Welcome to Beer Tastings, a series in which Utah Beer News highlights an interesting (and tasty) local brew. This time: La Nymphe, a Bière de Garde from Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co. What are you drinking? Let us know!
Beer Tastings: La Nymphe
It’s not often Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co. bottles its beers. So when it does, as the primarily draft brewery did with La Nymphe, craft beer drinkers know they’re in for a treat.
La Nymphe, released just as summer gave way to fall, is a Bière de Garde. Ale-fermented and stored cool for several months, the beer is bursting with juicy peach aromas and flavors. A slight breadiness, with some cracker, complements a grassy/floral hop finish. The French ale yeast offers notes of pear juiciness, but it’s not overpowering.
The 8.1% limited-edition brew focuses on “malt nuances, delicate hop flavors, and subtle, clean yeast flavors,” says head brewer Donovan Steele. “The style should represent the terroir of sourced ingredients.”
Steele sought to brew a beer with a certain complexity, while still maintaining an approachability for which Hoppers is known.
To that end, La Nymphe features malted barley grown in Utah and floor-malted by Solstice Malt, the state’s first maltster in more than a half-century.
The name La Nymphe, which references a female deity of the natural world, represents Hoppers’ “appreciation for and inspiration from nature around us,” Steele says. “All of it contributing somewhat mysteriously in the finished bottle.”
Steele, who’s brewed at Hoppers since 2003 and took over as head brewer in 2007, is well-respected in the Utah brewing community and beyond.
Crisp, clean lagers are hallmarks of the Midvale-based brewery, which opened in 1996. Utah law limits draft beer to be 4% ABV, though that gets a bump to 5% on Nov. 1. And that’s what Hoppers has focused on perfecting in recent years.
But once a year or so, when Hoppers brews and bottles higher-alcohol beers, the results rarely disappoint.
La Nymphe Stats
- Brewery: Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co.
- ABV: 8.1%
- Serving Style: 750ml bottle
- Date Tasted: Sept. 19, 2019
- Purchase Location: Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co.
Notes: The tasting notes format is adapted from a Homebrew Academy Beer Tasting Mastery course I took in 2017. Utah Beer News is not compensated for beers mentioned in the Tastings series. A version of this article originally appeared on PorchDrinking.com.
La Nymphe — Hoppers Grill & Brewing Co.
Product Name: La Nymphe Bière de Garde
Product Description: La Nymphe, a French Bière de Garde brewed by Hoppers Grill & Brewing in Midvale, Utah. Hoppers isn't a frequent player in the packaged-beer game, but when it does bottle a beer, the results rarely disappoint.
La Nymphe is a French Bière de Garde bursting with juicy peach aromas and flavors. A nice breadiness balances the fruit and a grassy/floral hop character brings it all together.
- Aroma: Peach and a touch of cracker
- Appearance: Pours a brilliant reddish-orange with a lasting semi-rocky cap of foam
- Flavor: Juicy peach, some bread, and grassy/floral hops
- Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing
But you don’t have to take my word for it.