Summer Herbal Ale – Hops Free Craft Beer

Reishi Mushroom | Elder Berry | Rosehips | Scullcap

Reishi Mushroom | Elder Berry | Rosehips | Skullcap

Last week was all about hops with the celebration of International #IPADay. This week, we’re switching it up and going hop-less with the debut and special tapping of a gruit we’re calling our Summer Herbal Ale. Brewed with local herbalist, Elizabeth Willis, Certified Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Medical Herbalist, this 5.7% gruit was brewed using the following herbs instead of hops: Oregon grape root, skullcap, chamomile, linden, tulsi basil, elderberry, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, yarrow flower, & hawthorn berry.

Tapping Party this Thursday, August 14

Join us for a special tapping this Thursday, August 14 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at our Lee Hill tap room! Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply will be on site sampling and educating guests on a variety of herbs, while Bumper Crop food truck will be serving up farm fresh eats to pair with our brews.


 

Guest Blog Post

By local Herbalist Elizabeth Willis, CCH., CCN.

Summer Herbal Ale - A collaboration by Upslope & local Herbalist Elizabeth Willis, CCH., CCN.

Summer Herbal Ale – A collaboration by Upslope & local Herbalist Elizabeth Willis, CCH., CCN.

The tradition of brewing beer was discovered and used independently across the globe between 10 and 30,000 years ago. The beer of our ancestors included the use of 20 different kinds of wild yeasts, 15 different sugar sources and over 200 different medicinal plants. Beer was often considered sacred and was used not only to nourish and relax those who drank it, but as apart of ceremony and religion.

This extensive use of grain fermentation and plants in fermented beverages has a colorful history. With the use of their original Lee Hill brewery, Upslope continues the tradition of crafting small batch brews.

What is a Hops Free Beer?

Referred to as “gruit,” hops free beer was the common drink and name for beer in Europe for nearly a thousand years before the common use of hops in beer. Gruit was brewed with, primarily, a combination of three herbs: Sweet Gale (Myrica gale), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), and Wild Rosemary (Ledum palustre) which were used to temper the sweetness of the grains, add medicinal properties and preserve the drink from spoiling. Gruit was notorious for its ability to alter consciousness, promote well-being and increase sex drive.

Limited Edition – Summer Herbal Ale

Going back to ancient brewing roots, Upslope brewers worked with Elizabeth Willis, Certified Clinical Herbalist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist to create a one of a kind beer – a gruit, Summer Herbal Ale, that not only meets the Upslope standard for great flavor, but delivers a summer beer with plants from the Rocky Mountains.

An Herbalist’s Perspective

Elderflowers & Elderberry, Sambucus nigraInline image 1
Elder flower is a traditional European herb known as the ‘medicine chest of the country people.’ High in potassium, Elderflower offers nourishment to the body with a light musky, floral scent. Elderflower makes an excellent infusion for cordials, infused wines and champagnes. Elderberry is a cherished immune tonic that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and has a delicious fruity flavor.

Inline image 1Holy Basil, Ocimum sanctum
A traditional Ayurvedic herb, Holy basil is also called, the “Incomparable One,” and is known for being one of the most sacred plants in India. Holy basil is a powerful antioxidant and used to focus the mind, soothe the body and assist the seeking of higher consciousness.

 

Chamomile, Matricaria recutita Inline image 1
Chamomile is probably the most widely used relaxing herbs used in the western world. Slightly bitter, Chamomile is used to calm upset babies, soothe teething pains and assist healthy digestion for all ages.

Skullcap, Scutellaria laterfolia
A lesser known mint family plant, skullcap is slightly bitter in flavor and is used in herbalism to calm and relax the body and mind, and promote and sense of wellbeing. This valuable plant grows wild in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains!

Inline image 1Linden, Tilia euopaea
Rich in bioflavonoid’s, this traditional European remedy is relaxing and opening. Linden has a light, delicate and intoxicating aroma and improves a sense of comfort and relaxation.

Oregon Grape Root, Mahonia spp.
Oregon grape is bitter, cooling and cleansing. In 1870, Eclectic doctor John Scudder, MD. describes Oregon
Grape to “right the wrongs” and “and give new tone and new blood to the body.”

 

Enter to Win! Brews ‘n Views Photo Contest

IPA Climbing Gociety- AlexCalling all photographers (yep, you!): Enter to WIN our #UpslopeBrewsnViews Facebook Photo Contest and have your photo blown up and hung in our Flatiron Park tap room, plus take home a sweet Upslope prize pack! We want to see how YOU enjoy Upslope in the great outdoors, so grab some brews, get outside and start snapping.

High resolution images are preferred. All submissions may be used by Upslope Brewing Company for future marketing purposes. Contest ends on September 1, 2014.

Introducing the Lee Hill Series

Lee Hill Series_Barrel Aged BrownWe may have a newer, larger production brewery at Flatiron Park, but don’t think for a minute we’ve forgotten where we came from. Our original North Boulder brewery at Lee Hill has been a hotbed of creativity lately, crankin’ out some killer small batch brews for our tap rooms, and is now the home of the Lee Hill Series - a quarterly, limited release series celebrating experimentation and creativity. This Series, served up in 19.2 ounce cans, offers new and innovative styles that are sure to be cellar keepsakes.

“Upon building a second Boulder brewery, our plan was to retain our original location at Lee Hill to continue the legacy of innovation, collaboration and experimentation that has brought us to where we are today,” said Upslope Founder, Matt Cutter. “The introduction of the Lee Hill Series allows us to showcase the best of what has emerged from this brewer’s playground.”

Volume 1 – Barrel Aged Brown Ale

As Upslope’s tribute and continued commitment to experimenting and crafting small batches of beer, the Lee Hill Series offers new and innovative styles that are sure to be cellar keepsakes. Volume 1 of the Series is a 7.6% abv Barrel Aged Brown Ale aged for four months in first use Maryland Rye Whiskey barrels from Leopold Bros.

The beer’s early caramel and toffee sweetness slowly fades and intertwines with the spicy wood character imparted by the whiskey barrels to produce a warming tone and lingering rye finish full of balanced complexity and substance.

Lee Hill Series Release Party

Be the first to try this one on tap or snag a can for your cellar at our Lee Hill Series Release Party on Thursday, July 17 (5-9 pm) at our Lee Hill tap room. Bumper Crop food truck will be serving food and live music will be performed by Blake Aaron Russell. 19.2 ounce cans will be available for $10 (limit four).

We’re Hiring! Join our Tap Room Staff

Upslope Brewing Company Tap Room BoulderWe’re looking for an energetic and friendly individual with a passion for craft beer and outstanding customer service to join our team in the tap room!

Currently, we are looking for a part-time employee to be flexible on weekdays and weekends with hours as early as 10 am and as late as 11 pm. Occasional event and festival work may be available.

Job duties will be focused around the tap room and lending a hand during brewery events.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, the following (plus, a little more on what we’re looking for):

  • Serving and talking about the beer in our tap rooms – A passion for the craft beer industry is a must! Strong craft beer knowledge and previous serving experience is a major plus.
  • Interacting with customers – Customer service is our #1. A professional and positive attitude are a must! Experience with face-to-face customer service is a plus.
  • Draft system maintenance & troubleshooting – Must be a quick learner and willing to handle kegs.
  • Conducting tours and telling the “Upslope story” (don’t worry…we’ll teach ya) – Bring a fun, upbeat & enthusiastic personality to the table and we can show you the rest!
  • Maintaining cleanliness of tap room – Must be a self-starter and willing to help where we needed.
  • All employees will be required to become TIPS certified upon hiring.

We work in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment, where hard work and working well with others is paramount. We’re all about working hard, playing hard, to, so enjoying the outdoor lifestyle is encouraged at Upslope.

To apply

Send cover letter and resume to chad@upslopebrewing.com, or drop ‘em off at either tap room.

The Upslope Get Down Music Fest – FAQ

The Upslope Get Down Music FestThe Upslope Get Down is only days away, so if you’re lookin’ to #getdown with us, here’s all the info you need to know for this Saturday’s FREE music festival! Check out our FAQ, dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to have a great time!

Families are welcome at the Upslope Get Down! As this is an event at a brewery, however, all patrons 21 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

IDs will be checked at the Front Gate upon entry.

Event is rain or shine.

 

 

WHEN & WHERE is the event?      Saturday, May 17 from 2:00 pm to midnight at our Flatiron Park brewery. Doors open at 1:30 pm. Flatiron Park is located at 1898 S Flatiron Ct, Boulder, CO 80301. The fest is taking place in the back parking lot, brewery and tap room.

How much does it cost?      The Upslope Get Down is a FREE event! VIP tickets are available for an early bird price of $65. Buy ‘em NOW here. Day-of upgrades will be available for $90.

What does the VIP ticket get me?      The Illegal Pete’s VIP Tent perks:

  • Admission to exclusive VIP tent (your very own shade!)
  • Premium viewing of Main Stage
  • All you can drink at the private VIP bar
  • Rare beers exclusive to the VIP bar
  • Souvenir Upslope pint glass
  • Catering provided by Illegal Pete’s (chips, salsa & guac all day + a taco bar from 6-8 pm)
  • Private restrooms
  • A good time and great spot to Get Down!

What bands are playing and when?      Check out our music schedule below! Plus, there will be two tap room sets by The Good Kind (4:00-5:00 pm & 6:00-7:30 pm).

Music Schedule Image

Will your tap rooms be open as usual that day?      Our Flatiron Park tap room will be open at the usual time of 11:00 am. We will only be serving our original core four styles + Thai IPA cans – no tasters. At 1:30 pm, when festival doors open, all guests in the tap room will be directed to enter at the festival’s Front Gate to get their event wristband.  Our Lee Hill tap room will open at the usual time of 2:00 pm, but will be closing early at 6:00 pm. Join us at the fest!

Where will I park?      We will have signage directing guests to a few neighboring lots to accommodate parking. There is also street parking around. We are expecting lots of guests, so carpooling and riding bikes is highly encouraged!

Are dogs allowed?      Due to the nature and size of the event, dogs are not permitted. We love ‘em too, but please do not bring your four-legged friends or we will not be able to allow you to enter the festival.

How will I buy beer?      There will be several beer stations throughout the event. These stations will accept BEER TICKETS ONLY. We will have two beer ticket stations at the fest where you can purchase these Beer Tickets by cash or credit card. 1 ticket = $5. All beers = 1 ticket.

What beers will you be serving?      We will be selling our original core four styles – Pale Ale, IPA, Brown Ale, & Craft Lager – in 16 oz compostable cups. Our NEW Limited Release Thai Style White IPA cans will also be available. There will be exclusive beers in the VIP area – our award-winning Pumpkin Ale, a newly brewed Saison, Thai IPA with Galaxy hops & mango, and our Rye IPA hopped with Simcoe hops.

