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When it comes to beer, there are no rules: Drink what you want, when you want. But when it's hot outside, most of us want something light and refreshing, "something a little more thirst-quenching than a porter or stout," explains Steve Kuftinck.
As we head into summer, The Tribune asked the owner of Uinta Brewing Co. as well as seven other Utah beer brewers and owners to tell us the most refreshing summer beer they've got in a bottle or on tap.
Here are their recommended brews:
Sum'r • This golden ale, part of Uinta Brewing Co.'s, organic beer line, is clean and refreshing and goes with anything off the grill from chicken and fish to hamburgers. It's made with a unique hop from Japan, called Sorachi, but is balanced with lighter malts. The yellow Adirondak chair on the label just "makes you want to sit down and drink a beer," Kuftinec says.
Cost • $1.50 for a 12-ounce bottle
Where to buy • Most grocery stores and the Brewery store.
Bumper Crop • This light golden ale, made with honey and lavender, was brewed to mark the 20th anniversary of Salt Lake City's Downtown Farmers Market. For every 22-ounce bottle sold, Squatters Pub Brewery will donate $1 to the downtown market. Brewmaster Jason Stock used ingredients from Prickly Rock Honey in Wallsburg and Lavender Hill in Ogden to make the brew, which registers 5.5 percent alcohol by volume. Only 800 bottles were produced.
Cost • $5.99 for a 22-ounce bottle
Available • Squatters Pub Brewery package store, 147 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City; 801-363-2739.
Summerbrau Lager • Wasatch Brewery's Czech-style lager has a copper color and a light, crisp taste perfect for summer consumption, say Dan Burrick, with the Utah Brewers Cooperative. It also has a bit more alcohol 5.6 by volume than a traditional lager with a rich, malty character. It has won many national awards, including a gold medal in the 2012 World Beer Cup held recently in San Diego, Calif.
Cost • $1.50 for a 12-ounce bottle
Available • Wasatch Beer Store, 1763 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City; and most Utah state liquor stores.
Hops Syndrome Lager • Epic Brewing Co. ships in whole leaf Aramis hops from France for this summer favorite that's earthy think fresh-cut grass but with a tart, lemony finish. At 4.8 percent alcohol by volume, this beer tastes crisp and clean, and is easy to drink.
Cost • $4.29 for a 22-ounce bottle
Available • Epic Brewing, 825 S. State, Salt Lake City; 801-906-0123.
Courtney Marie Kolsch • This crisp, summer German ale is a perennial favorite at Desert Edge Brewery, says Chris Haas, the brewmaster. Mild with a bit of a hoppy but not overly hoppy with some fruity aromas "that signal the start of summer when people start drinking lighter beers," he says. Available on draft through June.
Cost • $3.50 a glass; $4.50 a pint; $11.50 for a pitcher or growler to go
Available • Desert Edge Brewery at The Pub, 625 E. 400 South (in Trolley Square), Salt Lake City; 801-521-8917.
Jack Wagon Wheat • Nutty aromas with a hint of lemon, this American-style wheat beer has summer written all over it, says Trent Fargher, the owner of Shades of Pale Brewery in Park City. "It goes great with a green salad, fruit and, for some reason, chocolate chips cookies." But don't confuse it with the strong German-style wheat beers. "This is a true American-style hefeweizen, clean, light and refreshing," Fargher says.
Cost • $2.99 for a 22-ounce bottle
Available • Grocery stores, bars, restaurants. Visit http://www.shadesofpale.com to find the closest location.
Le Quatre Saison • Saison beers were originally brewed only once a year (or season), and designed to be a refreshing drink for the field workers. But at Red Rock Brewing, "we liked it so much we decided to brew it all year long," says assistant brewer Isaac Winter. Their four-season ale is especially refreshing in hot weather, offering a fruity aroma and flavor, with just a bit of spice.
Cost • $3.49 for a 500-ml bottle
Available • Utah state liquor stores; and Red Rock Brewing, 254 S. 200 West Salt Lake City; 801-521-7446.
Patio Nights Pilsner • Roosters Brewing Co. introduced this crisp, dry-hopped Czech-style lager 15 years ago and, thanks to customer demand, has brought it back every summer since, says Kym Buttschardt, co-owner with husband Pete. "It's light, easy to drink and people look forward to it," she said. Try it with Rooster's Ahi tuna salad.
Cost • $4 a pint; $12 for a pitcher.
Available • Roosters Brewing Co., 253 25th St., Ogden; 801-627-6171 or 748 Heritage Park Blvd., Layton; 801-774-9330.
Brewfest at Snowbird
Beer samples, a brewers dinner and a Father's Day barbecue are all part of the 4th annual Brewfest weekend at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Get three-ounce samples of beef from 10 Utah brewers including: Bohemian, Epic, Hoppers, Moab, Red Rock, Roosters, Ruby River, Squatters, Uinta and Wasatch.. Event includes crafts, vendors and live music.
When • Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, noon to 7 p.m.
Where • Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Little Cottonwood Canyon. Plaza Deck and the Upper Circle at the Snowbird Center.
Cost • Admission is free, but beer samples cost $1 each. Higher-alcohol beers may cost more.
Brewers dinner • Friday, June 16 from 6-10 p.m. Tickets $49. Buffet dinner includes beer pairings, an Aerial Tram foot passenger ticket and a Brewfest mug.
Sunday brunch • Sunday, June 17, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The Atrium. Adults, $32.95, children 6-12, $16.95. Live music.
Father's Day Barbecue • Sunday, June 17, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Plaza deck Snowbird Center. Menu includes baby back ribs, ginger-honey glazed salmon, corn on the cob, watermelon and more. Adults, $18.95, children age 6-12, $10.95, 5 and under free. Price includes a free Aerial Tram ride.
Details • snowbird.com
Cafe Trio Beerfest
Cafe Trio is teaming up with Squatters and Wasatch to spotlight two of summer's greatest traditions: beer and barbecue.
When • Sunday, June 24, 4-7 pm
Where • Café Trio Cottonwood, 6405 S. 3000 East, Salt Lake City
Cost • $50 per person, tax and tip additional. Price includes food from the outdoor grill, a summertime draft beer and live music.
Details • To make a required reservation, email email@example.com or call 801-944-8746, extension 11