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Upslope Brewing Company, Flatiron Park
Specialty: Approachable beers with an innovative twist
Neighborhood: Flatiron Park in East Boulder
Humble Beginnings: When Matt Cutter decided to open a brewery in 2008, he was leaving behind a promising career in the tech industry—and working off a business plan he had written for a college class a decade prior. Although he was a veteran homebrewer, no banks would loan him the money; instead, Upslope was funded by a second mortgage and not much else. The original 1,800-square-foot Lee Hill facility would turn out five cans of beer per minute, and had to be emptied of all the milling equipment each morning to make room to brew. “Our beers would taste different depending how windy each day was, the windier days would blow away the dust (sugars) from the grains we would grind out back, altering the taste profile,” says Henry Wood, Upslope’s co-founder and sales manager. The Flatiron Park location was opened in 2013.
Fun Fact: This past October, the outdoors-loving brewery opened a backcountry taproom at High Lonesome Hut near Winter Park. They figured 30 to 40 friends and family would make the 2.5-mile trek (one-way) for the occasion—but more than 350 showed up and drank them dry. Similar events will be planned in the near future.
Don’t Miss: OZO Coffee Roasters is located next door to the brewery, which has lead to numerous collaborations between the local companies. Some of the better caffeinated beers in the state are on tap here, and the list is always changing.
What to Expect: The gleaming chrome and concrete at the 27,000-square-foot facility fits perfectly with the industrial neighborhood. Several large garage doors are all that separate you from the 30-barrel brewhouse, which is capable of turning out 35,000 barrels of beer per year. Upslope’s patrons run the gamut from grizzled hippies to techies fresh from the office, but the vibe skews toward a younger crowd. With one wall covered in a bubble graph detailing the interconnectedness of different styles of beer, it’s obvious that Upslope isn’t trying to fill any one craft beer niche. Yes, their core brews are quite accessible, but beneath the foam is a more rebellious spirit. Of their 24 tap lines, more than half are pouring beers only available on-site. That’s because their original location on Lee Hill Drive now acts as their laboratory for the absurd. The brewers are constantly mixing new and exciting ingredients to see what boundary-breaking brew they can debut next. A visit to Upslope is sure to excite your taste buds. Bonus: Make sure to order from their empanadas menu or visit one of the food trucks parked out front.
Make a Night of It: A trip to Boulder always means a chance to explore the city’s culinary delights. Less than a mile from the brewery is Chef Hosea Rosenberg’s (winner of season five of Top Chef) new restaurant Blackbelly Market (also one of our Best Restaurants 2015). Known for the in-house butchery and charcuterie, it’s a perfect meal to enjoy post-brews.
Visit: Upslope’s Flatiron Park brewery and taproom is located at 1898 S. Flatiron Ct., Boulder