Will there be seating, or can I bring my camping chair?      Yes. There will be limited seating under a few shade tents, but feel free to bring your own camping chair with you.

Will there be ATMs?      Yes. There will be three ATMs on site. Both Beer Ticket stations will also accept credit cards.

Is the fest ADA accessible?      Yes. The Upslope Get Down is an ADA accessible event space for both general admission and VIP patrons.

What steps are you taking to make this a green event?      All beer cups are 100% compostable thanks to Eco-Products. All food truck vendors are also required to use all compostable or recyclable materials. ZeroHero will be on site with waste receptacles for compost, recycling, and trash. With our efforts, we are hoping to generate as little trash as possible.

What’s provided?

  • Potable water
  • Portable toilets
  • Compost, Recycling & Trash stations: a chance for everyone to do their part
  • Food trucks (Heirloom, Blackbelly Catering, Tacos del Norte, & The Rolling Tomato)
  • Limited shade & seating
  • Lost and Found
  • ATMs
  • Security services
  • Great music to help you #getdown!

What’s not allowed?

  • No LARGE BAGS/BACKPACKS
  • No DOGS (Pets)
  • No GLASS
  • No COOLERS
  • No OUTSIDE ALCOHOL
  • No OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINK
  • No ILLEGAL DRUGS
  • No FIREWORKS
  • No UNLICENSED VENDING of any kind
  • No WEAPONS

For more questions, please call the tap room at (303) 396-1898. See you this Saturday!

 

We’re Hiring!

Upslope Brewing Company is looking for a new brewer to join our team!

Brewer Position

FP BrewhouseUpslope Brewing Company is seeking an experienced brewer to join our brewing team. Qualified candidates will have prior experience brewing at a rapidly growing craft brewery. Upslope currently operates two breweries, and this position will involve wort production at both locations. Occasional cellar work may be required and candidates with experience operating a vertical pressure leaf filter, 10 sq. meters or larger, are preferred. This position will work closely with laboratory staff, Lead Brewers and reports directly to the Head Brewer.

Responsibilities

  • Wort production, Lee Hill and Flatiron Park breweries
  • Occasional filtration
  • Maintenance of a clean and organized working environment
  • Proper documentation of all tasks performed

Benefits

  • Paid company holidays plus two weeks paid vacation
  • Health insurance
  • Tap Room perks…. Free Beer!
  • Compensation is commensurate to experience

Requirements

  • 2 years brewing experience at a 5k+ barrel / year brewery, 15+ barrel brewhouse
  • Night shift availability, M-F
  • Passion for craft beer and Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle
  • Strong communication skills

Qualified candidates should forward a resume and cover letter to Alex Violette at alex@upslopebrewing.com.

The Upslope Get Down | Music, Beer, Food

Upslope Get Down

Spring is upon us and so is festival season, so we thought we’d do a lil celebrating by throwing our own music festival right here at our Flatiron Park brewery!

Join us for the first annual Upslope Get Down, a FREE music festival with beer and food on Saturday, May 17 from 2:00 pm – midnight.

Want to upgrade? VIP tickets now available for all you can drink, exclusive access to specialty brews, catering, premium viewing, souvenir pint glass, and private restrooms! Limited space, so buy HERE now!

Check out the official press release below and visit our Facebook event page to RSVP:

Upslope Hosts First Annual Music Festival

The ‘Upslope Get Down’ will feature eight bands, beer and food on May 17

The Upslope Get Down Music FestBoulder, Colo. (April 14, 2014) – The arrival of spring’s warmer temperatures means one thing at Upslope Brewing Company – festival season. On Saturday, May 17 Upslope will join the fun by hosting the first annual ‘Upslope Get Down’ music festival. The no-charge event at the brewery’s Flatiron Park location will feature eight bands, playing continuously from 2 p.m. until midnight.

“Beer is our first love around here, but music is a very close second,” said Upslope Marketing Manager Katie Hill. “We’ve had our sights set on hosting a music festival for quite awhile and couldn’t be happier to make it happen this spring. The Upslope Get Down will be a great way to celebrate all the things we love with our local community.”

With two stages at opposing sides of the venue behind Upslope’s Flatiron Park facility, festivalgoers will be treated to ten hours of uninterrupted music by Fox Street, The Movement, Gipsy Moon, Good Gravy, Rocktin Grove, Hot Soup, Rowdy Shadehouse and a soon-to-be-announced headliner.

In addition to the nonstop onstage entertainment, one-of-a-kind specialty Upslope brews will be flowing and a number of local food trucks will be on-hand.

To ensure an environmentally friendly festival, Upslope has partnered with ZeroHero, the leading national authority in zero waste management, to easily recycle, compost and divert waste caused by the event.

For the latest information on The Upslope Get Down, as well as other brewery happenings, visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Join Us This Week For Our Craft Brewers Conference Events

cbc123

We’re excited to have the 2014 Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup right in our backyard in Denver this week! Held at the Colorado Convention Center, the CBC is the only industry event that serves both brewpubs and packaging breweries, and is an awesome social event with 7,000 brewing industry professionals enjoying craft brews together.

We welcome all attendees to join us here in Boulder at either one of our tap rooms for brews and a tour (each day at 5:00 pm). Bring your CBC badge and enjoy 20% off beer and merchandise when you stop in.

Not in the industry, but wanna get in on the good times celebrating craft beer this week? Check out the list of events below that we’re participating in, and join the fun!

Monday, 4/7

  • ace9:00 – 10:30 pm: Ping pong brewery tourney at Ace in Denver (501 E 17th Ave, Denver)

 

 

Tuesday, 4/8

  • 4:00 – 6:00 pm: Join our Founder, Matt Cutter, and Denver Sales Rep, Luke Franklin, for beers at Federal Bar & Grill (2544 Federal Blvd, Denver). They’ll be serving up beers pre-CBC Kickoff
  • 6:30 – 9:30 pm: CBC Kickoff at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Wednesday, 4/9

  • 12:00 – 3:00 pm: “Sneak Away Wednesday” Beer Event at Euclid Hall (1317 14th St, Denver). Join us, Ska Brewing and Left Hand Brewing for an awesome lunch paired with our beers (our Thai Style White IPA will be on tap) good enough to sneak away from the office for a bit!

BRECK-738 CBC Pub Crawl Poster F

 

  • 8:30 – 10:30 pm: Skee ball tourney at 1UP (1925 Blake St, Denver)

Thursday, 4/10What The Funk!?

  • 5:00 – 8:00 pm: Pint Night at The Sink (1165 13th St, Boulder). Buy a pint, keep the glass!
  • 6:00 – 10:00 pm: What the Funk!? – Get a taste of our Dark Belgian Strong aged 4 years with Brettanomyces in French Oak – Pino Noir barrels at Crooked Stave’s festival showcasing barrel-aged, wild, sour and funky beers! (1770 Sherman St, Denver).

 

Friday, 4/11

  • Ferus Fluxus Label5:30 – 9:00 pm: Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake St, Denver) Sour Beers Event featuring 30 different sours including our collab with Crooked Stave – Ferus Fluxus, Allagash, Boulevard, Bruery, Cantillon, Elysian, Firestone Walker, Gueuze Tilquin, Lost Abbey, New Belgium, Odell, Russian River, Siren and Trois Dames.
  • 7:00 – 11:00 pm: Exrtravacanza at Freshcraft - They’re turning a back bar over to craft cans, with a few special beers from each brewery taking part. Roster includes us, Tellluride, Oskar Blues, Ska, Dry Dock, and, from Indianapolis, Sun King.

So who’s coming with us?! Time to have a great week celebrating craft beer!

CHEERS!

 

Upslope Brews at SXSW in Austin, TX

Joining in on the good times for SXSW? Us too! There’s no shortage of things to do at Austin’s annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival going on March 7-16, but we thought we’d give you some ideas anyway. Below are a few places where we’ll be celebrating or where you can get your hands on our brews! Let’s party…

 

THURSDAY, 3/13

  • Upslope Pint Night at Red’s Porch (5-7 pm) featuring Craft Lager

Schedule:

1:00 AM – The Revivalists

12:00 AM – BLACK TAXI

11:00 PM – Roadkill Ghost Choir

10:00 PM – Gringo Star

9:00 PM – Stop Light Observations

8:00 PM – Good Graeff

 

 

FRIDAY, 3/14

  • Upslope Tap Take over at Flying Saucer Austin in the Triangle (6-9 pm) featuring our entire year-round lineup (Pale Ale, IPA, Brown Ale, Craft Lager, & Imperial IPA)

 

Schedule:

Holy Mountain Inside:

1:00 PM – Mobb Deep

12:00 PM – Hieroglyphics

11:00 PM – Blue Sky Black Death

10:00 PM – Lindsay Lowend

9:00 PM – First Light (Opio & Pep Love)

8:00 PM – A-Plus (of Souls of Mischief/Hiero)

 

Holy Mountain Backyard:

1:00 PM – Moon Hooch

12:15 PM – Brothertiger

11:15 PM – Real Magic

10:15 PM – Rich Aucoin

9:30 PM – Infinity Shred

8:45 PM – SUNBEARS!

8:00 PM – Starlight Girls

 

SATURDAY, 3/15

  • Enjoy some FREE Upslope at la Barbecue & grub down while you listen to the sounds of DJ Low Key + touring DJs from all over the USA!

 

SUNDAY, 3/16

Upslope Brewing at SXSW Irie Bean Event Schedule:

11:00 am – Jen Hitt

11:50 am – Michaela Anne

12:40 pm – Farewell Drifters from Nashville

1:30 pm – Casie Luong

2:20 pm – Chanse Gassaway

Complimentary wristbands will be available for people to pick up at the Irie Bean. Wristbands are not necessary for entrance, but allow attendees to receive complimentary beer from us!


Food by East Side King: Owner/Chef Paul Qui – Winner of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”

Other cool spots for live tunes + Upslope

  • Bangers – Awesome music venue ft. Craft Lager on tap. Open to the public until Thursday, 3/13 and then turning into a private venue open to wristbands & badges only.
  • Brass House Tavern – Enjoy two outdoor bars & two indoor bars ft. our lineup in cans & Brown Ale on tap. Open 10 am-2 am daily.

 

Cheers to a great week at SXSW! We hope to raise a few pints with ya in Austin!

We’re Hiring for an Arizona Sales Rep!

Upslope Brewing Company LogoTitle: Arizona Brewery Sales Representative

First line report: Director of Sales & Marketing

Start Date: TBD

 

Upslope Brewing Company ArizonaUpslope Brewing Company, a rapidly expanding brewery located in Boulder, CO, is looking for a highly motivated sales representative in the state of Arizona. A successful applicant will have a strong background in sales, preferably in the beer, wine & spirits industry, and have a passion for craft beer. This candidate must be highly motivated, extremely organized, independent self-starter that thrives in an extremely competitive market. This position will be based in Phoenix, AZ and applicants must be willing to travel throughout the state.

