Beer Review: UPLAND KIWI

Beer Review: UPLAND KIWI

Upland Kiwi is an audacious venture by Upland Brewing, defying the lack of kiwis in Indiana by incorporating the fruit into their sour ales. The brewers showcase their innovation by hand-peeling and adding whole kiwis to a base sour ale aged for over eight months in white oak barrels. This results in a hazy, golden/straw-colored ale with lively carbonation. The beer promises a fusion of fresh kiwi and tropical aromas alongside floral and wine-like notes, culminating in rich kiwi flavors, a refreshing tartness, and a dry, tangy finish.

Appearance:

Pouring from a corked & caged 750ml bottle, Upland Kiwi presents itself as turbid and bright golden, resembling a fizzy soda with a fleeting, white foam top. The visual appeal is enticing, setting expectations for a vibrant drinking experience.

Aroma:

The aroma of Upland Kiwi is its standout feature, reminiscent of Belgian lambic with leathery dried grapefruit peel, rich peach flesh, sugar hints, saltwater, and a subtle vinegar undertone. The promise of the aroma, however, sets the stage for expectations that the flavor struggles to fully meet.

Taste:

Regrettably, the upfront flavor of Upland Kiwi falls somewhat flat, dominated by prickly carbonation. Mid-palate experiences a seltzer water resemblance, and the promised kiwi essence remains elusive. While the citric acidity emerges in the finish, it falls short of the anticipated sourness, registering at a modest 7 out of 10. Despite lacking the distinctive kiwi character, repeated sips reveal a refreshing quality akin to sparkling lemonade.

Mouthfeel:

The beer’s mouthfeel offers a slight creaminess, likely attributed to wheat additions, steering away from an acetic acid/vinegar sting. The texture, although somewhat redeeming, fails to fully compensate for the flavor’s deficiencies.

Overall:

Upland Kiwi, marketed as a blonde sour, delivers a commendable performance but falters in embodying the kiwi component promised in its name. Despite adopting a lambic-type recipe, it falls short of capturing the pinnacle lambic qualities. Batch after batch, the acid levels remain modest, and the elusive kiwi flavor persists. In a blind taste test, fellow beer enthusiasts noted peach over kiwi, reflecting the beer’s struggle to articulate its unique character. While it stands as a solid blonde sour, Upland Kiwi leaves enthusiasts yearning for a more pronounced and distinctive kiwi presence. Personal familiarity with kiwi nuances aside, the beer’s subtlety might test even the most discerning palates.