingering hop astringency at the finish. It's full-flavored and delicious, at a respectable 5.8 percent.
Hoppers The Jenny: This beer has a nice-looking pink hue, and smells like hibiscus, strawberry and biscuit. The taste is reminiscent of SweeTarts candy, with some herbal tartness throwing me off my game. Strawberry Quick flavors come next, adding a complete opposite contrast to the hibiscus. At times it was tough to nail down any specific flavors, but somehow this works as a nice light, refreshing fruity beer. It's definitely worth your time if you like complex, fruity 4 percent beers.
Uinta Mango Lime Pilsner: This new lager is somewhat hazy with scents of (you guessed it) mango and lime. The flavors showcase fruitier aspects as well. Pilsners aren't exactly massive flavor bombs as a rule, so the mango in this one goes straight to the forefront. The lime comes next and adds a bit of tart balance to the sweeter fruit. A hint of toasted grains and herbal hops round out the back end. The finish is fruity but not cloying. This 4 percent beer definitely tastes like summer.
Summer beers are all about refreshment, and the trends right now are skewing toward fruitier brews. If you're prone to fruit-forward beers, I think you'll find these selections to be right in your wheelhouse. If not, try mixing some of these into your beer repertoire with drier beers like Pilsners and Kolsches to keep your palate excited. As always, cheers!