Job Responsibilities

Responsible for representing and expanding sales for Upslope Brewing Company in on & off premise accounts in the entire state of Arizona with emphasis on the Phoenix, Tucson & Flagstaff markets.

1. Responsible for supporting and growing all accounts, especially the “Top 75” accounts in sales territory.

2. Responsible for building relationships with the buyers at chain stores such as Whole Foods, Total Wine, Albertson’s, Frys, etc.

3. Responsible for supporting and growing on-premise accounts.

4. Facilitate communication between accounts and Golden Eagle Distributing (GED) to ensure product is being delivered appropriately and our relationship with the retailer AND distributor is healthy. This will also include:

  • Communicating directly with GED sales reps and managers responsible for this sales territory.
  • Scheduling periodic “ride withs” and other efforts that build camaraderie with GED.
  • Strategically targeting key accounts for promotions and other growth opportunities.
  • Reporting back to the Upslope Director of Sales and Marketing on sales and marketing efforts and all production requirements.

5. Responsible for scheduling and attending promotional events, such as samplings, beer dinners, regional brewfests, etc in sales territory. Minimum expectation of 4-6 on-premise events and 12 samplings per month.

6. Assist the Director of Sales & Marketing with the overall marketing, advertising and branding vision of Upslope Brewing Company in the state of Arizona.

Other

  • Weekly sales meetings via conference call with Director of Sales & Marketing.
  • Responsible for attending quarterly First Friday company meetings and other brewery events as needed (via Skype).
  • Reply to phone calls, emails/ texts in a timely manner.

Benefits

Competitive salary commiserate with experience, health insurance, two weeks vacation first year, travel allowance, cellular phone and a whole lotta fun!

Please send resume and cover letter to info@upslopebrewing.com.

Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is only two weeks away! Don’t panic, slackers…we’ve got you covered with this Holiday Gift Guide with cool ideas from our online store. Plus, we’re saving you a trip to the mall – a scary place this time of year. Check ‘em out, and get the craft beer lover in your life what he or she really wants this year!

 

For the Cyclist

 

Gear up the cyclist on your list with an Upslope cycling or freeride jersey by Panache Cyclewear Co. Panache makes exceptional clothing and continually challenges the status quo by innovating and creating products that help cyclists ride, explore, and challenge themselves.

 

 

 

 

For the Outdoor Enthusiast

 

growlers

An Upslope Stainless Steel Growler is the way to go for the on-the-go, outdoor beer enthusiast. Currently available in 1 liter, this growler will keep brews cold wherever life takes the adventurer in your life.

disc golf putter Have someone on the list who’s into disc golf?

This Disc Golf Putter from Gateway Disc Sports is a sure bet. This info from our online store pretty much covers it: Their most popular disc of any kind, the Gateway Wizard™ is a true, stable workhorse putter. The Wizard holds whatever line you throw it with very little fade during its drop, and is also a great putter in windy conditions. While stiff enough to hold its line on long putts, the Wizard’s plastic is grippy enough to grab chains every time. The Wizard handles controlled power very well, thus makes an excellent choice off the tee for midrange drives, in addition to upshots. The Wizard is a very consistent and accurate disc that should find its way into your bag.

 

For the Upslope Fanatic

 

Upslope Pint Glass

You can’t lose with an Upslope hat, shirt or hoodie for a true Upslope fanatic, but a pair of Pint Glasses works best when you’re not sure of the right size to buy. For a classier vessel, go with tintackerour limited edition Five Years of Beers anniversary glass, a 16.5 oz Munique Beer Glass.

 

Know someone with a Man Cave that needs some sprucing up?

You’ll have a winner with an Upslope Tin Tacker. Available in two sizes (small or large), this is guaranteed to pimp out any space.

 

For the Foodie

 

blackbellyWe’ve got the perfect gift for the craft beer loving, foodie in your life – tickets to our Winner’s Circle Beer Dinner on Thursday, January 23, 2014. We’re opening up the vaults & tapping into our reserve collection of our award-winning brews for this one of a kind beer dinner with Blackbelly Catering! We’ll be pairing a 5-course custom menu, curated by Blackbelly’s Chef & Founder, Hosea Rosenberg (craft beer lover & winner of Top Chef Season 5), using fresh, local ingredients straight from the Blackbelly Farm with our favorite, award-winning brews: Belgian Style Pale Ale, Dunkleweizen, Brown Ale, Pumpkin Ale, & Oatmeal Stout.

Spend an intimate evening with our Head Brewer, Alex Violette, and Chef Rosenberg, as you get a behind-the-scenes look at our production brewery at Flatiron Park.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

 

For the Hard to Shop for

 

GiftCardStill stumped after all that? You can’t go wrong with a Gift Card. We offer gift cards in $25, $50 and $100 amounts.

 

 

 

So there ya have it – the rest is up to you, Santa! We think you’ll hit a home run with any of these gifts, but if you still can’t decide, just go with beer!

Happy Holidays from the Upslope crew!

 

Job Opportunity – We’re Hiring for our Tap Room!

Upslope Brewing Company Tap Room Boulder We’re looking for an energetic and friendly individual with a passion for craft beer and outstanding customer service to join our team in the tap room!

Currently we are looking for a part-time employee to work weekends and the occasional weekday with hours as early as 10 am and as late as 11 pm. Occasional event and festival work may be available.

Job duties will be focused around the tap room and lending a hand during brewery events.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, the following (plus, a little more on what we’re looking for):

  • Serving and talking about the beer in our tap rooms – A passion for the craft beer industry is a must! Strong craft beer knowledge and previous serving experience is a major plus.
  • Interacting with customers – Customer service is our #1. A professional and positive attitude are a must! Experience with face-to-face customer service is a plus.
  • Draft system maintenance & troubleshooting – Must be a quick learner and willing to handle kegs.
  • Conducting tours and telling the “Upslope story” (don’t worry…we’ll teach ya) – Bring a fun, upbeat & enthusiastic personality to the table and we can show you the rest!
  • Maintaining cleanliness of tap room – Must be a self-starter and willing to help where we needed.
  • All employees will be required to become TIPS certified upon hiring.

We work in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment, where hard work and working well with others is paramount. We’re all about work hard, play hard, to, so enjoying the outdoor lifestyle is encouraged at Upslope.

To apply: Send cover letter and resume to chad@upslopebrewing.com, or drop ‘em off at either tap room.

Pumpkin Ale: An Inside Look

The leaves are done changing, Halloween pumpkins are long gone and our Christmas Ale is already hitting shelves, but it’s still fall and the perfect time to enjoy one of our favorite Limited Releases, Pumpkin Ale. It’s both our most highly anticipated Limited Release and the most labor-intensive beer we brew. A truly local farm to brewhouse collaboration, this labor of love deserves a moment in the limelight with its own video dedicated to showing you how it goes from field to can to your hand!

Plus, with Thanksgiving only a few short weeks away, we thought it appropriate to feature a beer that captures the essence of the season and goes quite nicely with turkey and stuffing, too! We’re also doing our part to help you out this holiday season and remind you to stock up on beers to help ease the pain of those imminent family gatherings. So, if you haven’t already hoarded some of our Pumpkin Ale, get on it! Supply is dwindling, and Christmas Ale is ready to take center stage. Either way, grab some cold ones in preparation for the holidays, and check out how we make this fall favorite in our video (music by Rocktin Grove - our brewer Nate’s band!) and learn more on the process below:

The Pumpkin Ale Story

Inspiration for a craft brewer comes in many forms. Realizing the potential of an experimental brewing method, or the addition of a spice or vegetable or fruit, and researching and acting upon it, is the nature of today’s brewing pioneers. In this case, a collision between a Boulder farmer and brewer has resulted in something very local, popular, and downright tasty – our Pumpkin Ale!

A couple of years ago, Mike Munson, of Munson Farms located only a few miles from our brewery in Flatiron Park, approached us with an idea to create a unique beer made with his locally grown pumpkins. We’re thankful that he had the idea and happy that they grow LOTS of pumpkins. After baking a number of styles, our Founder, Matt Cutter, chose baby bear pumpkins for the recipe. This year we used about two acres worth, or 8,000 pounds!

Back in the day, we would gather the pumpkins from the field, with some major help from the folks at Munson Farms, and have staff take them home to bake ‘em in their own ovens. This year, we doubled the quantity brewed and wised up – we rented a commercial kitchen and hired some special helpers to work their magic on the pumpkins, getting them processed and ready for the brewhouse. Thanks to Richard and Jane Ellen, all 8,000 lbs of our pumpkins were turned into pumpkin meat ready for our mash tun. The pumpkins had to be washed, cut in half, baked (about 400 lbs at a time), gutted (resulting in a total of about 2,500 lbs of meat), blended, and packaged in gallon sized bags to be stored for each batch.

Now for the fun part – brewing. The pumpkin comes into play right away. The processed pumpkin meat is added to the grain in the mash tun. Then the wort, the sugar water from the mash, now full of pumpkin flavor, heads to the kettle. The spent grain gets mashed out and is now ready to feed some cows at Black Cat farms. Once the wort is at a steady boil, we add our blend of six spices to fully infuse those fall aromas. Then it’s off to our fermentation tanks where we wait for the magic to happen, when Pumpkin Ale actually becomes beer.

The last, and final stop, for this brew before getting it into your hands, is our canning line. We package all of our beers in cans because it’s good for you, the beer and the environment. In the video you can see our “OG” canning line in action as it pumps out 40 cans a minute. The 16 oz cans are then hand packaged into four packs before making their way off to a store near you.

You know the rest, crack a cold one and enjoy this awesome time of year!

So, as you can see, there is no shortage of work in producing our Pumpkin Ale, but it’s a brew we love and an Upslope fall tradition. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we do making it! And don’t forget to stock up. You’ll be the envy of your family this holiday season. It may even give your Grandma’s pumpkin pie a run for its money.

Happy holidays from Upslope!

Cheers to Five Years: Thank You from our Founder

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The dust has settled from our weekend of celebrating Five Years of Beers, and we’ve taken some time to reflect on how awesome reaching this milestone really is and how we have all of you to thank for it! A few words from our Founder, Matt Cutter, on how we got this far…

The dream to make it to a Five Year Anniversary Party was always just that to me – a dream. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long, but we’re here and feel lucky to have come this far doing what we love.

It all started in 1996 when I put a business plan together for a microbrewery. That business plan was shelved for other pursuits, but I eventually dusted it off and started on my vision for Upslope Brewing Company in 2007. One year later, my business plan got legs – I met a brewer from Argentina, we got a spot to brew in, and the homebrew recipes and pilot batches started taking shape that fall.

