3 Beers with a Brewer | Chris Haas & Rob Phillips, RoHa Brewing Project

Rob Phillips, left, and Chris Haas discuss three beers they find tasty or intriguing.
Rob Phillips, left, and Chris Haas discuss three beers they find tasty or intriguing.

3 Beers with a Brewer is a series in which Utah Beer News asks a local craft brewer to talk about three beers he/she finds tasty, intriguing, etc. This time, we visit with Chris Haas and Rob Phillips, of RoHa Brewing Project.

Project Porter, RoHa Brewing Project

Chris Haas, of RoHa Brewing Project, pours a pint of Project Porter.
Chris Haas, of RoHa Brewing Project, pours a pint of Project Porter.

While Rob Phillips and Chris Haas are represented in their brewery’s name, so too is third partner Josh Stern. He’s affectionately known as “The Project.” And RoHa Brewing Project’s latest seasonal offering is named in Stern’s honor.

“It’s that time of year,” Haas says. “I drink a lot of porters in the winter.”

As does Phillips, who says Project Porter (available on draft at the brewery and in 12-ounce cans elsewhere) received a warm welcome.

“It’s had a good response,” Phillips says of the malt-forward brew with prominent chocolate notes. “There’s not a lot out there and people are seeking a dark beer when it’s cold and snowy.”

Schwarzbier, Desert Edge Pub & Brewery

Schwarzbier, from Desert Edge Pub & Brewery.
Schwarzbier, from Desert Edge Pub & Brewery.

Haas isn’t a stranger to Desert Edge Pub & Brewery. He served as the head brewer for several years before opening RoHa with Phillips and Stern in 2017.

Offerings at pubs around town cater to his beer-drinking preferences.

“I tend to drink less new-style beers,” Haas says. “I’ve seen so many ups and downs in this in this industry. It goes through phases where one day it’s ‘let’s drink the highest alcohol and weirdest beers.’ In five years it will come back to sessionable 5-6% beers.”

One style that’s firmly seated in the “classic” category is Schwarzbier, sometimes called a “black lager.” And one example of the style Hass is enjoying now is the Schwarzbier at Desert Edge.

Pouring a dark brown with a lightly toasted smooth cap of foam, the beer offers roasted malt aromas and flavors. A subtle bitterness balances the malt sweetness.

Kölsch, Bohemian Brewery

RoHa isn’t lagering any beers currently, so when the mood strikes, Haas and Phillips must look elsewhere. Fortunately, the Utah brewing community is happy to oblige with a tasty lager or two.

Photo Credit: Bohemian Brewery.

Of breweries around town, Haas and Phillips say Bohemian Brewery is always a go-to. It’s not unusual for Phillips to stock his fridge with a variety pack from Utah’s preeminent lager brewery.

“For me, some of my favorite beers are old German lagers that people have been making for hundreds of years,” Haas says. “They’re just solid.”

And though it’s a hybrid — fermented with ale yeast and conditioned in cold temperatures — Haas highlights Bohemian’s Kölsch, calling it “killer.” The summer seasonal 4.6% ABV Köln-style Pale Lager is “one I tend to flock toward,” he says. Easy-drinking and refreshing.

Thanks to Chris Haas and Rob Phillips for sharing three beers with us. If you’re a brewer who would like to be featured in our 3 Beers with a Brewer series, please get in touch.