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 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.