Our 2,200 square feet at our original Lee Hill location filled up quickly. We doubled it and then started looking for enough space to allow us to continue that growth. Out of an empty 17,000 square foot warehouse in Flatiron Park was born our new brewery this past February. The seven barrel brewhouse that we started on at Lee Hill was converted to brew specialties, and the new 30 barrel brewhouse at Flatiron Park became the focus for production. Fermentation capacity, the primary way in which we scale up production, grew quickly from the initial three 120 barrel fermenters to the nine that we have now, and we’ve still got some room to grow.

It’s hard to believe that in five years, we took what seemed like a pipe dream and made it the reality that is now Upslope. The outpouring of support from our fans, suppliers, partners, and fellow brewers this past weekend was mind-boggling. Like us, so many folks could simply not believe it had been five years. The love and support of all of those people is really what got us this far, and for that, we are forever thankful.

Early on, my wife hung up a little plaque on the wall that really hit home. It still hangs next to me now and offers, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” I have always answered that question the same way . . .

Cheers to five more years!

Matt Cutter

Ladies & Gentlemen, Mark your calendars…for NEXT WEEK!

Summer’s in full swing, and so are events with Upslope Brewing Company!  Get out your calendars and find some friends; you won’t want to miss these events coming atchya next week.

 

Monday, July 15th: BrewAsanas – Where Yoga + Beer Meet (6:00 – 7:00 pm)

BrewAsanas Yoga at UpslopeBeer? Check. Yoga? Check.  Could two things like these ever co-exist? You bet your flexible ass they can! BrewAsanas takes a rocking one-hour yoga class and follows it up with a tasty brew in an awesome local brewery–this time, Upslope Brewing Company hosts yogis at our new Flatiron Park tap room!  In this one hour session, you’ll move through a fluid sequence of postures (asanas) and focus on your breath (pranayama), to invigorate, strengthen and restore the body. Afterward, pay particular attention to your taste buds as you make your way into Upslope’s tap room where you will enjoy the body, texture, and flavor of delicious beers with BeerSnobChick.  This all levels class is ideal for anyone who is interested in exploring yoga in a relaxed environment and looking to expand their minds in respect to local beers!

The Deal:    Each session is $20 (and can be purchased by card or cash at the door), which includes a 1-hour yoga session followed by an Upslope pint of your choice. Mats are not provided.

 

Tuesday, July 16th: Blackbelly Beer Dinner at Upslope Brewery (6:00 – 9:00 pm)

Chef Hosea

Blackbelly’s award winning Chef, Hosea Rosenberg, will serve it up at Upslope’s Flatiron Park tap room.

Blackbelly’s award winning Chef, Hosea Rosenberg, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Season Five, is teaming up with Upslope Brewing Company and Liquor Mart to host an intimate beer dinner experience at our brand new tap room in Flatiron Park. Guests will enjoy a unique and innovative multi-course menu, custom created by Chef Hosea that will pair perfectly with the delicious flavors and brews from Upslope. Plus, meet head brewer, Alex Violette, as he takes you through each beer pairing and gives a behind-the-scenes look at our new brewing facility.

The local seasonal menu promises to be unforgettable, as Blackbelly sources most of their ingredients from the Blackbelly Farm, where they raise their own pigs and lamb and also grow a variety of produce. Similarly, as a Boulder-based microbrewery, Upslope takes pride in hand crafting every batch of beer we produce, using only the purest ingredients, and carefully coax our beer until it reaches optimum flavor.

The Deal:    5 delicious courses paired with 5 Upslope brews will run you $75 + fees.  Hurry! Limited space – Get tickets here.  And, as part of this special beer tasting dinner, guests will receive a discount on any future purchases of Upslope from Liquor Mart.

 

Wednesday, July 17th: 1st Annual PIGnic (Pig roast beer dinner) (6:00 – 9:00 pm)

Upslope Brewing Company & Breckenridge Brewery team up for a PIGnic!

A breezy, rooftop summer patio, cold, canned craft beer, steel drums and a roasted pig…sounds like summer to us, too!  Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado and Upslope Brewing Company are joining forces for a collaboration PIGnic (Pig Roast Beer Dinner) on the upstairs patio of Ale House at Amato’s in Denver.

The Deal:    3 mouth-watering courses + 4 cans of tasty craft beer by Upslope Brewing and Breckenridge Brewery + Live Music = $45 + tax/gratuity. Limited Seating! Give the folks at the Ale House a buzz, 303.433.9734 to reserve your spot NOW!

 

 

Busy week, huh? That should tide you all over until the end of the month when we’re sure more beer-centric events will be popping up where Upslope is serving ‘em cold. For more information on upcoming events check out our Events tab on our facebook page and stay connected with us on Twitter.  Cheers!

 

 

Job Opportunity- Packaging Department

Want to start a new career in the growing craft beer industry? We’re hiring one person to start as an entry level ‘canner’ at Upslope Brewing Company.

HK Wallace slinging 6 packs!

Your main responsibility will be to efficiently put beer into six packs, twelve packs and kegs. You will also learn packaging set up, breakdown and how to clean tanks. Tank cleaning requires the use of chemicals and thereby proper safety procedures must be followed. Additionally, you will be able to put your own firkin on tap and be encouraged to come in on your spare time to learn to brew! Ideally you are someone who-

  • Likes hard work
  • Finds new ways to increase efficiencies
  • Wants to   take on more responsibility in a growing company
  • Enjoys drinking great craft beer.
  • Has ‘handyman’ skills and knows how to use tools
  • Enjoys the outdoors and living in Colorado
  •  Is personable and wants to live representing our beer.

Must be able to- Stand on your feet and move at a rapid pace for the entirety of each day. Regularly lift 45 pounds (2 cases of beer) and occasionally at least 80 pounds (half a ½ barrel keg). Learn quickly and demonstrate that you can take care of all tasks while not making mistakes when unsupervised. Typical hours are Monday to Thursday 8:00-4:30, however, in the beer business not every day is smooth so once in a while you will be required to stay later.   There also will be the opportunity to pick up additional hours.   It is encouraged you use your free time to develop yourself and learn more skills to help out the brewery. To apply: Drop your resume off in the tap room or email to Bart@upslopebrewing.dev. We will not reply to comments below.

Upslope Grand Opening- Wednesday, April 24th 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM

Flatiron-Park-Announcement-Email (3)

Upslope Brewing Company Expands into Second Boulder Location

Upslope - Exterior at 1898 Flatiron Park (3)Boulder, Colo. (Apr. 17, 2013)Upslope Brewing Company, brewers of premium ales, announce the grand opening of a second brewery and taproom on April 24, 2013.  Located at 1898 S. Flatiron Court in Flatiron Park, off 55th and Central Ave. in Boulder, the 17,000 square foot brewery will allow Upslope to produce 70% more beer initially, with room for future expansion.  It is also home to a 2300 square foot taproom.

“Demand for our beer continues to grow exponentially and ongoing expansion at the current location doesn’t meet our future goals,” said Upslope Founder, Matt Cutter.  “Flatiron Park has the infrastructure that our production brewery needs to take it to the next level.”

Upslope Brewing Company opened its doors in November 2008 at 1501 Lee Hill Road in North Boulder with two beer styles all in cans. Over the past four and a half years the company has expanded 6 times in their current location and has added 2 additional flagship beers and a Limited Release series.

In addition to the new facility, the original Lee Hill Road brewery will remain open for production as an incubator for new and innovative beer styles.  The taproom will continue tap-service largely in part due to its loyal North Boulder (NoBo) following.

“We always want to be a part of this growing community,” said Cutter. “The NoBo vibe is infused in these walls and in these tanks.  We are very thankful for the people who have supported us from the early days, through both the victories and the growing pains.”

Upslope Brewing Company’s premium, filtered ale is handcrafted with all natural ingredients, starting with snowmelt. Upslope’s flagship beers include: Pale Ale, Craft Lager, India Pale Ale, and Brown Ale. Upslope proudly packages their beer in aluminum cans because it is better for the consumer, the beer, and the environment.  Cans are also perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle of Colorado and points beyond. The benefits of canning – protection from light and oxidation and retention of brewery direct freshness- have been well received by Upslope drinkers.

Stop by Upslope’s new taproom for a cold beer or an enlightening tour at: 1898 S. Flatiron Court in Boulder, Colorado. Hours of operation will be 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. Brewery tours at Flatiron begin at 4:00 p.m. every day.

To learn more about Upslope Brewing, visit www.upslopebrewing.dev.  Stay tuned for Upslope-sponsored events and tap room happenings on their Facebook page.

About Upslope Brewing Company

Boulder-based Upslope Brewing Company is the creator of premium, filtered ale that is artfully crafted to compliment the outdoor lifestyle. Upslope beer is made with natural ingredients, including snowmelt. The four flagship beers include: Pale Ale, Craft Lager, India Pale Ale, and Brown Ale. Additional installments are offered in a Limited Release Series.  Upslope’s beer is packaged in aluminum cans because it is exceptionally portable, preserves the taste of the beer by keeping light out, and it uses fewer resources to pack and ship.  In an ongoing effort to protect Colorado watershed, and the key ingredient in Upslope ale, one percent of Upslope’s Craft Lager revenue benefits the Colorado Trout Unlimited.  Learn more about Upslope at www.upslopebrewing.dev

Upslope Christmas Ale in stores now!

 

Our Four Year Anniversary

Brown Is The New Silver

 Picture this:  You are sitting in the cushy seats of Wells Fargo Theater in Denver among four or five thousand of your peers. The awards ceremony begins and a graphic shows up on the big screen —  4338 beers  from 666 breweries were judged in 84 categories —  The crowd gasps. We feel hopeful with our entries, but humbled by the numbers. There are no assumptions here, no feelings of entitlement. We start to count down the style categories of which we did not medal.

Is it possible to taste passion? At the 2012 Great American Beer Festival, Upslope Brown Ale received a silver medal in the American Brown Ale category, our fourth medal in four years of brewing beer. We couldn’t be more proud of our Brown Ale in the green can. The roots of it’s style go back a couple of centuries, and it’s recipe comes straight from the heart of a homebrewer. Follow me here and I’ll tell you the tale of an award-winning brown ale Introducing No. 3: Upslope Brown Ale

 

Upslope Brewing Company and Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen brew Upslope White ThaIPA

 

Alex Violette and Ryan Conklin collaborate

In celebration of GABF 2012, Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen and Upslope Brewing Co have collaborated on (Upslope White ThaIPA), a culinary inspired beer, to highlight the commitment to serving great food with great beer.

The project began when Euclid Hall’s, Certified Cicerone, Ryan Conklin, approached Upslope Brewing Co. to produce a beer that mimicked flavors of a Thai inspired curry dish and also mimicked the complexity and finesse of the food menu at Euclid Hall.  In order to know exactly what spices were to be used and just how “curry” we wanted the beer to taste, we visited a local highly acclaimed Thai restaurant in Boulder sampling all of their curries. We then deconstructed the specific flavors we wanted the beer to embody and began making a rough sketch recipe for this intricate beer.

