When Upright Brewing opened in 2009, there was a a lot of buzz surrounding the Northeast Portland brewery. As many beer geeks like us were anticipatory of the French and Belgian farmhouse-inspired beers that former BJ’s brewer and Ommegang apprentice Alex Ganum would make, others expressed skepticism regarding the viability of a brewery that didn’t march to the beaten drum. Brewing in an open barrel fermenter might have lead many to think the guy was just crazy, but this never deterred our man.
Since the bold undertaking of Ganum three years ago and his apparent success, a number of other daring regional craft beer adventures have broken ground. These include Cascade Brewing’s Barrel House, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Block 15, Breakside Brewery, The Commons Brewery, and more. To say that Ganum is a visionary of what craft beer in our region could sustain, seems in retrospect a bit of an understatement.
Upright’s core lineup of numerological named beers that include his sessionable wheaten Four, a more aggressively hopped Five, a rich dark rye Six, and his boldest and most assertive Saison, Seven, exemplify just how originative Upright is. But, these are just the tip of the iceberg, and in someways, seemingly pedestrian when considering the risks Ganum has been willing to take when devising and executing many of his beers over the past three years. Delving into barrel-aging and blending of wild ales, Ganum’s vision for beer is more than just a quaff for the average dude, it involves a mindful approach to the culinary arts and ties in elements of history and science. As a parter in the restaurant and bar, The Grain & Gristle, Ganum continually illustrates his appreciation for a vast range of flavors in beers that he achieves by a variety of means. Whether it is unfolding new flavor profiles with beers like his Flora Rustica Saison which employs the addition of calendula flower and yarrow, or revamping historic styles like the Oyster Stout or the German-inspired Gose, it is evident that Ganum refuses to let himself get complacent, therefor, his audience is seldom bored.
As an example of Upright’s constant evolution, Ganum has altered its house strain of yeast for the Number Series three times since the brewery’s inception. “Five is also hoppier now and the aroma is more pronounced” says Ganum. “With our new yeast, the Four, Five, and Six are now coming across as more French Biere de Garde styles.” he adds. “This allows them to come across as more ingredients-driven and way less floral and fruity.” Ganum says the boisterous Seven is perhaps the only beer of the regular lineup that has remained mostly the same.
Over the past month, Upright Brewing has brewed a handful of noteworthy beers that are sure to inspire salivation in the mouths of beer lovers and foodies alike. Not playing on the popularity and hype of barrel-aging, Ganum’s reserved and humble demeanor channel an inclusive vibe to his trade. Further, Upright’s beers when compared to many other daring brewers bottling in 750ml champagne bottles, is considerably affordable.
Here is a look at more than a handful specialty beers that you can expect to find in bottles and on tap from Upright. Get them while you can because they may disappear soon. Read More…
Posted under beer news, Beer personalities, beer releases, Oregon beer, places to drink beer
This post was written by Angelo on January 19, 2012