Saturday, September 24, 2011

Uinta Brewing Company Punk'n Ale

There is a high chain of mountains in northeastern Utah known as the Uinta Range.  The mountains are the highest range that runs from East to West in the continental United States. At a little lower altitude, there is Uinta Brewing Company, a craft brewer located in Salt Lake City.

Utah and Salt City are not known for craft beer; yet, Uinta has been brewing beer there since 1993.  The brewer has expanded over the year, growing not only its operations but the distribution of its beer. Recently, both Clare and I were visiting one of our local craft beer stores.  We came across a six pack of Uinta Brewing Company's Punk'n, an ale brewed with pumpkin and spices.  Ordinarily, this beer is available from October to December; however, we were fortunate enough to try the beer a little early. 

The Punk'n pours a light orange in color, with a little foam.  The brewer describes the beer as having hints of vanilla and cloves.  For me, the highlights of the aromatic elements feature more cinnamon than either vanilla or cloves (although there is definitely cloves in the aroma).  

The body of the beer is very light, a little more than I expected.  Cinnamon not only provides the primary aroma, but also the primary taste of the beer.  Cloves, nutmeg and allspice seem to follow the cinnamon, but they are more secondary.  

The brewer suggests that this beer is best paired with food that contains nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.  Suggested dishes include roasted turkey, squash or pumpkin ravioli, peach cobbler or pumpkin cheesecake.  I was a little more adventurous in the pairing, pitting it against the Mozambican dish of Matata.  The reason is that Matata is traditionally made with pumpkin leaves and, while I used spinach as a substitute, I thought the beer would work well with the dish.  As it turns out, the pairing was pretty good.  The spices in the beer provided a complement to the more earthy flavors of the clam and peanut stew.  

The Punk'n has an ABV of 4.0% and an IBU of 10.  The beers are available at beer stores that have a larger selection of craft beers.  


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