By Erika Brown, Seattleite Magazine -- When one thinks of Utah, the last thought that pops in one’s mind is “beer.” Well friends, having just visited this lovely state, I am pleased to debunk the myth that it is a dry state…er, meaning alcohol is not consumed. Dry in climate? Yes—ten times yes. Dry in alcohol? Definitely not. Craft beer, is all the rage in Utah, with craft breweries like Uinta Brewing Company struggling to meet its demands both in its very own state and throughout our nation (including Washington), even with its recent expansion.

Yours truly got a special tour of its new facilities and was tremendously pleased to learn how environmentally conscious this Salt Lake City brewery is, making purchasing its delicious nectar that much easier. In 2001, Uinta Brewing became the first company in Utah to become 100% wind-powered and installed solar-electric paneling on its roof in 2011. This green living company did not stop there: it uses about 65% less water than the average brewery and my favorite tidbit, donates spent grain to local farmers to use as feed. So why should we Washingtonians care? Well, spring is here and with that comes grilling, camping and beach outings, and below I tell you where you can get your hands on these Uinta Brewing beers, which are sure to not only compliment your mood but food as well. Detour Double IPA: This award winning Uinta Brewing favorite from its Classic Line boasts Citra hops and is now being delivered in four 12 ounce bottles instead of the previous 750 milliliter cork and caged finished bottle. Its proprietary bottle just making shelves this week screams summer road trips via its label showing an iconic Airstream Camper being hauled by a vintage International Scout pickup truck, complete with a compass depicted around the bottle’s neck. Sum’r Ale: If there is anything we want in a summer beer, it is a refreshing taste. Sum’r provides just that. Part of Uinta Brewing Organic Line, this seasonal ale incorporates Sorachi hops from Japan. While its simple label captures summer with a bright, yellow Adirondack Chair and lime green background, its citrusy and invigorating flavors is flying kites, sunbathing, and beach parties in your mouth (without the sand of course). And we all know in Seattle, we need this after our rainy season.
This misplaced Texan immediately started salivating for BBQ brisket, ribs and sausage after tasting Uinta’s Crooked Line, limited edition lager with strong notes of Beechwood-smoked malts from Bamberg, Germany. Some at Uinta Brewing playfully dubbed this brew “the vegetarian beer” for its ability to allow anyone’s palate to recall that smoky flavor of all foods grilled and smoked. Steve Kuftinec, Uinta Brewing Company’s Vice-President of Sales, suggests accompanying Tinder Rauchbier with “a good smoked Gouda cheese” adding that “the creaminess of the Gouda would pick up the smokiness of Tinder.”