When I am perusing the beer selection at a liquor store, often something offbeat will catch my eye. I stare at the label for a moment wondering if I would like a Dubbel or a Dunkel but, in the end, I go home with something tried and true; something I know I will like.
I want to expand my beer horizons, but I worry about committing to six beers that I may not like. It's the same scenario at restaurants and bars—the price for failure often seems too steep.
That's where , located at 75 Maryland Ave., swooped in and solved my problem. The store offers customers a chance to explore different and strange looking beers by building custom six packs for $10.50 plus tax.
I recently made my own six pack, and thought I would share my thoughts on each of the beers (Just in case you're also conflicted in your desires for beer variety and adventure).
I would like to mention that I am more of a beer amateur than expert, and these opinions belong solely to my own taste buds. Here are my thoughts on the first three beers.
No. 1—New Belgium's Abbey
I love the taste of New Belgium's Fat Tire so I have been eager to explore the brand's other beers. This one filled the glass with a reddish-orange hue, and it smelled like a combination of fruit, cinnamon and cloves. I tasted the sweet first then the spiciness. The finish was slightly bitter. I'd say it had a medium body. According to New Belgium, this beer variety is called a Dubbel. Abbey gave me the confidence to try other Dubbels, but I still prefer India Pale Ales.
No. 2—Port City Brewing Company's Optimal Wit
This beer's cloudy appearance surprised me when I poured it. It's a pale orange-yellow with a murkiness that made me think of lake water. The smell was an assault of spices, and that assault continued as I drank. It tasted like a peppery mix of orange juice and lemonade. I wasn't a fan. It did remind a bit of a Hefeweizen, but an overly spiced one. The beer type is a Wit, known for being cloudy and tasting like orange peels and coriander. I think I'll pass on them from now on.
No. 3—Unita Brewing's Baba Black Lager
First let me say I was surprised to find a beer that's brewed in Utah, and I'll confess that I bought mainly because it had a sheep on the label. I'm glad I did. It poured out looking black and opaque, but I saw a reddish hue when I held it up to the light. It smelled like a good cup of coffee with hints of vanilla and hazelnut. It also tasted creamy like it had a roasted flavor. There was a sweet, almost chocolaty quality to the beer. I really enjoyed it. Score one for Salt Lake City.
Check back later to read about the other three beers later this week.