Beer Review: Uinta Brewing Free Form IPA

Everyone loves coming home to a beer.  A few weeks ago, that happened to me.  I got home from work, walked up my steps and there sitting on my doorstep was a four-pack of Uinta Free Form beers.  I snapped a few photos, cracked open on, started reading the letter from Isaac Winter (Head Brewer at Uinta) and then texted my roommate, who’s gluten free.  Over the course of a few nights, I finished off the four-pack and can honestly say that I really want to visit the least beer’d state (Utah) and check out this brewery.  And for a gluten free beer, Free Form is pretty good.  Definitely a hot summer day, drinking beer.  Can’t wait to try the Blonde Ale next.

Here is what Unita has to say about the beer:

Salt Lake City – After an extensive research and development process that lasted nearly two years, Uinta Brewing Company has added two gluten-free offerings to its beer portfolio with Free Form IPA and Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale. Brewed to appeal to all beer drinkers, but produced with naturally gluten-free ingredients, Free Form can be enjoyed worry-free and sacrifice-free by all gluten-conscious consumers, not just those with specific dietary restrictions.

“We take pride in crafting high-quality beers in a variety of styles so that everyone can experience a Uinta, and Free Form is a natural extension of that,” said Steve Mills, CEO of Uinta Brewing Co. “Our brewing team set out to make gluten-free beer that didn’t compromise on taste, and we weren’t satisfied until both criteria were achieved.”

Brewed with millet and buckwheat, Uinta’s Free Form offerings are naturally gluten-free and have not been gluten-reduced by enzymes. Additionally, the brewery has implemented rigid testing procedures to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. Each batch of Free Form will be tested a minimum of two times prior to release: once by an external certified lab and once in house using Glutenox Detection, which can detect gluten as low as 5 parts per million (ppm). Free Form consistently measures below 10 ppm for gluten content, a level below that of current dietary labeling guidelines for gluten-free products.

 Uinta’s Free Form offerings showcase Uinta’s sense of adventure and commitment to carefully crafted beers for all consumers and occasions. Both brews will be available in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles through Uinta’s distribution territory by the end of spring 2017. 

About Free Form Beers

Free Form IPA Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale
Availability: Year-round Availability: Year-round
ABV: 4% • IBU: 63 • SRM: 5 ABV: 4% • IBU: 20 • SRM: 6
Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat, Coriander
Hops: Citra, Ella, Cascade Hops: Sterling, Opal
Description: Citra and Ella hops impart a bright and tropical essence to this exceptional tasting, sessionable India Pale Ale. Description: Hints of coriander and Belgian yeast character partner perfectly with Sterling and Opal hops in this sessionable Blonde Ale.


About Uinta Brewing Co.

Uinta Brewing Company began its journey in 1993 with a passion for craft beer and a yearning for the great outdoors that aligned perfectly in Salt Lake City, Utah. Named after the only major east-west running mountain range located in the continental U.S., Uinta’s path is consistently led by the values of sustainability, community involvement and innovation. The brewery’s wide selection of high-quality beers is currently enjoyed in 38 states and three export markets. For more information visit UintaBrewing.com.

Have you ever had Uinta Beer?  What was your favorite?  Been to the brewery?  Had a good gluten free beer before?  Leave a comment and share your experience!

Heads up, Uinta provided me the beer and the awesome letter from Isaac Winter, the Head Brewer.

Great Notion Brewing – Portland, Oregon

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Some days it just pays to be a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador.  (It also pays to be my best friend, when I give up alcohol for Lent).  This is how Beckie and I got invited to a test tour of Great Notion Brewing with BREWVANA.  One of the newest breweries in town opening January 1, 2016!

Great Notion Brewing is a 7 BBL brewery and tap room in Portland, Oregon located at 2204 NE Alberta #101 (next to Pine State Biscuits).  It’s the old Mash Tun Brewery. They focus primarily on juicy New England-style IPA’s and creative sour ales, though you’ll also find a variety of beers on fresh fruit, and stouts with maple, coffee & chocolate.