Over the course of the two months leading up to GABF, the staff from Euclid Hall visited Upslope numerous times to aid in the develop and production of this one of a kind beer. We take great pride in their participation in brewing this Thai inspired White IPA. We hope you too will come to love this beer which can be found only at Euclid Hall and the Upslope Tap Room.

You can try this beer now at the Upslope Tap Room and in starting in Denver Wednesday, October 10th, 6pm at Euclid Hall for Upslope’s Special GABF Tapping Party, which will also feature Upslope’s Barely Wine, Wit, and Pumpkin Ale.

Upslope Pumpkin Ale Release

Upslope Brewing Company Expands Production Into a Second Location

Last tank being shoehorned into Lee Hill on July 5th, 2012

Upslope Brewing Company
Boulder, Colorado

(Boulder, CO)РUpslope Brewing Company, located in Boulder, Colorado, announces its plan to build a new brewery in Flatiron Park, located near 55th Street in Boulder. The new brewery will be operational in Q1 2013 allowing Upslope Brewing to initially expand by 70% with plenty of room for future expansion. It will also open a 2300 square foot taproom in the new facility. The tap room will also share a work caf̩ in conjunction with Ozo Coffee Roasters.

Upslope Brewing Company opened its doors in November 2008 at 1501 Lee Hill Road in North Boulder with two beer styles all in cans. Over the past three and a half years the company has expanded 6 times in their current location and has added 2 additional flagship beers and a Limited Release series. “Demand for our beer continues to grow exponentially and ongoing expansion at the current location doesn’t meet our future goals. Flatiron Park has the infrastructure that our production brewery needs to take it to the next level,” says Founder, Matt Cutter.

Upslope Brewing will continue to operate its taproom and brewery at Lee Hill. The Lee Hill brewery will be both a production brewery and an incubator for new and innovative beer styles. “When demand for our beer drives the day to day production there is little room in the brewing schedule for experimentation,” says Cutter. Additionally, Upslope Brewing feels that North Boulder has embraced the brewery and taproom. “We always want to be a part of this growing community. That NoBo vibe is in these walls and in these tanks.”

Upslope Brewing Company, a microbrewery located in Boulder, Colorado, taps into the beer enthusiast’s active lifestyle by offering superior quality hand-crafted ales and lagers in cans. The teaming of fine beers in cans allows Upslope Brewing’s products to be fresh, mobile, and delicious.

Why cans? Cans are better for the beer, the environment and are perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle of Colorado and points beyond. The benefits of canning – protection from light and oxidation and retention of brewery direct freshness – have been well received both through Upslope Brewing’s popular flagship and limited release beers.

For more information on Upslope Brewing Company, please contact Henry Wood at henry@upslopebrewing.dev or 303.960.8494.

For more information on Upslope Brewing Company, go to: www.upslopebrewing.dev

 

Upslope Brewing Company- Women’s Beer Night

Upslope Brewing Company will be hosting a women’s beer night on July 9th from 5:30-8:00 PM. The event is designed for women to learn, discuss and broaden their craft beer knowledge.   You’ll meet fellow beer loving ladies, tour the brewery and pair beer with Boulder’s own Cured wine & cheese Shop.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to support Front Range Rescue Dogs. Tickets are   $15 or 2 for $25.

Tickets are going fast, click here to register!

The Ladies of Upslope Brewing! Jess Draper, Lindsey Brandt, Lauren Wilson

 

 

The Limited Release Series Continues…

Upslope Belgian Style Pale Ale

Second in the can, but first to the podium, Upslope Brewing Company is proud to announce its Limited Release Belgian Pale Ale.

Foreign Style Stout is Upslope Brewing’s First Limited Release

We’re excited to announce the first in a series of very limited release beers.

Just as upslope storms summon snow to the Front Range, so does the craft  beer enthusiast’s desire for a dark and wintry brew. It’s stout time in Colorado!

Matt Cutter, Founder of Upslope Brewing Company, tells the story behind this new release:

“We’ve always wanted to can one of the specialty beers that we brew as a limited release, and finally have built the capacity to do so. Our Foreign Style Stout has been a tap room favorite since it was originally brewed as our first anniversary beer two years ago. With only 200 barrels of this beer being brewed in January and February, it truly deserves its ‘limited release’ status“.

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Shirt Off My Back: Black Shirt Brewing Company

The 15 Barrel "Loaner" at Upslope Brewing Company

The highest highs and the lowest lows . . . it’s what makes life worth living.

The industry continues to blow me away with good souls, believing in their craft, a craft that lost its way in this country a century ago. However, all is not lost. The good news is that there are passionate people out there recovering the course. So sit down, grab a pint, and I’ll tell you a tale.

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Upslope Pumpkin Ale: Good as Gold

Upslope Craft Lager Honors It’s Upstream Roots

Introducing No. 3: Upslope Brown Ale

From homebrew adventure to third can, here is the story of how  Upslope Brewing’s  newcomer evolved from concept to reality.

It’s September 2009. Tap Room Manager and avid homebrewer, Chad Pieper, brought in a bottle of one of his latest concoctions. It was his first attempt at a brown ale. He wanted something a little non-traditional.

Sure the British introduced the Brown Ale way back in 17th century. It was  light brown and sweet,  and brewed exclusively with brown malt. Chad decided that this was a good foundation, but as Americans do, the style needed to be Americanized. It needed to be roasted, and malty, and it needed to be a little more bitter than the style that was an  English  second cousin to the mild ale.

As the bottle of homebrew was emptied into small glasses, the brewers took notice. Chad brewed another batch. The sampling continued. The brewers scaled the recipe up to a 4 barrel batch. The tap room starts to serve it. More brown is brewed and it starts to generate interest at local restaurants and taverns. It goes on tap for the ski season at Eldora Mountain Resort. Over several months, the brown becomes a  mainstay in the tap room.

It didn’t stop there. We continued to tweak the recipe; switch up the specialty malts, bring out new flavors and finishes  with different yeast strains, and combine American hops with the English hops.  In time,  we gathered feedback from our customers in the tap room and wherever it gathered a following in local restaurants and taverns.

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Two Years and Counting

It’s been quite a year.

On November 6th, we mark our second year. Let’s recap some of the highlights:

December 2009: One of Matt’s first homebrew recipes makes it to the production system. The kettle boils orange peel and juniper berries for the first time. Upslope Christmas Ale is born.

January:  Killer cold snap. Luke is delivering beer in Denver and it freezes in the back of the van while he’s delivering! Protecting our fans, the beer comes back and is “liberated”. At their request, we ship a case of beer to Maxim Magazine. They think our Pale Ale is the bomb and deems it “Best Pale Ale”.  We buy a bunch of issues . . . for the articles, of course.

February: Our first profitable month ever, by a few hundred bucks. Matt starts sleeping again. Brewer Alex talks Matt into brewing a Belgian Quadrupel Ale which finally mellows out in August.

March: Our first 30 barrel fermeters and brite tank arrive, doubling our capacity. By some twist of fate, we end up not dropping them as we attempt to get them vertical with a forklift and straps.  There is much rejoicing. It becomes difficult/impossible to move full fermeters out of the way for the new arrivals. Production takes a hit while the brewery is “rearranged”.

April: Picking up the pieces from March. Director of Sales Henry and Sales Associate Luke sell so much beer that the van is sent to the shop limping.

May: With the plan for the third can in the works,  Head Brewer Dany says, “Maybe we should see how the summer goes with the Pale and IPA first.” Henry and Matt contain their excitement and go with the flow. Summer unfolds and Dany is proven correct.

June: Beer festivals, beer festivals, beer festivals. We buy a second jockey box to handle the conflict with 2 festivals/one day. Top Rope Mexican Style Craft Lager, brewed by Upslope, debuts at Big Red F restaurants. People seem to like it.

July: The ill-fated voyage of the  Upslope crew  on bikes to several breweries in town is attempted. We’ll call it “team building”. Fellow brewers take very good care of us and Tap Room Manager Chad proves that sitting in a lawnchair  on a bike trailer is not necessarily a safe mode  of transportation.  

August: We roll out new 12-pack boxes and trays from North Star Packaging that are Sustainable Forest Initiative certified and made of 100% recycled content. The planet gives us a wink.

September: Baby bear pumpkins from Munson Farms make their way to the employee’s ovens. Alex brews 7 barrels of a killer pumpkin ale.  Chad  and Henry roshambo over who gets the majority of kegs. Henry wins, but Chad gets to shine with 9News during the GABF.

October: The new canning line brought to us from our next door neighbors, Alexis and Jeff at Wild Good Engineering, starts to do what we had always hoped it would do. We are mesmerized at the idea of something actually being semi-automated in our brewery.

November 6th: Upslope Brewing Company celebrates two years of officially being on the planet with bands, and BBQ, and 17 (that’s right . . . 17!) different Upslope brews that Chad has been hoarding for this very event. He likes to put on a good show.

The road has been hard, but true. We are wiser, but  also just a few steps from the trailhead. Your belief and support has brought us this far. Your reaffirming comments and stories feed us as we continue to strive to brew the best beer that we know how. We’d be honored for you to celebrate with us. Join us, if you can, to raise a pint.

Upslope IPA and Chili-Rubbed Steak: Like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire

Since as long as I’ve known, a few times a day, you decide the meal that your appetite and taste buds desire and take the necessary means to make it happen. The next thought, instigated from an equally  primitive part of the brain, is that you might  get  thirsty as you enjoy that meal. What  beverage would go well with my meal? Let me present the idea that perhaps we’ve been backwards all along.

The liquid portion of our meals have forever been treated as an assessory. It’s become the  pattern of the tie or the size of the hoop to complement the the jacket, the dress, the main event.   Lately, on the rare occasion that I find myself out and about enjoying a meal at a restaurant, I search my palate for the ale or lager that will put me where I need to be. Then comes the grub that fits it.

If you have yet to attend a dinner that pairs different beers with courses of a meal, consider yourself behind the times. This is not just the pursuit of beer geeks seeking out an excuse, but rather an acknowledgement of the ability of this combination of ingredients to create a flavor that uniquely blends with certain culinary creations. While wine absolutely has its place in food pairings, grapes and yeast do not have the variety of knobs and levers (read: water, malt, wheat, barley, hops, spices, yeast,  etc.)  available to a brewer.

