Upstate Brewing

(Elmira, NY)

We neared the end of our Southern Tier trail as we were nearing the end of the summer at this point.  Though I have grown to accept the term after a year in Queens I’m still not a fan of the phrase “Upstate New York”- where exactly is the cutoff? The Bronx?!  Anyway- whether you agree with the phrase or not, naming your brewery ‘Upstate’ is brilliant. They’ve cornered the market on any upstate NY brewery internet searches and since we’re talking about beer not marketing, they’ve pretty much, in my opinion, crushed the competition in their small area as well.

We sat outside on a beautiful sunny afternoon and started a flight off with Common Sense Kentucky common.  The story goes that Kentucky Common Ale was the most popular style of beer in America pre-prohibition. Hopefully I’m not too oversimplifying, but since I’m not very familiar with the style I’m going to call this a blend between a cream ale and a red ale.  It’s muddy complexion got my hopes up a bit too much I think. Subtle malt, subtle hops, I understand it is supposed to be brewed quickly, but I don’t think this does it justice. I didn’t love it, but I’m glad I tried it.

Beer number two was a not-so-common Ipso lacto Berliner weisse.  I never know how to describe some sours. What do I taste….other than just sour.  Sometimes sours come in the form of a sweet, fruit, sour blend and sometimes it’s metallic.  Either way- I didn’t love the flavor of this one, but I did enjoy the subtle softness that wasn’t a complete punch in the throat.

Summer Haze American t was one of the very best I’ve had.  Chalk it up to the atmosphere at the time, the company, my slight buzz, or whatever you want, unfiltered, hazy wheat combined with citrus undertones and a perfect balance had me ready to sip all day.

Though it was a bit past brunch I couldn’t pass up an interesting take on a brown ale.  Brunch (coffee brown ale) has some potential, but she’s a bit heavy on the coffee for being as thin as she was.  Kinda like Kate Moss. I don’t know.

Last, but not least, was an Imperial stout.  I hate when brewers scoff and say things like “Who brews stouts in the summertime?” Or “who drinks stouts in the summe time?”  Well, I do, a lot, and sometimes you just want a cold chocolate milkshake with beer in it. This one wasn’t as thick as a chocolate milkshake but, it was pretty solid and I’m glad Upstate gets me.  

All in all it was a pretty awesome experience,  I give Upstate Brewing Company an 8.25 out of 10.

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