Their barrel program is hosted both in on-site and off-site locations where their American sour ales age for 9-24 months in oak barrels and clay amphoras. A portion of their sour ales are blended with Summer Oregon fruit like peaches, apricots, strawberries, and cherries. Freshly emptied Bourbon barrels age their imperial stout on ingredients like roasted coffee, vanilla beans, chocolate, and maple syrup.

Brewvana VIP

Brewvana VIP

When it comes to brewing creative craft beer, they realize the immense talent within this city and been inspired by many, in Portland and beyond.

The Great Notion cofounders are: James Dugan, brewing & marketing, Andy Miller, brewing & operations, and Paul Reiter, finance & strategy.  The creative and delicious food menu at Great Notion Brewing was created by our chef and long time friend, Ryan O’ Connor.

Here is what we (aka Beckie) tried:

  • Zest – Their take on a German style Berliner Weisse, the lemony tartness in this refreshing wheat beer comes from a two stage fermentation with Lactobacillius and Brettanomyces.  Zest is the beer that will guide you into the spring time.  Beckie says this beer was tart at the finish, but still refreshing.
  • Coffee and Cream – on nitro – is a Cream Ale on specially roasted whole bean Columbian coffee in partnership with Clutch Coffee Roasters.  It’s a one of a kind brew and a unique flavor experience.  Beckie says this beer was a great coffee stout and would make a great beer to add to a float.  It had good texture and thickness.
  • The Merry Dankster DIPA – their tribute to Ken Kesey and his merry band of pranksters.  This Double IPA is saturated with hop flavor.  It’s dry hopped with over three pounds per barrel and fermented with local wild flower honey.  Slammed with notes of pineapple, pine and stinky dank goodness.  Beckie says it was definitely “dank” with powerful flavor but didn’t have the boozy finish that a lot of IIPA’s have.
  • Single Stack – this was a special tasting of the beer that started Double Stack.  (Northwest Breakfast Stout aged on a ridiculous amount of Vermont maple syrup and locally roasted coffee beans.)  Beckie says it was waaay to sweet and watery.  Needed something more thicken it.  I’m sure Double Stack is better.
Great Notion Brewing

Great Notion Brewing

Here is what I tried – FOOD:

  • Sweet Potato Waffle Fries with curried ginger ketchup.  While the fries were great, the curried ginger was AMAZING.  It’s like once you have chocolate chips in your banana bread, you can never go back to plain banana bread.  I’ll never be able to go back to plain ketchup after this.
  • Buffalo Tostones.  These were fried green plantains, covered in buffalo sauce (like wings) with a mojo jicama slaw.  I’ve never tried anything like this and I loved it.  Great vegan / gluten free option.
  • Cheese Crisps.  Grilled sharp cheddar, spicy roasted serranos, pickled sweet peppers and neufchatel.  Like the Tostones, this isn’t something I’ve ever had before.  It was amazing, almost like something I would plan on ordering at Bollywood Theatre.
  • Salt & Pepper Chicharonnes.  These were house pork cracklings featuring Tilting Hog Ranch pork with a malt vinegar dipping sauce.  I’m not a huge fan of pork or even fried chicken so I tried some and while it was good, it definitely isn’t for me.
Don’t forget since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4″ when you check out!

Want to be a Brewvana Ambassador?! [Discount Code]

Brewvana-LogoAs many of you know, I’ve been a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador for over a year now.  I’ve been on tours, written blog posts, attended a bunch of beer events, rocked some sweet swag and drank a ton of free beer because of it.  And now, I’m looking for more Portland-loving, beer-drinking friends, to join me being BREWVANA Brand Ambassador’s with me!

What is BREWVANA’s Brand Ambassador program?

Our Brand Ambassadors are an extension of the mission and brand of BREWVANA.

