Southern Indiana's rolling hills are a product of glaciers that knew when to stop almost 20,000 years ago. Nicknamed the uplands, these hills became the foundation for Bloomington and the hometown of Upland Brewing Company which opened its doors in 1998 and is now the second largest brewery in Indiana and a mainstay of the beer scene in the Midwest. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Sour Appreciation Month!
Upland began brewing lambic-style beer in 2006 - it all started by trading eight cases of Upland beer for four 265L white oak barrels from Oliver Winery just down the road. Since then, the sour program has grown every year, and in 2015, they expect to release 20 different sour ales, including fruited and non-fruited styles. We were able to sample a few of these bottles - a collaboration with Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales called Permission Slip and Vinosynth Red, a collaboration with Oliver Winery. Read on and let us know if you've had any other bottles from Upland's sour series!
5.75 - 7% ABV
This Jolly Pumpkin collaboration was loved by our whole tasting table. Permission Slip is a blend of two base beers brewed at both Jolly Pumpkin and Upland. The first - brewed at Jolly Pumpkin - showcases raw wheat and flaked oats as well as Mosaic and Amarillo hops. The second is Upland's Sour Reserve which is re-fermented for 3 months with fresh dragonfruit. Blended together, the final beer pours a hazy marigold color with a bright white, fluffy head and super fine carbonation. We note citrus rind and spice in the dry, sour aroma which someone exclaimed 'smelled exactly like Sour Patch Kids'. The refreshing flavor was sour, not sweet with an earthy, peppery taste that reminded us of citrus pith.
5.75 - 7% ABV
A collaboration with Oliver Winery, Vinosynth Red is a blend of 50% Sour Reserve and 50% Malefactor Flanders-style Red Ale aged on Catawba grapes. A native North American grape varietal, Catawba is known for making jams and jellies as well as distinctly juicy, fruity wines. The beer is aged in the first oak barrels acquired from Oliver by Upland. This sour ale has the color of nutty bred, burnt butter or orange caramel. Hazy with tiny bubbles and a buttermilk head, it's extremely tart nose has lots of grape and a little musty cheese. We taste very jammy grape and notes of pineapple and berry. The bigger mouthfeel doesn't linger, and it's overall a little sweeter (however, if you take a taste of Permission Slip after drinking this beer, the Jolly Pumpkin collaboration tastes grassier and vegetal, which surprises us!).
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