Upslope India Pale Ale is completely unique within the IPA category, with its complex malt character, traditional copper color,   and well-balanced hops. I accidentally discovered the perfect food to be paired with  our IPA. Hands-down it’s chili-rubbed steak. While we’ll take care of the IPA part, your job is to create the pairing:

Chili-Rubbed Steak

2       12-ounce beef rib eye or new york strip steaks

1         tablespoon chili powder

1         tablespoon olive oil

1   1/2   teaspoons dried oregano, crushed

1/2   teaspoon salt

1/2   teaspoon ground cumin

Trim fat from steaks. Place steaks in a shallow dish. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon spice mixture over steaks and rub all that goodness in with your fingers. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.   Grill the steaks for 12 to 15 mins depending on your tastes, flipping halfway through. Cut steaks into serving size pieces and crack an Upslope IPA for each steak served.

Brewing Beer and Making Music

Fellow brewers at Upslope Brewing finishing up "Key Note Wit" (left to right: Matt Cutter, Kyle Hollingsworth, Chad Pieper)

Once in a while, as a result of following your passion, your path will cross with another, following a different passion. Because you are both, obviously passionate, a mutual respect is shared  no matter what  each has come to pursue.  This is a story about what happens when passions collide.

I  fell into  a unique opportunity to homebrew with a rock star. My introduction to the world of jam bands was not with the Grateful Dead or Phish, it was with the String Cheese Incident. When the music is right, and the audience and band are sharing this undescribable vibe, a temporary experience, in this case an “incident”, erupts and transforms you to a hightened state of emotion. If you don’t understand  what I’m talking about, then go experience it for yourself.

Kyle Hollingsworth has been homebrewing since his brother passed on his homebrewing kit when  he was 18. At first, it was all about making beer when you couldn’t buy it, but over the years it became a passion that would ebb and flow with the desires and demands of his music. But just like setting aside that guitar when life got hectic and picking it up again when the time was right, it never left him.

Until Kyle came to the Upslope Tap Room one morning and shared his thoughts and experiences, I never really considered the parallels between brewing beer and making music. We set a course for a recipe. What should we brew? What could we create that would be worthy of Kyle’s Brew Fest?

As we were creating this “not your father’s Oldsmobile” Belgian Wit, the ideas started flowing. What kind of yeast? Let’s talk spices. What kind of flavors would elderberry give? What if we introduced a different spice at every part of the process? Let’s create a base malt and a separate  adjuct malt that we would blend mid-mash. Chad threw a little history at us about how the Belgians would often blend mashes 1/3rd at a time. It’s old world, but worthy.

Creating a homebrew from a recipe in a book is one thing. An admirable thing. Taking some basic knowledge and creating a recipe with a myriad of malt, hops, spices, and this crazy old-school mini-mash is a whole different deal. You’re going for broke. You’re either going to be   a hero or   a bum. This exact concept also applies to music. Kyle says that it is so.

Kyle, Chad and I put ourselves out there on this extended musical jam. The resulting   Belgian Wit was spiced 3 times at different points in the brewing process: coriander in the mash, orange peel in the kettle, and chamomile during fermentation. What we ended up with was a light, sun-kissed, flavorful wheat that very gently teases you with light spices throughout the tastebud dance.

Come experience this and other homebrew collaborations with Kyle at Kyle’s Brew Fest, July 22nd at the Great Divide Brewing Company.

http://www.kylehollingsworth.com/ontour.htm

Crested Butte to Aspen Pearl Pass Klunker Tour, September 1978

Photo courtesy of Wende Cragg, Rolling Dinosaur Archives, copyright 2008. Account below written by Joe Breeze for Upslope Brewing Co.

The ride that made mountain biking epic. Founded in 1976 by Crested Butte Hotshot firefighters, the ride’s goal was to one-up Aspenites who rode motorcycles over Pearl Pass to Crested Butte. The 1978 ride was the first edition to attract outsiders, with six riders making it out from California, including one woman (whose camera captured this image). In contrast to the Buttians, who rode old Schwinn clunkers and did most of their training at the Grubstake Saloon, the Marin riders actually trained on bikes and half of them sported state-of-the-art chrome-moly steel Breezers. They were immediately accused of cheating.

Seen here, are the thirteen survivors at the top of 12,700-foot Pearl Pass. They are, left to right (bike in parenthesis): Wende Cragg, Fairfax, CA (Breezer); the infamous “Neil Murdoch,” Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Richard Neilsen, Hotchkiss, CO (’60s Schwinn); Charlie Kelly, San Anselmo, CA (Breezer); Joe Breeze, Mill Valley, CA (Breezer); Jim Cloud, Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Bob Starr, Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Richard Ullery, Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Gary Fisher, San Anselmo, CA (’38 Schwinn); Archie Archiletta, Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Chris Carroll, Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Albert Maunz, Crested Butte, CO (’50s Schwinn); Michael Castelli, Point Reyes, CA (’30s Schwinn).

This image and the description above hang in a prominent place in the Upslope Tap Room. It epitomizes the idea that all of what we enjoy doing in the outdoors of Colorado didn’t just happen by chance. There were certain crazed and passionate people, remote places, and often some rudimentary technology that bridged concept to reality.

It’s 1978 and Crested Butte has one paved street, 1500 hearty souls, and a wild group of Grubstake Saloon regulars who rode bikes designed for paper boys’ early morning deliveries. The Pearl Pass Tour was in its third year, but this year was different. Avid mountain bike pioneers from both coasts wanted to experience the climb to 12,700 feet that the Buttians had achieved in previous years. Gary Fisher flew in from his Bicycling Magazine gig in NYC for a shot at Pearl Pass. Joe Breeze and friends traveled from Marin County with their modified rides to bridge the ideas and comaraderie that would eventually form the roots of what we know today as mountain biking. That hardtail 29er that you just picked up at the local shop, those endless trails that you seek out every season . . . did it all just kind of happen?

As the California 12-speeds rocketed up the pass, the locals found themselves pushing their single speed Schwinn klunkers all the way up to camp, near the switchbacks around Pearl Pass. There they met up with a supply truck, bringing dinner and well-deserved rehydration, a keg of Coors, provided by the propietor of the Grubstake. After a night out on the pass, the riders descended into Aspen, following a narrow trail through loose rock and boulders.

The road over Pearl Pass, built circa 1884 for mule trains to bring ore from mining camps near Aspen to the railhead at Crested Butte, played an important part in the history of the area. Almost a century later, a group of locals saw that same road as a challenge to do what no one had ever done before and, little did they know, help establish a sport that would change Colorado forever.

There is little question as to why the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame is located in Crested Butte, Colorado. Let’s remember why and celebrate it by clipping in and swooping down those trails just a little bit out of our comfort range.

Ingredient One: Snowmelt

Timing is everything: Fourteen inches fall during our stay at Jay's Cabin, a 10th Mountain Hut.

Upslope Brewing’s Head Brewer, Dany Pages, is a chemist by education. He spent a few years out of college working in the labs at Nestle in Buenos Aires. It didn’t take long to realize that the lab environment was not for him. He packed up and headed for the wilds of Ushuaia, Argentina to work construction, guide trips climbing glaciers, and play around with brewing beer in a former chicken coup that hung off the back of his rental house. Little did he realize that it was a hobby that would eventually point him in the direction of Boulder, Colorado, to be with his soon-to-be fiancé, and an integral part of a startup microbrewery.

On the list of thousands of tasks to undertake, one was to understand what the water in Boulder was really like . . . chemically. “Get me a report from the water department that tells me the contents of Boulder’s water supply”. Upon analyzing the report, understanding the sources for the water, and conducting his own analyses, Dany said, “There isn’t anything that we need to do to this water. This is great water!!” His only insistence was to install an industrial filter. This would level out the seasonal inconsistencies of Boulder’s pulling from different reservoirs over the course of a year, as well as the effects of runoff and storage.

Where there is water, there is life. In 1888, J.P. Maxwell and George Oliver began the overwhelming task of digging a ditch in order to bring water from the Silver Lake Watershed, a stone’s throw from the Continental Divide, to Boulder. Forty percent of Boulder’s water supply still comes down the same route. Boulderites know of these names associated with bringing us our precious water: Barker, Betasso, Middle Boulder, Lakewood, Moffat. In this high mountain desert, we could not exist without that fluffy white stuff that piles up on this side of the Divide.

Upon working with our stellar branding folks, Anthem Branding, on a label for our beers, we came to the list of ingredients. I said, “What do you think about using ‘snowmelt’ as the first ingredient?” They dug it and then it was a matter of getting the approval from the TTB, widely known to the non-brewing sector as the Alcohol, Tobacco and Trade Bureau. You really never know what those folks are going to say. With their approval, we moved forward on the final design and off to the can supplier for tooling and pin-pointing the right hues to define our brand.

The state of Colorado brews more beer than any other of these United States. While this has a lot to do with the large breweries in Golden and Loveland, it also has something to do with the 114 microbreweries and brewpubs that have grown up since the Colorado microbrewing revolution started with Boulder Beer in 1979. Why so many breweries in a relatively underpopulated state? I would argue “snowmelt”.

How It’s Done in Colorado

The view of fighting the C-Bill and G-Bill from the inside

With all of the complicated liquor laws in place, how does a new brewery make a go of it?

In the State of Colorado, we are blessed, as a brewery, to have the ability to have a wholesale liquor license (in addition to our manufacturers liquor license) which permits us to self-distribute. This means that we can buy a van, knock on doors of independently-owned liquor stores, have them sample what we have to offer, and let them decide to stock their shelves with our products . . . or not. This is opposed to the very common “Three Tier” system in many states which mandate that there is a brewery, there is a distributor, and there is a retailer. Brewery and retailer never meet.

This past Wednesday, I had the privilege of joining the Colorado Brewer’s Guild, Left Hand Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery, and Dry Dock Brewing to give testimony to oppose House Bill 1186 which would allow full strength beer to be served in convenience stores in Colorado. Why would the brewers of Colorado oppose such a bill? Wouldn’t it just be more outlets in which to sell their beer? There are many reasons why we oppose this. Let me cite two.

Our to-date success is primarily a result of our independently-owned liquor stores that carry our products. Many of these stores are located near, or next to convenience stores and grocery stores (Did I mention that House Bill 1279 which would allow grocery stores to stock full-strength beer is soon to be introduced?). While grocery stores and convenience stores are able to carry a wide variety of products, liquor stores can carry three things: beer, wine, and liquor. Most liquor stores rely on about 50% of their sales as beer. Netting it out:   You kill the indepenently-owned Colorado liquor store, you kill the Colorado craft beer culture that gives us the variety we love in our great state.

Reason #2: Convenience stores and grocery stores will not carry the variety of craft beer that you currently enjoy in liquor stores. Picture this: You are a new brewery in Colorado. You want to sell your beer. You knock on the door of the local convenience store or grocery store (because all of the independently-owned liquor stores are out of business). They say, “Well, we don’t make those kinds of decisions here. You’ll have to talk to our corporate office in Tempe, Arizona”. So you need to get in line, and maybe someday you’ll get a call back with that “no thanks” that you needed to be a “sure, OK” in order to get your product to market. Access to free market is squashed.