The Brand Ambassador program aims to promote BREWVANA’s services and role in the craft beer community by building relationships through our Brand Ambassadors. Through different activities and responsibilities, Brand Ambassadors can connect with potential tour guests, travelers and beer lovers, local businesses and events and connect them with the city of Portland and its craft beer culture.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.21.43 AMBrand Ambassador minimum requirements:

  • Volunteer at at least one BREWVANA related event during the 2016 year.
  • Join one regular public BREWVANA tour per year.
  • Distribute flyers/marketing materials to assigned hotel quadrants once per quarter.
  • Distribute tour/event posters to assigned quadrants.
  • Attend one BA happy hour/brainstorming event per year.
  • Deliver brewery care packages once per quarter.

Expectations of Brand Ambassador:

  • Love and passion for craft beer and its surround culture and industries.
  • Knowledge of all things BREWVANA including history, tours offered, FAQS, etc.
  • Represent BREWVANA in a positive manner.
  • Familiarity and love of the city of Portland.
  • Intermediate knowledge and proficiency of social media.
  • Active social media account(s)- ideally -Familiarity and love of the city of Portland, Twitter and/or Instagram.
  • Friendly, outgoing and helpful.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.22.56 AMBrand Ambassador perks/activities:

  • Invitation to bi-annual BREWVANA brew day.
  • Invitation to quarterly happy hour/brainstorming event.
  • First invitation to join new tour test runs.
  • 1 free seat on any regular public tour per year.
  • 30% off tours and merch (same as employees) if purchased for yourself, 15% off for friends & family.
  • Super awesome welcome package.
  • FREE BEER!
  • Free beer fest passes for volunteering.

Plus, you get a Super Welcome Package:

  • BREWVANA beanie or hat
  • Growler (bomber)
  • Variety of printed marketing materials
  • Stickers
  • Two pilsner glasses
  • Baseball tee shirt
  • BREWVANA poster
  • Post cards
  • Buttons
  • Referral cards

Love Portland, love beer and are decent with social media?  Interested in being a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador?  Let me know and we can chat more.

Just want to take a BREWVANA Tour?  Since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4″ when you check out!

Untappd is Sexy (Drink Socially) [Update]

untappdFine, fine.  I’ll tell you why Untappd is super sexy.  First of all, if you have been leaving under the rock for the past year or so.  Untappd is new way to socially share and explore the world of beer with your friends and the world. Curious what your friends are drinking or where they’re hanging out? Just check their profile where you can toast and comment on their beers.  Untappd will offer you beer recommendations based on what you and your friends have been enjoying, so you’ll have no reason to not try something new.  As additional encouragement, Untappd allows you to earn a number of cool badges for completing a variety of different criteria.  If that doesn’t sell you, here are three reasons why Untappd rocks.

One, Greg Avola. I went to college with Greg.  Back in 2004, he was fondly referred to as “Peg Leg Greg” and was the go to guy when your laptop had to Blue Screen of Death.  Now he is apparently living in the craft beer haven of NYC.  He’s the backend developer for Untappd.  While other people are reading books or watching movies, Greg is coding.  His friend, Tim and him came up with Untappd and Greg started working on a protoype the next day.  His passion of development and craft beer allowed Untappd to be born.  Seriously, awesome-sauce.

Two, social media and beer. Greg managed to combine his two passions to create something that combined my two passions, social media and beer.  I love that I can share with my friends, where I am at, what I am currently drinking and what I think of it.  I like that I can put notes in to keep track of my thoughts on the beers and hashtags to remind myself of where I tried the beer.  I’ve turned Untappd into a game with my friends, since I’m the girl who is always on her phone, I have my friends tell me what they would rate the beer AND why.  Then save the note!  Definitely encourages people to explain why they love or hate something.

Three, BADGES! I’m obsessed with badges.  I’m competitive naturally.  So being rewarded to check in beers always inspires me to find and create MIA beers on Untappd, making it a better experience.  Plus, the badges are wicked funny.  Take it easy, Heffenista, Playing the field and I believe in IPA (Level 6).  How fun are those?  Using Untappd badges you can find friends that have similar tastes and talk about the beers you love.  Plus, you can send a “Cheers” to your friends that don’t live nearby.  It’s a great way to stay connected.

