Friday, September 2, 2011

Upslope Pale Ale review

Upslope Pale AleCanned craft beer has a future and the brewers of Colorado know this. It's been nearly 3 years since Upslope Brewing opened it's doors and they've brewed up four different canned beers and several taproom only creations. This review goes back to their roots and their first release, Upslope Pale Ale.

I'm surprised it's taken me this long to review an Upslope brew. I've seen their single color and silver cans on the shelves for a while and felt that now was the time to give one a review.

Upslope Pale Ale states that all that's in their can is: Snowmelt, Malt, Patagonian Hops and Yeast. Simple, nuff said. After viewing "Beer Culture: The Movie" earlier this year, I recall the segment on the Upslope brewing team and hearing that the hops in this beer came from Patagonia, an area somewhere between Argentina and Chile. These hops were supposed to be much like the Cascade hops grown in the US Pacific Northwest.

I was eager to try this one out. I already knew that other breweries were successful in making tasty beers packed in cans and had no reservations about the packaging.

Appearance: Upslope Pale Ale cracked open with hardly a sound and poured a light golden color. A solid 1-finger white head formed on the top of the brew and stuck around for quite a while. This beer was quite cold and had a touch of chill haze. The head quickly reformed when swirled gently in the glass.

Aroma: I can only describe the initial aroma of this beer as a fresh citrus, slight pine and with a hint of lemon and sweet bread. The hops made this beer smell very inviting and clean.

Taste: The pale ale started off with a semi-sweet malt and seemed to glide easily over my tongue. It felt creamy and went down easily with a nice bitter finish. I was reminded of biscuits and caramel as well. These hops seemed a bit bolder than a Cascade and made this a very crisp, balanced drink.

Overall: Upslope Pale Ale was impressive in that it tasted good both cold and as it warmed up. Some pale ales change their flavor as it warmed, but this one stuck to it's flavor from start to finish. At 5.8% ABV, it is still very easy drinking and capable of inviting another glass.

At the end of the summer with the temperatures are still in the 80s, this makes for a great quenching beer. The aluminum can did an excellent job of maintaining the flavor in this brew. The can almost seemed dwarfed by my beer glass. My congratulations go out to the Upslope Brewing Company. You guys in Boulder know how to make a quality ale. I'm glad I bought a full six-pack as I look forward to having another.

Video: Pouring an Upslope Pale Ale

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Related articles:
- Upslope Brewing opens in Boulder. (2008)
- Upslope celebrates their 1st anniversary. (2009)
- Upslope rolls out their Single Batch series. (2009)
- Upslope Christmas Ale review. (2012)

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