Friday, April 30, 2010

Upland Brewing

This past weekend, I returned home to Indiana to the annual Blue and Gold Game in South Bend.  We had a great time taking James (incidentally, the field at ND was the first place he ever touched grass) back to the promised land, and I got to be tour guide to Alby and K for their first trip there.  We might have some converts.  :)

Anyway, on Saturday Night, Alby and I went to get some cards and Beer at the local Super Target.  While perusing their selection, I stumbled on Upland Brewing.  I was particularly excited (without reading the label) thinking this beer came from Upland Indiana near where I grew up.  I sadly learned later that it was Bloomington, but I can’t hold that against them.

Upland Brewery seems to be one of the more popular Craft Brewers in the state of Indiana.  Stemming from a brewpub in Bloomington, Upland seems rather popular, but I really do not like their Website Design or Color Scheme.

Both beers were in the $7-$8 price range for a 6-pack and were reasonably stocked, which I took to show it’s popularity.

On to the beers……………….

Bad Elmer’s Porter- I love the old man on the label….he reminds me of Alby.  Definitely need to get him a bowler. 

I will note that the bottle didn’t have the alcohol rating anywhere on it, but it did have a “Born On Date”.  I would assume that is due to it being a natural beer with few preservatives.  Research showed that this beer is rates at 5%ABV

Color -A dark amber color with a rich foamy head.

Nose- Heavy malt overtones with a slightly sweet chocolate and fruit backing.

Taste- Medium to full bodied, malty beer with hardly any hoppyness to the flavor what-so-ever. The roasted malt could be a little overbearing if that is not your style, but still quite refreshing.

Finish- Heavy malt aftertaste with a dry finish. 

Dragonfly IPA
Dragonfly India Pale Ale – This was the beer I drank while we were playing cards in the hotel.  In fairness to the beer, the first few were a little warm (damn you Indiana Blue Laws) and that might have affected my initial review. 

As per the Porter, the Label had no ABV (6%) and instead carried a Born On Date.  The Purple and Green color scheme was a little off-putting and the Upland Logo made it look a little busy.

Color – I know, I know…..I drank this one straight from the bottle.  We were in a hotel, so I didn't want to taint the beer with cheap plastic cups.

Nose – I did swish a little around in a cup though to test the nose, and it was not as Hoppy as I would expect, with only a slight flowery nose, with a focus more on caramels and malts.

Taste – Sweeter than I expected it to be, this is no Hop-Bomb.  It’s rather mild (40IBU) for an IPA and lack of hoppyness was disappointing.  You can pick up heavy barley in palate and the carmel/toffee mix didn’t work for me.

Finish – The true flowery hops in this IPA comes with the finish, something I am not quite used to.  A little dry, there was slight citrus aftertaste that (to be honest) reminded me of Lemon Pinesol.

As a hops lover, I was sadly disappointed in the IPA….I really really wanted to like this beer.  It just didn’t do it for me, and I would probably rate it only 2 out of 5 stars. 

The Porter fared better.  Although not something I would seek out, I wouldn’t complain if I were severed it.  A strong 3.5 (almost 4) out of 5 is (IMO) a fair evaluation of this brew….although it could go higher if it were on tap.

So, I know I have some friends in IN…..have you tried these beers before?  If so, what did you think?  If not….I would recommend the Porter.



  1. I've not tried any of the above, but we have a decent local liquor store and it's the weekend.

    I'll have to see what I can do !

  2. I'm with Ed on these... I was disappointed in both but it might indeed be do to the warmth of the beer. The porter looked and smelled good but the flavor was not exactly to my taste.

    Ed, to be honest... we need to get some and have it cold. From start to finish... I can't say thumbs up or down with just a few warm beers in my gullet.

    I'll mark these with the - For Further Review.



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