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Utah Brews

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Yes Virginia, they do brew beer in Utah. Despite the pervasive influence of a certain teetotaling church, at last count there were some 30 breweries in the Beehive State. It started way back in 1986 when Wasatch Brewing set up shop in Park City. Their irreverent labels (and billboards) drew national attention during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Now it is what's in the bottle that is worthy of your attention.

Four + Brewing Wyld Organic Extra Pale Ale

A brand extension from Salt Lake City-based Uinta Brewing, the four refers to the primary ingredients: hops, water, yeast and barley. The "plus" is the magic that happens when those ingredients come together. The Wyld is a golden-hued ale with a frothy head. Fresh and clean with a nice balance between lightly sweet malt and herbal hops, it has a solid citrus component, and finishes crisp and dry. A modest 4 percent alcohol makes this a great session brew candidate.

Uinta Brewing Crooked Line Labyrinth Black Ale

This black ale comes in a cork-finished 750-ml bottle and pours a dark ebony with a thick mocha froth. The coffee-like, roasted malt aromas only hint at what's to follow. This is a seriously rich ale, with just-bitter chocolate, smooth oak, bright licorice, molasses and a touch of bourbon. Given its size (and 13.2 percent alcohol content), you should share this one.

Wasatch Brewing Polygamy Porter

This brew asks "Why have just one?" The beer opens with aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate and plum. Smooth and creamy on the palate with latte-like flavors colored by caramel and milk chocolate, there's just enough hops to add balance.