Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bacon Flavored Beer? Oh, Yeah!

Red Rock Brewing Company
254 South 200 West
Salt Lake City, UT
Visited September 8, 2010

Beer selection: Wide variety of Utah law-abiding low alcohol brews.

Food: Lots of good stuff that can be baked in a brick oven.

It was Wednesday night. I was hungry and thirsty.

My Tuesday began at 5am when I donned my suit and headed for the airport. My Tuesday ended at 3am – 22 hours later -- when I checked into my hotel and finally got out of that suit.

During those 22 hours, I traipsed through four airports, took three flights, rented two cars, took one cab ride, conducted one important meeting, drove four hours, visited five states, and touched ground in all four time zones.

My Wednesday? I started the whole thing all over again at 6:30am.

By 7pm, I had been wearing my suit for 38 hours straight – except for the couple hours I got to sleep Tuesday night.

Just another typical day in the life of Suit757.

So by the time I got to Salt Lake City, I wanted two things. To get the heck out of that suit.

And I needed a beer.


What better place to get a desperately needed brew than a place called “Red Rock Brewing Company”?

I’ve always found it ironic that a state where supposedly 70% of the population consists of tee totaling Mormons, brews so much good beer.

Maybe the remaining 30% in some way feel obligated to make up the difference.

I don’t know.

But I do know Red Rock Brewing Company carries on the tradition of excellent Utah beer making – even though none of it can exceed 4% alcohol, by state law.

Tasty low-alcohol beer? I know what you are thinking. Why bother?

But you know what? Red Rocks pulls it off.

I sat at the bar and ordered myself a much deserved Oatmeal Stout while I looked over the menu.

Like most breweries, Red Rock doesn’t try to get too creative with its stout. After all, a stout is a stout is a stout. But it was a good way to kick off the meal.

It also gave me the opportunity to plan my next move.

I asked my bartender about the “Bamberg Rauch Beer”.

He said it is a German style smoked lager.

A smoked lager?

Wow. This smoked beer thing is really starting to catch on, I thought.

It was just a few weeks ago at the last brew pub I patronized in Omaha that I enjoyed a smoked porter, the more common variation on smoked beer.

As I explain in that post, smoked beer is created by smoking the malt in the brewing process.

While a smoked porter is perfect for kicking back in front of a fire on a cold Alaskan winter night, a smoked lager is best suited for a blistering Texas Labor Day backyard bar-b-que.

In fact, the only other smoked lager I’ve ever had was Shiner Smokehaus, the seasonal summer brew by that famous little brewery down in Shiner, Texas (I’ve done the brewery tour twice, a story for another day).

I loved how my bartender described Red Rock’s smoky version. “People either love it or hate it. If you like bacon, you’ll love it.”

Like bacon?

Is there someone who doesn’t like bacon?

I’ve long held the belief that the best foods in the world can always be improved by either frying or adding a layer of bacon.

I’ve never figured out a way to fry beer. But beer that tastes like bacon?

Yeah, we just might be on to something there.

Sure enough, as I lifted the Rauch Bier to my lips, I smelled the smoke before I even tasted it.

Unlike the smoked porter in Omaha, these crazy Mormon brew masters in Utah don’t skimp on the smoke.

Yet, as a lager, it tastes lighter than the more typical dark smoked porters. I could definitely see downing a few of these in the back yard while plowing through a rack of hickory smoked ribs.

But, alas, I wasn’t in my back yard. And wasn’t about to trust a brewpub in Utah to the sacred art of rib smoking.

One look at the well worn, charred brick oven and I knew pizza was the thing to get here. I picked the special “pizza of the day” – prosciutto with sun dried tomatoes, yellow peppers and hazel nuts.

Hazel nuts on a pizza?

Yeah, well, while I can’t say they added much to the flavor, it was certainly different.

The pizza was excellent. The ham and tomatoes blended well and the red brick toasted crust was a perfect companion to the star of the meal, my smoked German lager.

I had a perfect view from my perch at the bar to observe the surprisingly high percentage of the menu that came out of that brick oven. Burgers, sandwiches, deserts, you name it.

While I would have liked to have stayed and sampled a few more beers, I really needed to get some sleep. My wake-up call for Thursday morning was set for 4am.

My brief suit-free reprieve was over.

Yeah, another glamorous day of 6am flights, three planes, two rental cars, a cab ride, three more time zones and 17 hours of wearing that damn suit was awaiting me beginning in another six hours.

Which reminds me, if I ever do get home, I really need to pay my dry cleaner a visit.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!
Red Rock Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Suit 757 --

    There's good news. A company called "Fun Fried Beverages" just invented a way to fry beer.

    Check it out!