The state that produces more beer than any state in the nation, the home of 114 breweries, the Brewer’s Association, the Colorado Brewer’s Guild, and the Great American Beer Festival is under siege by this proposed legislation. The rules in place work. The rules in place have fostered arguably the best state in the nation for craft beer.

If you want to continue to enjoy great beer in Colorado, please give a shout out to your State Representatives. I did it for the first time this past week. So can you. Without craft beer enthusiasts voicing their concerns, you just may be looking at one of the last new breweries in Colorado.

House Finance Committee

Joel Judd — Colorado State Representative, District 5 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2925 E-Mail: repjoeljudd@joeljudd.com

Debbie Benefield — Colorado State Representative, District 29 Capitol Phone: 303-866-2950 E-mail: debbie.benefield.house@state.co.us

Brian DelGrosso — Colorado State Representative, District 51 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2947 E-Mail: brian@briandelgrosso.com

K. Jerry Frangas — Colorado State Representative, District 4 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2954 E-Mail: kjerry.frangas.house@state.co.us

Cheri Gerou — Colorado State Representative, District 25 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2582 E-Mail: cheri.gerou.house@state.co.us

Daniel Kagan — Colorado State Representative, District 3 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2921 E-Mail: repkagan@gmail.com

John Kefalas — Colorado State Representative, District 52 Capitol Phone: 303-866-4569 E-Mail: john.kefalas.house@state.co.us

Jeanne Labuda — Colorado State Representative, District 1 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2966 E-Mail: jeanne.labuda.house@state.co.us

Ellen Roberts — Colorado State Representative, District 59
Capitol Phone: (303)866-2914 E-Mail: ellen.roberts.house@state.co.us

Ken Summers — Colorado State Representative, District 22
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2927 E-mail: ken.summers.house@state.co.us

Spencer Swalm — Colorado State Representative, District 37Capitol Phone: (303)866-5510 E-mail: spencer.swalm.house@state.co.us

Important Legislators to Contact

Debbie Benefield — Colorado State Representative, District 29
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2950 E-mail: debbie.benefield.house@state.co.us

Mark Ferrandino – Denver Colorado State Representative, District 2 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2911 E-Mail: mferrandino@yahoo.com

Kathleen Curry – Colorado State Representative, District 61
Capitol Phone: (303)866-2945 E-mail:  kathleen.curry.house@state.co.us

Randy Fischer – Deputy Majority Whip Colorado State Representative, District 53 Capitol Phone: (303)866-2917 E-Mail: randy.fischer.house@state.co.us

Bob Gardner — Colorado State Representative, District 21
Capitol Phone: (303)866-2191 E-Mail: bob.gardner.house@state.co.us

Kent Lambert — Colorado State Representative, District 14
Capitol Phone: (303)866-2937 E-Mail: rep.kent.lambert@comcast.net

Jack Pommer — Colorado State Representative, District 11
Capitol Phone: (303)866-2780 E-Mail: jack.pommer.house@state.co.us

Getting Kicked When You\’re Down

Coming back from a hut trip, she had no idea that I hadn't showered in 3 days.

I have always believed that one of the true benefits of starting a business and growing a following would be a means to enable giving to both a local and global community.

Timeline: Tuesday, January 12th a 7.0 earthquake rocks Haiti. The estimates of casualities and fatalities begin, but in the back of your head you just know that the numbers are only headed in one direction. A world away, but somehow also in our backyard, the impact is felt. With some personal connections to Haiti, I read the headlines the next day and try to comprehend what it could possibly be like. That evening, I receive a phone call from Henry Wood, Upslope Brewing’s Director of Sales and Marketing, “We gotta help. What if we gave half of all tap room sales to the Red Cross on Friday?” We had donated to various charities in the past year, but never anything like this. “Let’s do it.” Chad put together an email blast the next day and the stage was set. We set a jar out on the bar for direct donations and unlocked the door. While Fridays can be a happening night at the tap room, the outcome was extraordinary. This group, these faces that we recognize as supporters from our infancy until now, came out not to just raise a pint, but to take part in taking care of a whole group of people latitudes away. Thanks to them, between pints and donations, we raised $750 and handed it over to the Red Cross. This is not an amount that will change the course of history, but it was a solid gesture from a fellow neighbor in the Western Hemisphere. We provided the means, and you gave. Thank you.

“A society is ultimately judged by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members.” – Anonymous

Upslope Named Best Pale Ale by Maxim Magazine

Boulder, Colorado — Upslope Pale Ale has been awarded Best Pale Ale by Maxim Magazine. In its upcoming February issue, the magazine’s cover feature, “The 25 Best New Beers In America” highlights Upslope as Best Pale Ale among other “top new brews of our nation’s beer renaissance.”

After sampling hundreds of new American beers, Maxim writer, Mike Dawson, declared Upslope Pale Ale to be among … “the 25 tastiest, most life-affirming concoctions to hit the shelves recently.” Chosen as Best Pale Ale, Maxim’s review of Upslope goes on to say, “These guys opened shop in late 2008, and they already own our taste buds thanks to their pale. It’s the most palatable craft beer we’ve gulped in a while. Check the ingredients: ‘Snow melt, malt, Patagonian hops, yeast.’ We’re officially down with Upslope.”

Still feeling the rush of bringing home two bronze medals from the Great American Beer Festival in September, Upslope is thrilled to add Maxim’s recognition to the young brewery’s momentum. “We’re honored by Maxim’s distinction as Best Pale Ale and couldn’t be more pleased to be considered among the ranks of such breweries as Oskar Blues, New Belgium and Great Divide,” said Matt Cutter, Founder of Upslope.

Upslope Brewing Company, a new microbrewery located in Boulder, Colorado, taps into today’s on-the-go beer enthusiast’s active lifestyle by offering superior quality hand-crafted ales in cans. The teaming of fine ales in cans allows Upslope’s products to be fresh, mobile, and easily part of an active lifestyle. Shared with friends after a long mountain bike ride, enjoyed at the end of skinning up and skiing down a snowy trail, or ordered in a local pub, Upslope is a natural fit for the active beer consumer.

Upslope is pleased to join Maxim magazine in the challenge thrown down to its readers in its “Best New Beers in America” feature, “We dare you to take a slug and not smile!”

Settling Into the Season

Baking pies tonight. The coolness of late Fall in Colorado has settled in and reminds me of the colder days to come. But that’s OK. The beauty of Colorado is that every season brings on the next series of imminent possibilities. This next chapter is composed of . . . layers . . . boots instead of shoes . . . skinning up trails instead of biking up trails . . . hunkering down . . . darkness. As the seasons change, so does the style of beer that I desire. Lagers and pilsners have no place for me now. Show me the porters, your browns and stouts. Give me rich, deep, dark maltiness. Give me high ABV and easy on the hops.

After the first year of challenges, and stress, and unknowns, and wins, and endless possibilities, I hesitate to say that we have almost developed a somewhat efficient brewing and packaging schedule. Head Brewer, Dany Pages runs the show, develops the weekly schedule, and for the most part it is executed as planned. This is not to say that curve balls never come our way. Take, for instance, the desire for a Christmas Ale. This has always been a strong desire since the inception of the brewery. For me, it was something that I could homebrew, bring to a friend’s holiday party with a big green sharpie “C” marked on the bottle cap, and offer to anyone who was interested. The Christmas Ale, in my mind, is a combination between dark, sweet maltiness, fruit and spice. Many of the flavors would come from the right combination of orange peel, ginger, allspice, and in this case, juniper berries. For many years I have been searching for the redeeming qualities of the high alpine, stiff and gnarly juniper tree. It produces a berry that screams “Christmas Ale”. It’s time to bring that spice to center stage and its true fate as part of a wintry beer.

As a homebrewer, I haven’t homebrewed for many years. The demands of founding a microbrewery have taken precedence. Last Friday, I got to brew again. With the patient teaching of Dany, I got my feet wet on what it is like to brew on our equipment. Dany and I consulted on bringing my homebrew recipe to a production level. We started the mash in the early morn and set the schedule for lauter, hops, spices, and fermentation. We took the gravities, pitched the yeast, and let nature take its course. Juniper berries never felt such purpose.

This year, I will once again get to bring Christmas Ale to holiday parties. It’s a little different this time. I didn’t brew it on my stove, but the same rules apply. Whatever brings you comfort and warmth during the days approaching the solstice, relish in it. For it’s this time of year that dormancy brings vigor from the branches to the roots so that come springtime, we’re ready to hit it once again.

Please join us on Friday, December 4th as we tap the first keg of Upslope Colorado Christmas Ale.

Upslope Colorado Christmas Ale

Celebrating the wintry nights and lights of the season, this lightly spiced English old ale is caramel colored and malty sweet. Second generation to the traditional Winter Warmer, allspice, orange peel and ginger round out the piney aroma of crushed juniper berries.

IBU: 33

ABV: 6.7%

Body: Medium

One Year And Counting

rlevensaler-1008-061Have you ever ventured into the great unknown and wondered what your world would be like a year from now?

A year ago, our Head Brewer, Dany, spent 18 hours trying to push 3 ½ barrels of beer through our 7 barrel system.

A year ago, our Director of Sales & Marketing, Henry Wood, was getting the lay of the land, shaking a lot of hands, and waiting for product that he could sell.

A year ago, there was a worldwide hop shortage, the start of the Great Recession, and a national bank crisis.

A year ago, Upslope Brewing Company quietly opened its doors to the City of Boulder, hoping to be welcomed with open arms. Those who were curious, or perhaps just stumbled upon the place by accident, came upon a warehouse with a brewhouse. They smiled and tried our one and only Upslope Pale Ale, and nobody asked, “So what else do you have?”.

About a week ago, Henry suggested, “Why don’t you blog about what it’s like to be a year old?” Tough to say. Being a year old is like getting safely out of the harbor, but pointing the bow out into the wild sea. Your craft is solid, your crew well trained, but the open ocean is vast and rolling. At the same time, you look back at shore as it fades in the distance. “Well . . . we made it this far.”

Please come join us at the brewery this Saturday, November 7th, for our One Year Anniversary from 2:00 to 6:00. We plan to celebrate in the best way we know how; Bluegrass by Gin Wagon, great food by Dubbin’s Sandwiches, and Dany’s One Year Anniversary Ale. And for those who joined us for our grand opening, you’ll be happy to hear that you have seven more choices on tap than you had a year ago.

Celebrating the Season and Loving the Local

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Hot from the oven, baby bear pumpkins stake their place among malt, hops, and yeast.

Organic is more than just an adjective of how many prefer their produce around Boulder.   It’s how big things seem to happen. Let me tell you the tale of a pumpkin ale.

Dan Hayward, of Savory Spice in Boulder, approaches me one day, introduces himself and says, “We’re a local provider of spices in Boulder and have worked with many of the local breweries. If ever you brew a spice beer, stop by and we’ll steer you in the right direction.” “OK”, I thought, “Who knows?”.

