Wasatch Brewery was established in 1986 making it not only the first craft brewery in Utah but also one of the first craft breweries in the country.
Greg Schirf was the man behind the vision for Wasatch and planted the seed for the business in the venerable town of Park City. In 2000, Wasatch merged with nearby Squatters Brewery and formed the Utah Brewer’s Cooperative. Later in 2012, Utah Brewer’s Cooperative also known as Salt Lake Brewing Co. took on an investor in Fireman Capital Partners making Oskar Blues a sister brewery. The Utah Brewer’s Cooperative operates a large commercial brewery, five brewpubs and a wine and ale house with packaged brews being distributed in 15 states.
Today’s beer is Wasatch’s Apricot Hefeweizen. It is brewed with a hybrid Bavarian strain of German altbier yeast and natural apricot flavoring. Alcohol is kept low at 4 percent and bitterness is also kept low at a stated 9 IBUs.
Poured into a snifter, Apricot Hefeweizen shows a slightly hazy pale straw yellow color. The head is minimal and retention of what little foam actually formed was poor. Unusual for a Hefeweizen as they typically are very effervescent with large caps of foam that stick around almost annoying so. Nosediving reveals an aroma of super sweet apricot extract complete with that new plastic chemical note and just the faintest hint of Hefeweizen yeast in the form of clove and tarragon. Not looking good, so far.
To the tasting! At the forefront is an odd watered-down stale malt or bread character followed by that now familiar apricot flavoring. Any Hefeweizen yeast character is missing or has been washed out to the point of being non-existent. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I had a beer that tasted so watered-down and diluted. The carbonation is on the low end and the body is very thin.