Uinta Brewing had their 19th anniversary this year. In celebration of this momentous occasion they brewed Birthday Suit a slightly sour ale brewed with cherries. Now you’re talking my language when you say sour ale and cherries together. Throw that sucker in a barrel for a little while, and I’m in heaven…or so I thought.
The other night my buddy Chad (the @BeerPoet on twitter) and I were closing down our favorite watering hole Brewforia. At the end of the night he said to go pick out a beer for us to share, his treat. Nice! So I looked around and found this beer, and my head began to swim with all the wonderful flavors I expected to experience.
This beer looked very promising, as it poured a beautiful red like a good Kriek beer. Almost no head, and very wine like, or even cidery. I was giddy with anticipation expecting a sweet and slightly tart and sour treat. I put it up to my nose and wanted to smell a cherry orchard, but what I got was wood and dust. Hmmm not exactly what I expected. Oh well, I’ve had great beers with less than stellar noses so I was undeterred.
On my first taste I was looking for wonderful cherries and a caramel and vanilla flavor from the barrel all wrapped up in a nice effervescent sour beer that tickled my nose. What I got was quite different. It wasn’t sour it was bitter, and it didn’t taste like cherries, but like cherry kool aid with no sugar. And the wood wasn’t vanilla and slight wood notes, but is was like chewing on wood chips from a lumber yard. I was shocked. This beer was extraordinarily bad. To quote my brother Jim, “Did they taste it before it left the brewery?”
What was so shocking about this is I have yet to have a bad beer from Uinta (until now). They get it and they produce amazingly flavorful beers that always deliver. It doesn’t matter if they are from their crooked line, or their regular brews they make fantastic beers. So this is actually a shock that they would produce something so bad and worse yet sell it, and worse still have it as an anniversary brew! I will cut them some slack, though because the remainder of their beer lineup is stellar, but wow! Leave the Birthday Suit alone, and drink their other beers that are fully clothed.
Have you tried this beer? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.