Brew Review: Widmer Brothers Upheaval IPA

by Kelli H. on May 15, 2014

Beer: Widmer Brothers Upheaval IPA
Date: 5-2-14
Location: Portland, OR
Availability: Year round
Alcohol: 7%
IBU: 85

Appearance: Hazy, tons of tiny carbonation bubbles, good head retention, golden colored

Aroma: Faint citrus, pine hops, malt

Body & Texture: Hoppy tingles, smooth, upfront hop bite

Aftertaste: Bitter, bitter, and more bitter.

“Unfiltered. Unexpected. Unapologetic. Uncompromised” – Widmer

Overall Impression:
This was a beer I’d been looking forward to trying. My family and I used to absolutely love Widmer and their Hefewizen. Man, times have changed. I haven’t had a hef in years and really can’t imagine drinking one now.

In March 2009 my parents, David, and I went to Portland and did a little mini brewery tour. One of the breweries we went to was Widmer Brother’s. We did their tour, and to date it’s still the best brewery tour I’ve done. Our guide did an awesome tasting with us before walking us through the brewery and gave a very detailed summary of how they make their beer. We then went to their pub, ordered a pitcher, and had lunch. It was a lot of fun! Since my heffewizen days have been over for quite some time, I haven’t been too impressed with Widmer. I was not a fan of their Rotator IPA.

When I heard they were releasing a new IPA I was stoked to see what they could do. My parents tried it before me and both liked it. My mom said she’d definitely buy it again, so that made me even more excited. I’m pretty happy with this beer. It’s definitely hoppy enough for my standards and I think it stands up next to our weekly beer, Lagunitas IPA. I’d definitely buy Upheaval. Especially since Widmer usually has pretty good prices on their beer. I think it’s more hoppy than Samuel Adam’s Rebel IPA or Anchor Brewing IPA and has way less malt backbone. What I didn’t like about Upheavael was that they didn’t have the  IBU’s stated on the bottle. I also think the aroma could be a tad more pungent. I had a hard time dechiphering much of anything besides mild hops and malts. This is definitely an IPA that’s more on the bitter side, so I wouldn’t recommend it to beer drinkers who aren’t really down with bitter beers.

Have you tried Upheaval?
 Are you a Widmer fan?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one } May 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

I’d probably pass on this one as I am not much for bitter beers but I will say that I’ve been dying to have an IPA. I wish I were pregnant over the winter so that I could enjoy a cold beer on a hot summer day. Blah.


Made in Sonoma May 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Oh man, I’ll have to keep that in mind some day when I have a baby. No beer on a hot summer weekend day would be torturous for me!


David Wells May 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Those pictures are incredible. Wow, you’re getting so good! Also this beer is really tasty! đŸ™‚


Abby Phillips May 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm

My husband and I are most likely moving to CA from NC soon…your beer reviews are really going to come in handy! You have so many things on the West Coast that we can’t get our hands on here. Also, I’ve tried many of your recipes and love them! Thanks!


Made in Sonoma May 16, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Thanks, Abby! I’m glad the recipes have turned out well for you. That’s awesome you guys are moving to CA. You will definitely have fun trying so many new beers. đŸ™‚


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