Belgian Style Pale Ale, Upslope Brewing Company, Boulder

Style: Pale Ale (sort of)

ABV: 7.5 percent

Serving Type: 12-ounce can

Malty? Hoppy? A tad hoppy.

Reviewed: July 2013

I’ve been waiting for this: An Upslope beer that I’m excited to review. For a long time, I just didn’t get the brewery’s offerings. Sure, the packaging was slick, but the flavors just didn’t seem to match my—or my beer-drinking colleagues’—palate. After a recent trip to the brewer I started to understand.

Dany Pages, Upslope’s head brewer, is from South America. (He started the world’s southernmost brewery in Argentina.) But he fell in love with a girl and found himself on the opposite side of the Equator crafting beer for Colorado palettes. Our hop-heavy, bigger-is-better tastes are vastly different than the European crowds he brewed for down south. Neither is wrong; they just need to find a middle ground. That line, for me, is the Belgian Style Pale Ale, which manages to blend Old World refinement with Front Range hoppiness.

This limited-release brew pours a lovely orange color, like a mellow sunset. The first taste is mellow, too. But let it linger on your tongue, where you’ll get notes of banana and coriander that you’ve come to expect from a Belgian-style brew. And, wait for it… Bam: The hoppiness of the pale ale is at the end of each sip. Is it perfect? Who cares. Pages is an ambassador of beer styles. I may not always agree, but I will taste them with a more open mind from now on.

Would we buy it again? Of course.

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