Beer Tastings: American Lager — Kiitos Brewing

Beer Tastings - Utah Beer News

Welcome to Beer Tastings, a weekly series in which Utah Beer News highlights a particularly tasty local brew. What are you drinking? Let us know!

Beer Tastings: American Lager

Kiitos Brewing is a newcomer to the Utah beer scene. It’s part of an ever-expanding brewery lineup in Salt Lake’s Granary District.

American Lager - Kiitos Brewing - Beer Tastings
Kiitos’ American Lager is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Light hop flavor blends nicely with biscuit-y malt.

Kiitos offers an inventive selection of 4% alcohol-by-volume draft beers (Coconut Stout, Coffee Cream Ale, etc.), as well as an on-site cold-beer area where cans of higher-ABV brews are available for purchase.

Its American Lager, released last week, clocks in at 6% ABV, therefore it’s not available to be enjoyed on-site. But there’s plenty of cold six packs in 16-ounce cans to take home and enjoy on your deck (as I would recommend)

The lager pours a soft, pale yellow. An off-white head dissipates quickly into a nice, clear beer. A smattering of bubbles float to the top, giving the beer a clean and refreshing crispness.

I get aromas of fresh sourdough bread and some herbal character. There’s a slight sweetness on first taste, and a subtle herbal hop flavor blends nicely with biscuit-y malts.

The American Lager is a solid choice if you’re looking for a refreshing beer after completing your outdoor activity of choice. It’s also a good beer to hand to your friend/uncle/fishing pal who swears that mass-produced lagers are the only ones for him (or her).

The Kiitos Story

American Lager Can - Kiitos Brewing - Beer Tastings
The American Lager can has a “full peel” tab.

Kiitos means “thank you” in Finnish, and the brewery regularly seeks ways to show its appreciation.

  • Its High Efficiency Brewing System (HEBS) conserves energy and allows the brewery to use 40% less water than a traditional system
  • It packages only in aluminum cans, which are easy to recycle and require less energy to produce. Plus, the cans have a “full peel” tab, which I just think is cool.
  • It installed a wall’s worth of old-school pinball machines and a vintage Ms. Pac-Man arcade (OK, this probably doesn’t help the environment all that much, but it does show appreciation for customers like me who enjoy a good game of Ms. Pac-Man)

The Kiitos tap room, located on a dead-end street just west of the Salt Lake city center, features a small bar (4-6 stools) and an open area with high-top tables and a couch.

A back room includes wooden booths for larger groups to enjoy a beer or two while playing board games or nibbling on bites obtained from a food truck parked outside. The west wall is where you’ll find the pinball machines and arcades.

Fun Fact: One super old-school bowling arcade originally had Coors Light lit-up signage above the playing screen. It didn’t take long for the game to be re-branded Kiitos Bowling.

American Lager - Kiitos Brewing
American Lager - Kiitos Brewing - Beer Tastings

Product Name: American Lager

Product Description: Just in time for summer, Kiitos delivers an American Lager. The pale yellow brew offers notes of fresh bread in the nose and flavors of subtle herbal hops and light biscuit-y malts. Pull up a chair and crack this one open on the deck or patio.

  • Aroma
  • Appearance
  • Flavor
  • Mouthfeel

Overall Impression

American Lager from Kiitos Brewing is a clean, crisp and refreshing beer for the warm months ahead. Released in mid-May 2018 and available in 16-ounce cans, this beer should take a spot in your summer rotation.

  • Aroma: Fresh sourdough bread
  • Appearance: Soft, pale yellow; off-white head; fairly lively carbonation
  • Flavor: Subtle herbal hops blend nicely with biscuit-y malts; some slight oatmeal sweetness
  • Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and refreshing

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Note: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017.