Have you tried Untappd?  What did you think?  Want to be friends?

Additional information.  Did you know, Untappd has merged with Next Glass?  See below.

Since we first released Untappd, over five years ago, it’s been a project of passion and it’s been our desire to bring our users the best possible beer based social platform available. From private beta to nearly 3,000,000 users worldwide, watching Untappd grow has been an amazing rollercoaster of ups, downs, late nights, and of course great beers.

We strive to build the best features with a great focus on our community and their desires. This has become increasingly difficult to accomplish due to time constraints. As you may not know, for the last five years we have been building Untappd on a part time basis, maintaining full time jobs outside of Untappd to support ourselves and our families. This has lead to slower than desired feature releases and as Untappd continues to grow in popularity, the variety of hats our two man team has to wear has become more difficult.

Over the years, we have explored a variety of options to allow us to transition to full time on Untappd, but there was never a viable solution. After many discussions and exploring many different directions, we are excited to announce a strategic merger between Untappd and Next Glass, a fellow alcohol based start up. It was evident very early on in our discussions that we shared similar goals and ideals for our respective apps and together we could achieve great things. Unlike other mergers happening in the beer world recently, this merger brings together two like-minded start ups set on disrupting the beer industry for the better.

So, the big question is, what does this mean for Untappd? It’s simple – nothing but good things. Untappd will remain an independent entity (albeit a subsidiary of Next Glass), with Tim Mather (CEO) and Greg Avola (CTO) continuing to steer the vision of the product. With the resources provided by Next Glass, we will be able to transition into full time roles within Untappd as well as hire on more staff to speed up our feature development and make the platform even better for the community. This means you will get new updates, cool features, and even more badges, faster. There will be no rebranding, name changing, or abrupt pivots. We will continue just as we have, building a world class social community for beer drinkers – only at a much quicker pace.

Being a community driven platform that has relied heavily on word of mouth to grow, we owe everything to you. Without the dedication of beer lovers around the world checking in as they enjoy a brew, we wouldn’t be where we are today. That said, it is our goal to continue to build the best possible products for you. Thank you for your support over the years and for your continued support as we take the next, exciting step into the future of Untappd.

Cheers,
Tim & Greg

—-

Here are some potential answers to some questions you may have. If you have quesions not listed below, please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

Will Untappd be rebranded under Next Glass?
No, Untappd will remain it’s own company with the brand you’ve come to know and love.

Who will be in charge of Untappd?
The original founders, Tim & Greg, will continue to lead the vision of Untappd, as well as continue to directly design and develop it.

Can I work for Untappd?
We will be hiring a couple new team members in the near future, but have no determined exactly what we will be hiring for. Once we do, we will be sure to let everyone know.

What happens to supporter accounts?
Untappd Supporter accounts will remain and function just as they have, but now that our team will be working full time on the product, we will be able to add even better features and benefits to the supporter accounts.

Will this affect 3rd party developers using the Untappd API?
There are currently no plans to changes, limit, or restrict access to the Untappd API.

Made Men: 14 Gateway IPAs for IPA Haters

I know I’ve got a few other IPA hater friends so I thought I would share this article I was featured in a few weeks back.  (Still playing catch up, can you tell?)  I get daily HARO (Help A Reporter Out) notifications and will respond to beer questions from time to time.

made men

This is one of those cases.  Check out Made Men, a men’s lifestyle website.  They recently wrote a blog post called 14 Gateway IPAs for IPA Haters and BiteSize Brew’s got a shout out:

Gigantic Pipe Wrench
Jenna Forstrom, Founder of BiteSizeBrews.com, and co-founder of HopHands.com, believes the piney taste of a Gin IPA such as Gigantic Brewing Company’s Pipe Wrench won’t just make gin-lovers IPA believers. One Beer Advocate reviewer notes its “great balance of hops and malts,” while another commends its “nice mix of piney and citrus hop flavors up front with an emphasis on tangerine, clean toasted malt undertone, followed by an earthy spicy finish.”

What is your favorite IPA for IPA haters?