Top of Main Hoppy Beginning and Templin Family Interlodge IPA | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Top of Main Hoppy Beginning and Templin Family Interlodge IPA

Fortune favors these bold, hoppy ales.


  • Mike Riedel

Top Of Main Brewing - Hoppy Beginning: If the name of this brewery doesn't sound familiar, its address probably will. Since the mid-1980s, Wasatch Brew Pub has sat atop Main Street in Park City. Utah's first craft brewery has experienced many owners of the iconic Wasatch brand over the decades, but the real estate has always remained with founder Greg Schirf. Monster Beverage was the previous owner until a few months ago, when Salt Lake Brewing Company (AKA Squatters) re-acquired the brewery formerly known as Wasatch, and rebranded it as Top Of Main Brewing (Monster Beverage still owns the name Wasatch). Hoppy Beginnings is the first "high point" beer brewed under the Salt Lake Brewing Company umbrella ... and boy, did they hit it out of the park.

It has a very pale, unfiltered orange color with a bright white head that fades to a circular patterned cap; small bubble lacing is present, if not extensive. Strong aromas of ripe pineapple, tropical banana and coconut jump out, followed by some sweet cantaloupe, orange and lemon to support. Grass and stone fruit round it out—and the result is quite inviting.

Strong flavors of overripe pineapple, coconut, banana dominate, along with that sweet cantaloupe, orange and lemon. A cracker malt element hits midway, plus broadening fruit elements introducing peach and soft tropical notes predominantly, and a dose of mildly pithy bitterness. You get medium-body and strong carbonation, with a piney green bite off the end. It's light without being absent, with a dry, clean finish.

Verdict: A great way for this brewery kick things off. This IPA's pineapple, coconut and sweet melon notes really make this 7.1 percent ale special.

TF - Interlodge IPA: An interlodge is when residents, patrons and employees at a resort are required to stay in buildings and lodges due to avalanche danger. While there's no danger from this Imperial IPA, it would be a perfect companion if you happen to find yourself cloistered anywhere for any reason.

This IPA yields a nearly-clear yellow-golden color, with a fluffy, stable white head. It smells of a very intriguing hop salad, with just the lightest note of cakey malts, perfectly complimenting the citrus quality of the hops. You also get some lime zest, wet grass, a hint of dried blueberries and fresh fallen leaves.

It shines from the very first moment by its world-class hop punch, which is incredibly balanced yet assertive, slowly inviting fruity hops to the palate. Lemon pulp, orange peel and some unripe mango get amped up by a pleasant, adapting cedar sharpness and soothing dank grass. The only indication that this is a 9.1 percent ABV beer is its malt balance, which gets recognizable by rounding out the hop melange, providing just a hint of sweet maltiness. The beer drinks incredibly well. It loses its fruitiness during late mid-palate, slowly getting replaced by more dankness and an intense, long-lasting lemon and leaf dryness, producing a short, earthy peak. A fantastic smooth, fuller-bodied mouthfeel leads to a lively finish, never losing any of its softness on the tongue. While turning remarkably dry, especially during the finish, the beer stays in perfect balance throughout, due to light white bread malts.

Verdict: A very impressive Imperial IPA, gaining much of its greatness from the incredible hop profile, while its malt composition does the rest. It's awesome how this develops on the palate, turning from fruity to herbal to dry, and always soothed by soft malts, very well-pronounced and clean.

Your best bet to find Interlodge is at the Templin Family Brewery. Hoppy Beginnings can be found at Top Of Main Brewing, Salt Lake Brewing and Wasatch Pub in Sugar House. Both are in 16-ounce cans. As always, cheers!