Cracking open a cold one in the great outdoors shouldn't mean lowering your standards. While many favorite brews are bottle-bound, the crew at Upslope Brewing Company of Boulder, Colorado knows good things can come in cans. CH tested three of Upslope's libations for freshness, palate and body.
Upslope takes inspiration from its surroundings when it comes to ingredients. As the bulk of the water used in brewing comes from the Arapahoe Glacier in the mountains above Boulder, the brand proudly lists snowmelt as its first ingredient. There were a few earthy notes of springtime in the mountains, and this was especially apparent in the Craft Lager; the brewery's light-bodied easy-drinking beer. The Craft Lager has greater depth than most lagers, with its rich, malty finish and refreshing crispness brought on by Czech Saaz hops.
While the Craft Lager is exceptional for a session-style beer, Upslope's best brews feature spicy hops grown in the rugged Patagonia region of Argentina—where one of the co-founders is from. The India Pale Ale (IPA) is a robust hop-laden beer. Bold and deep with a copper color to match, Upslope's IPA offers a biting citrus bouquet of hops balanced with a subtle dulce de leche-like sweetness from the malt. While each of three brews has merit, perhaps the brand's top product is its first beer: the Pale Ale. The balance of a clear body with the bright freshness of Patagonian hops is at home on the summit of a peak or at a backyard BBQ.
With such inspiration in flavor and ingredients from the mountains, Upslope is on a mission to make their beer with as little environmental impact as possible. The Rocky Mountain brewer uses lightweight aluminum for portability (back-country camping with bottles is no fun), as well being more eco-friendly. Best of all, cans let the least amount of light in, keeping the freshness of the beer intact over time.
Visit one of Upslope's tasting rooms in Boulder or visit their website to find their refreshing, trail-ready brews near you.
Images by Hans Aschim