welcome to MN – Uinta Brewing
Uinta Brewing is the latest well-established brewery to break in to the Twin Cities market. Following in the footsteps of Avery, Oskar Blues, and Ballast Point, Uinta has been very well-received here over the past few weeks. With multiple year-round 6-packs as well as specialty, limited-release bombers available, Uinta didn’t just throw their flagship at Minnesota hoping for the best. Their varied selection includes pale ale, IPA, black lager, and rauchbier, to name a few.
Their alcohol laws, however, are perceived as much more restrictive than they actually are. A quick skim of some legal text shows that only 3.2 beer can be sold in grocery stores (same here), beer sales end at 1 AM (almost the same here) and that while cocktails do exist, some restaurants mix drinks behind a frosted glass window known as a Zion Curtain (WTF?)
Ok. Religious beliefs aside – and I do take religion and abstinence from alcohol seriously – Uinta is making very good beer. They were founded in 1993, with major expansions in 1996 and 2001. From day one they were brewing beers up to and beyond 10% ABV, again breaking the Mormon misconceptions about the state of Utah’s alcohol industry. Furthermore, they create a certified organic line of beers and have also been endorsed as Kosher.
I brought their Wyld extra pale and and Baba black lager to Bitches Brew Crew’s brew day last week, hoping for feedback from some highly discerning palates. While we were batch-sparging a Berliner weisse, we tasted the Unita.
The Baba, on the other hand, was a huge hit. Not many black lagers exist in the Minnesota market. Bauhaus features a decent schwarzbier, but the Sprecher fan favorite doesn’t cross state lines.
Restrained roasted malt notes and very mild toasted sweetness blend into a dry and light finish resulting a pleasant duo perfect for spring a summer sipping. Try Baba with grilled fish or a hot dog. Its flavors echo smoke and wood without actually uttering the words.
Favorites of my beer friends include Uinta’s hoppier selections like the double IPA, Detour, and IPA, Hop Nosh. In my cellar now is the Tinder rauchbier, soon to be consumed when I grill later this week.