Enter Mike Munson, of Munson Farms. Their sweet corn and pumpkins are known for miles around. He approaches me and says, “Why don’t we do a pumpkin beer!?” I’m thinking, “Why not? We’ve never done that before.”

I go to the brewery and present the idea to the brewers. Alex says, “Let’s do it! I brewed a pumpkin ale when I was brewing at Smoky Mountain Brewery in Tennessee.” Dany, showing the Argentinian in him, says, “What is this pumpkin ale?!? Why would we make a beer with pumpkins?”

Not all pumpkins make a great pumpkin ale. Mike gives me pie pumpkins, red pumpkins, french pumpkins, baby bear pumpkins, and white pumpkins. We cook and we taste, looking for the right combination of sweetness and squashiness. Alex and Brian brew a pilot batch.

One hundred and twenty-five pounds of baby bear pumpkins waiting in the wings, I go to Savory Spice and Dan counsels me to walk out with the right combination of broken Vietnamese cinnamon bark, nutmeg seeds, allspice berries, whole cloves, ginger, and shaved mace (the skin of a nutmeg seed).

After a group effort of cooking and carving out the pumpkin “meat”, the brew takes place, finishing up in the wee hours of the morning. With the yeast loving all of those sugars from the pumpkins, the fermentation bubbles away for days.

Today I stole a taste out of the fermenter and the season suddenly came upon me. It’s that time of year, and it’s time to celebrate. Come join us this Friday, the day before Halloween, as we release Munson Farms Pumpkin Ale in the Upslope Tap Room stating at 4:00. Roots and Blues supplied by Chad Dughi.

Like a Virgin: Upslope Brewing and the Great American Beer Festival

Upslope Dunkelweizen shows its true color: bronze

Upslope Dunkelweizen shows its true color: bronze

There we were, the new kids on the block in the shadows of greatness: the well-respected Sierra Nevada under their tents near the Oskar Blues-sponsored silent disco; Full Sail with their 200 barrel brewhouse from population 5000 Hood River, Oregon; Dogfish Head from Delaware with a full line of savory ales, and Colorado pioneer New Belgium, following their folly.

Bright-eyed and wagging our tails, we set up the booth. Not really knowing what to expect, we put ourselves out there, welcomed the curious, told our story, and walked away with a couple of medals. Befuddled when the announcements came, two of our Single Batch Series ales brought home bronze awards: Upslope Dunkelweizen in the German Wheat Ale category, and Upslope “Time of the Season” Belgian Pale Ale in the Pro Am competition. The Upslope Dunkelweizen was brewed by Upslope Head Brewer Dany Pages, and was based upon a recipe by former Upslope brewer, Yazan Karadsheh. “Time of the Season” was revealed to us through Brian Patterson, homebrewer extraordinaire, to compete in the GABF Pro Am competition.

After a day or two with our heads in the clouds, we get up early to brew, stay late to package and clean tanks, and cautiously play with the idea in the backs of our heads, that maybe someday we will be among the greats.

Cheers to all that joined us and reveled in the largest celebration of craft beer on the planet!!

Brewers Must Be Brewers

Head Brewer, Dany Pages, checks the numbers.

Head Brewer, Dany Pages, checks the numbers.

Take a regular human being, and make him a chemist. Take a chemist and make him an artist. Take an artist and make him a statistician. Take a statistician and make him a plumber. Take a plumber and make him a cook. Take a cook and make him a perfectionist.   Take a perfectionist and make him a brewer.

At Upslope Brewing Company, we are headed into unchartered waters. We are brewing ales resulting from the opportunity, “What do you want to brew?”. As a result, we are at a very exciting junction in which we have allowed our brewers to spread their wings and offer up their best in our “Single Batch Series”. Four single batches of four different styles are coming out of this effort. The brewers have created these ales from their own recipes. Two of these four batches have been created by homebrewers. They came to us with some creative ideas. We thought that we’d see what they got.

Since these releases will not be canned, join us in the Tap Room over the next 3-4 weeks to celebrate these offerings. Bring your critical palate. Tell us if we’re headed in the right direction. Because, even artists need to be judged once in awhile.

Craft Brewing Brotherhood

When we first started brewing beer back in October, on a Sunday afternoon I was meeting some friends at Upslope in order to give them a tour. Upon reaching to unlock the door, a voice perked up behind our group, “Do any of you guys work here?”. It was Dave Chichura, Head Brewer of Oskar Blues. He had noticed the sign and was curious about what we were all about. He joined the tour, and I encouraged him to chime in whenever he could. When things were wrapping up, he said, “If you ever need anything, just ask.”

I have learned ever since that when a fellow brewer says this, it’s not just   lipservice. Boulder County and Colorado are somewhat of a craft brewing incubator. We have a sound infrastructure of suppliers, outstanding water, legislation that allows a startup to succeed, a brewer’s association that is the standard, a strong state brewer’s guild, a population of educated palates who demand great beer, and a bunch of brewers who want to see their “competitors” succeed. It’s no wonder that Colorado produces more beer than any state in the Union.

I have taken Dave up on his offer more than once, and offers made from the great people at Left Hand, Avery, Boulder Beer .   .   .

Packaging Perfected

“So, why do you can your beer?” This question definitely ranks in the top ten that we hear.

Kicking back at the capsite while riding the White Rim in Canyonlands. Photo courtesy of Michael Robson Photograpy.

Kicking back at the campsite while riding the White Rim in Canyonlands. Photo courtesy of Michael Robson Photography.

Like a carton is to milk and a peel to an orange, the aluminum can has proven to be a natural package for beer. However, it took a while to figure out how to do it properly. Canned beer’s history is tainted with bad technology and little regard for the finished product.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the aluminum can in 2009, Bill Coors was interviewed by the Rocky Mountain news. He expressed his displeasure of the tin can as a beer container, citing the “lousy aftertaste” it left in their beer and the metal cans that littered the American landscape since they weren’t easily recycled. He turned his sights toward recycled aluminum. It was cheaper and more easily sterilized, eliminating the need to pasteurize the beer. Combine a visionary with the inventor of the chewing-gum scraper attached to a broom, and great things can happen. After years of refining the design, Ruben Hartmeister walked into Bill Coors office in 1959 with a crude aluminum can.

The short list of why Upslope Ales can only be found in cans:

Hand-crafted We brew our beer in small batches and it is not pasteurized. So,it needs to be protected. Light oxidizes beer. It’s very dark inside a can. Oxygen oxidizes beer. Cans are hermetically sealed. “But, you get that ‘tinny’ taste.” All cans are now lined with an aqueous polymer. Metal never touches beer.

Aluminum Can Ever see a can shatter when its dropped? Ever grab a 12-pack of cans in one hand and a 12-pack of bottles in the other hand? It’s like being with your 4 year-old on the seesaw.

Portable Take ‘em up the trail in the pack. Drain ‘em, crush ‘em, stick ‘em back in the pack.

Recyclable Used aluminum cans are recycled and returned to a store shelf as a new can in as few as 60 days. That’s because the can’s aluminum materials are designed with recyclability in mind.

Good Hand-crafted beer well protected in a light, crushable, recyclable package? Sounds pretty good to me.

Now, I have absolutely nothing against tasty beer in a bottle, but don’t think less of a hand-crafted beer in a can. And if you’re not camping, backpacking, or at a music festival . . . you can always choose to pour it in a glass.

Beer People

Bitter Brown Tapping Party at Upslope

Bitter Brown Tapping Party at Upslope

I’ve never been much of a wine guy. While I have always enjoyed relaxing with my wife, splitting a bottle of red over the course of the evening, it’s not my “go to”. I am the guy, at the restaurant, after everyone has ordered their preferred cab or zin, who asks the waiter, “So, what do you have on tap?”.

Beer to me represents all of the good things in life. It is friendly and casual. It is unobtrusive and unpretentious. It is sincere and light-hearted. It is lively banter and belly laughs. It is going to the ballpark, unwinding after a workday, and enjoying a fine meal all rolled up into one. It is international and welcoming. It is natural and historic.   It is relaxing and calming. It is crafted. It is good.

In the movie “Titanic”, one of my favorite scenes is the shot of the first class deck, with it’s well-dressed passengers, fine china and tablecloths. Then the camera moves down through the decks to the third class. The clanging of crystal gives way to Irish music, and in a big room in the belly of the ship there is a raucous party being revealed.   Travelers are hammering their instruments, dancing on tables, laughing and singing, and liter mugs are in hand sloshing with ale.   Every time that I watch this scene, I have the same thought . . . These are my people.

How to Build a Brewery 101

15BBL fermenters 6-25-09 028

Who needs a dock!? Dany and Henry masterfully rig up a support for unloading a 15BBL fermenter.

When you boil it down, what is a brewery really?   It’s a commercial kitchen.   It’s a chemistry lab.   It’s a crossroads for beer enthusiasts.   Most of all, though, it’s a manufacturing facility.   There are raw materials, brewing and fermentation processes, and finished goods.   There are first articles, process checkpoints, and quality assurance.   There are brewing kettles, pumps, filters, heat exchangers, chillers, and fermentation tanks.

Our little 7 barrel system grew up a little bit last night.   While 217 gallons brewed at one time seems like more than you could fit in your fridge, our system is the size of what you would see in many brewpubs.   From our very first brew back in October until now, we have been limited to brewing three times per week with our existing equipment.   Where’s the bottleneck?   No, it’s not in our manual canning system.   It’s in our fermenters.   Every time that we brew a batch of beer, we pump it into one of our 7 barrel fermenters.   There the beer will remain, happily fermenting for 3-4 days, plus another 3-4 days for conditioning.   So we will brew and brew and brew, and once the fermenters are full, we can’t brew again until the conditioning is complete and we can pump the flat, warm beer to another tank for carbonation.

The fermenter that you see in the photo above is one of two new tanks that ferments 15 barrels of beer.   This doubles our current fermentation capacity, and hence, our production.   The beauty of all that stainless steel is that it will allow us to sell our hand-crafted ales to more restaurants, taverns, and liquor stores.   It will also bring a steady stream of seasonal ales to our tap room.   Doesn’t that just make life a little better for all of us?

Big Week At Upslope!

As usual, things are very busy here at Upslope Brewing Company. Of course, we are very excited about what’s happening. Tomorrow we are expecting the arrival of two 15 BBL fermentation tanks, the 12 pack boxes are finally being run and we are providing the beer for the Boulder Farmer’s Market Beer Garden.

We are also excited about the release of our newest seasonal this Friday. It is a bitter brown ale. Early tastings were met with much excitement. So, we decided to throw a party to celebrate. It will consist or $3 pints, $2 Boulder Brats, bluegrass, free tours and rounds of corn-hole! Come join us!!!