Summer is over. Any way you want to cut it, any last heat wave that comes rolling in, Labor Day has come and gone. So put away your seersucker suits and white pants, fall is upon us. And with the nail in the summer’s pervertible coffin, it’s time to drink up all those delicate saison’s and farmhouse ales to make room for fresh hop brews, pumpkin beers, and the influx of winters bevy of imperial stouts.
Upright Brewing’s Four Play is one such summer beers that I’ve been sitting on for a while now since my last trip to Portland. A young brewery barely over a year old, Upright has been making waves in the PDX beer scene turning out amazing belgian inspired brews from a town best known as a hop-lover’s paradise. Four Play is their commemorative one-year anniversary brew.
“Four Play is a Belgian-style sour beer that has been aged since March of 09 in Pinot Noir barrels with an addition of cherry puree, lactobacillus and brettanomyces to sour and dry out the beer. It is very tart, dry and complex like a wine with notes of oak, pinot, wheat and terroir. The beer is very limited with only 5 kegs being produced and 80 cases of 750ml bottles.”
So was it worth the wait? Despite an initial flimsy head and non-existent lacing, I’d say a resounding yes. This is a tart and funky, complex farmhouse. The Brett flavors come forward, as do a lot of cherry notes (from the addition of Cherry Puree) that mingle well with the innate characteristics of the Pinot Barrels. There’s also a nice lime peel note and a subtle dry finish from the barrel aging. The Pinot aging is really excited and a nice break from brewing’s current fascination with Bourbon barrels. Overall, it’s an impressively complex brew for a mere 5.0% ABV and a great one to knock back on those warm days of our impeding Indian Summer.
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale (Barrel Aged)
Brewery: Upright Brewing (Portland, OR)
Hop Variety: Hallertauer Mittelfrüh
Malt/Grain Variety: Organic Pale, Wheat, Organic Munich, Rolled Wheat
Adjuncts: Cherry Puree
Yeast: French Saison, Brettanomyces Clausennii, Lactobacillus, Delbrueckii
Availability: One Time Release