Upland Brewing Co. introduced its new Side Trail Series, a draft only program for the purpose of doing what they love to do — pushing boundaries and experimenting with recipes not currently in its regular beer lineup. Coast Buster (imperial IPA, 8.5 percent ABV, IBUs 65) was the first release of this series, but it now has been added as a year-round offering and is available in bottles. This West Coast style IPA is brewed with Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and Columbus hops and is dry-hopped twice for a wonderful hop-forward aroma. Coast Buster currently is available throughout Michiana.
Upland’s Harvest Ale also just arrived in Michiana. Freshly harvested Citra hops give this fresh hopped pale ale floral and tropical fruit notes that tickle your nose. This year, it is available in 12 oz. bottle 4-packs. Easy Chair Amber Ale (5.25 percent ABV, IBUs 22) is another new offering from Upland that is also available on Michiana shelves. Easy Chair has replaced Komodo Dragonfly (black IPA, 6.7 percent ABV, IBUs 67) as a package offering.
In early October, Sweet Myrtle (6.3 percent ABV, IBUs 20) was announced as a Side Trail Series release and is slated to hit retail outlets around Nov. 8. This beer was chosen as the winner of the 15 Beers for 15 Years Competition during Upland Brewing Co.’s 15th anniversary in 2013. Chris Stearly, one of the creators of Sweet Myrtle, explains a bit about the recipe’s origins and unexpected ingredients on the brewery’s blog. Sweet Myrtle should arrive this next week at New Paradigm Brewing and Miles Lab (both in Elkhart), so check in with them to see when it will be tapped.
Beer Description provided by the brewery: Sweet Myrtle has a sweet earthy aroma. The Sterling hop addition imparts a spicy, herbal scent and plays nicely with the sweet dark fruit character from the dates added to the boil. These aspects continue on in the flavor profile; sweetness from the honey and dates mixes on the palate with the earthy herbal character of the sweet gale. This beer is not about hops, rather it highlights some atypical flavors not often found in an American craft beer. Finishes smooth and clean with a lingering sweetness.
Just this week, Upland announced that Dubbel Up (Belgian Dubbel, 6.5 percent ABV, IBUs 20) will be the next release in the Side Trail Series. Starting Nov. 22, Dubbel Up will be available at only the four Upland retail locations, which include the Bloomington brew pub; Westside Beer Bar, also in Bloomington; The Carmel Tap House; and The Broad Ripple Brewpub in Indianapolis. The brewery has created this rich malty beer in the style of Belgian Trappist Ales, and the rich complexities in flavor will go well with the colder weather that is on its way.
Beer description provided by the brewery: This is a strikingly beautiful beer with a deep copper hue and bold ruby highlights and a unique wine like dark fruit character that can only come from dark Belgian candi syrup. The aroma is alive with fruity esters, sweet malt, grape and cherry. A pruny, figgy flavor with moderate dark caramel notes hints at fruity sweetness followed by a clean dry finish.
Lastly, the next Upland sour lottery will be between Nov. 13 and 20 and will include Malefactor (stronger version of the Flanders-style Red Ale), Strawberry (lambic), Raspberry (lambic) and Cherry (lambic). For full details or to enter the lottery, visit the Upland Sour Eventbrite during the open days of the lottery.