Food briefs: Utah food and booze makers get national recognition

By Kathy Stephenson

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: April 23, 2014 05:21PM
Updated: April 23, 2014 01:01AM

Utah beer brewers, spirit makers and restaurants have earned national recognition recently. Including:

Red Rock’s Dandelion Beer wins gold • Salt Lake City’s Red Rock Brewing Co., and its experimental Belgian-style ale called Paardebloem, received a gold medal at the 2014 World Beer Cup competition recently in Denver.

Red Rock’s first-place medal was one of three that Utah brewers brought home from the biennial competition, considered the Olympics of the beer-brewing world.

“For a brewer, a World Beer Cup gold award allows them to say that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association, which sponsors the event.

Red Rock’s Paardebloem, which won gold in the experimental category, is brewed using dandelion greens as a bitter in place of hops. Paardebloem, the Flemish term for dandelion, has a hazy gold color and a light effervescent taste.

The 2014 release of Paardebloem is expected to be available in Utah the first week of May, according to a Red Rock spokesman.

Other Utah winners: Moab Brewery’s Squeaky Bike Nut Brown, which won a silver in the Sessions Beer category; and Uinta Brewing’s Bristlecone, which won bronze in the English-Style Mild Ale division.

In this year’s World Beer Cup competition, 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries were entered. That is a 21 percent increase from the 2012.

Taqueria 27’s vegetarian taco makes Food Network list • The grilled pear and roasted beet taco from Salt Lake City’s Taqueria 27 represents Utah in the “50 States of Tacos” listing in the May issue of Food Network Magazine.

“We discovered that chefs will stuff anything into a tortilla: mac and cheese, hearts of palm, octopus,” editors said after searching for America’s best and most distinctive tacos.

For their Utah pick, they praised chef Todd Gardiner’s new spin on a vegetarian taco. “It’s like a super-delicious salad (beets, pears and gorgonzola) on a tortilla,” they wrote.

The tacos come in an order of two for $6.

Gardiner opened his modern taqueria in 2012, at 1615 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, impressing guests with his high-end tacos, moles, salads and selection of premium tequilas. He plans to open a second T27 location at 4670 Holladay Village Plaza, Holladay, sometime this spring.

Underground Herbal Spirit wins 2014 Booze Brackets • Underground Herbal Spirit, made in Ogden, took home the top prize in the 2014 Booze Brackets, sponsored by BourbonBlog.com. The competition puts liquor brands head-to-head in a 64-brand NCAA basketball tournament-style bracket. The fans vote, and brands receiving the most votes move on to the next round.

“We entered both Underground Herbal Spirit and Five Wives Vodka,” explained Steve Conlin, managing partner of Ogden’s Own. “Both brands made it to the Final Four and had to face each other, with Underground moving on to the final.”

The competition featured some very well-known brands such as Jack Daniels, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, Wild Turkey and Jim Beam. In the final matchup, Underground Herbal Spirit matched up against Angel’s Envy Bourbon Whisky from Louisville, Ky. Underground took the final tally with 31,121 votes to 24,358.