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When it comes to beer, The Devastator breaks the Utah mold
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 10:32 AM- The recent introduction of The Devastator - a brawny dark brew with 8 percent alcohol by volume - might give critics another reason to quit complaining about Utah's watered-down beer.

The German-style double bock is produced by Wasatch Beers and has nearly the highest alcohol level of any Utah-made beer.

The Anniversary Barley Wine made by Uinta Brewing Company has nearly 10 percent alcohol.

The Devastator is available only in bottles at Utah liquor stores, at Wasatch and Squatters brew pubs in Park City and Salt Lake City, and other restaurants and private clubs around the state.

At the liquor store it sells for $1.39 a bottle.

Since its launch in early December, the Devastator has been flying off shelves, said Dan Burick, brewmaster for the Utah Brewers Cooperative, which produces all the bottled and keg products for Wasatch and Squatters.

Initially, Wasatch made only 40 barrels of the high alcohol beer, but quickly increased production to 200 barrels to keep up with demand.

Utah drinkers have been drawn to the local beer, which has a deep crimson color and a fluffy white head.

"The name is fun and it's easy to drink," said Burick, who noted that its toasty, malt flavor makes it a good winter brew to serve with red meat, stews and cheese.

The beer breaks the mold in Utah, where only beers with 4 percent alcohol by volume can be sold in grocery stores or on draft at bars and microbreweries.

Even The Devastator label tries to break Utah stereotypes. It features a Rocky Mountain big-horned sheep barrelling through the downtown Salt Lake City skyline, nearly knocking over such iconic buildings as the capitol and the Mormon Temple. "Utah will never be the same," the label boasts.

The saying is only partly true. In order to sell The Devastator, Squatters and Wasatch brew pubs must purchase their bottled beer, at full price, through the state.

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