I had a chance recently to try the latest beer from Widmer Bros. — Upheaval IPA.
Widmer describes the beer (7% ABV, 85 IBUs, featuring six hops and 2-row, wheat and caramel malts) as having “a huge hop flavor and aroma with serious bitterness and a balanced finish.”
What was fun is that they sent me the beer in this handy and fancy package, featuring actual hops:
It ranked right up there with the best-smelling packages I’ve ever received.
So, how about the beer inside the package? How about a little review.
The beer had a golden-orange hue and was slightly hazy (Widmer says it’s unfiltered). It had average to above-average head and what I would call average head retention. It had nice lacing. Right off the bat, I detected a beer bursting with fresh, fruity hop aroma. This is definitely one of the top attributes of this beer, which features Chinook, Simcoe, Brewer’s Gold, Willamette and Nelson Sauvin as aroma hops. I thought the beer had moderate bitterness. It didn’t seem to me like a beer with 85 IBUs. The strong hop aroma carried through to the hop flavor, which I would call aggressive. I felt the hop flavor and bitterness faded from the palate rather quickly, encouraging me to take another sip to bring them back. The beer had a nice balance, which I would say leaned liberally toward the hop characteristics over the malt profile. Overall, an easy drinking IPA that would be better suited for the summer months, possibly by the pool with a nice rack of sweet-barbecue ribs to accompany it.