After driving the 80 from California through the nicotine-blasted wasteland that is Nevada, I was as happy as a pig in mud to discover that Salt Lake City boasts several fine microbreweries. Who knew?
While preparing for our extended road trip, I had asked several friends whether or not Utah was a dry state, and if so, how much beer could I get away with carrying for personal use; they looked at me like I was stupid, which, on this matter I am willing to throw myself on the mercy of the court.
Red Rock Brewery boasts several locations in the greater SLC area and a healthy selection of brews to choose from. Topping the list, their Bobcat Nutbrown Ale makes an excellent starter. Available in bottles, it pours a chestnut brown with a monster head that collapses down to a respectable quarter-inch of mocha-colored foam.
The first sip reveals a crisp hop profile, balancing out the otherwise dominant taste of toasted malts. The Cascade and Columbus bitterness places the Bobcat well within the West Coast purview. Subsequent quaffs unlock the complexity of the grain bill: a creamy mouth feel with dark chocolate and caramel notes.