Upright Brewing – My Visit to the New and Improved Taproom and Brewery
By: Sarah Collins
I like to give credit where credit is due and one of the main reasons I even heard about Upright Brewing and their newly renovated taproom is my friend Holly AKA – PDXBeerGirl. We decided to head down to their Rose Quarter tasting room near the Portland Moda Center and check it out for ourselves.
We were also lucky enough to run into founder and head brewer, Alex Ganum who shared a little bit about the history of Upright Brewing, what he personally looks for in a good beer and what they’re striving to do in 2018 and beyond. Alex was also generous enough to show us around their barrel room where he pulled some nails and gave us a taste of Upright’s future.
We tasted one of the last few bottles of their 2015 Oregon Native, which was a collaboration done with Patton Valley Vineyard. I was absolutely obsessed with the tart punch and lingering notes of pinot noir. We tasted their new batch of Oregon Native in the barrel room and it’s safe to say the future is looking bright. Can’t wait for that to finish aging and make it’s way into bottles.
There were 12 total brews to choose from on their current tap list and in true beer blogger fashion we decided to try one of everything! Across the board, their beers are incredibly mellow and I don’t mean that as a criticism. Their flavors were strongly present, but not overwhelming and allow a layered complexity to unfold with every sip. If you’re in the area and looking to try some of their beers for yourself, these were my top-six on draft that I’d highly recommend.
This is a wheat-based saison collaboration done with the crew over at Superflux Beer Company. I enjoy cherry flavors, but what I really appreciated about this was they used Rainer cherries, which in my opinion are the best tasting cherry on the market. As I mentioned before, they’re big on complexity over at Upright, so there’s even more flavor added by maturing this beer in vermouth and gewürztraminer casks. The flavor was confusing in a beautiful way, yum – just yum.
Barrel Aged Kopstooje
The only thing I’ve tasted that was similar to this beer is Brett Lager from Good Life Brewing and The Ale Apothecary. It has a mouth feel that you might expect from kombucha, which I really enjoy. The base beer is said to combine “several botanicals commonly found in genever” which leads to an aroma similar to elderberry syrup. This was probably my favorite option on tap and would be my choice when ordering again.
Schade Imperial IPA
In my notes I wrote, “classic Sarah beer” because this was just a really solid Imperial IPA. There’s quite a list of hop variants that go into this recipe, but for me, the mosaic and huell melon hops are really the stars of the show. This beer has 8.9% ABV but doesn’t pack a weighty punch that imperials often have, super drinkable and overall enjoyable.
I think that IPAs sometimes get a bad wrap for being a little basic when it comes to flavor, well Supercool doesn’t run the risk of falling into this stereotype. There is a lot going on here flavor-wise but what I personally found to be the most interesting was the floral taste and aroma.
Like I said before, I love cherry flavor. Another wheat-based saison that is casked directly with cherries. Normally I’m really picky on oak flavor, but the overall beer pairs super nicely with its oaky finish.
Single Cask Saison Vert
My notes on this one say, “lime and bubbles.” This recipe used black lime, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before. It was really strong and incredibly tart, but had a unique sweetness that isn’t typically found in a regular lime. We also tried the non-cask version, and it was totally different. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose this one.