Review: Upright Brewing’s Hard Bop Brown

Author: Jason Harris
December 30, 2011

Portland, Oregon – Upright Brewing is a small-batch brewery located on the east side of the Willamette River, across the street from the Rose Garden. Although small, this brewery has had some amazing press in the traditional and online media and is a loved brand in and around Portland’s otherwise crowded beer scene. I’ve heard of Upright on a number of occasions and was happy to be able to tour their brewery recently.

Their unique style of beer is crafted after farmhouse ales from Belguim and France. I am a huge fan of this style because of it’s distinctive yeast-y taste that only Belguim-style ales have.

Today we’ll take a look at Hard Bop Brown, one of Upright’s seasonals currently on tap in the Portland area. Brown ales, traditionally, are known for being smooth in palate with a hint of malt and perhaps a taste of nut, depeneding on the brew. Alex, the owner of Upright Brewing, described Hard Bop as a “hoppy brown ale with a kick”.

Hard Bop Brown is composed of a few bales of hops that Upright normally doesn’t produce with, in this case centennial and cascade hops. This strong and hoppy brown ale also utilizes a new house yeast strain, according to their website and weighs in at 9% ABV and has 60 IBUs.

When you pour Hard Bop Brown, it’s a very dark copper-ish red color and the smell of the hops emanates from the pint glass. At first sip, you can definitely sense the the floral hoppy-ness with a small hint of bitter although not overwhelming. With this ale, you’re first met with a citrous-like start that is balanced with a mix of malt and yeast that balances out the drink. This beer tastes a bit bitter at first, but you quickly forget about it as the smooth brown ale taste takes over.

My impression of the beer is that it’s one of the best brews I’ve tasted in all of 2011. As a fan of hoppy beers and brown ales as well, Hard Bop Brown is a perfect marriage of the two ale styles, providing a smooth beer experience with the taste and surprising flavor of a hop ale.  Yum!

Upright Brewing is located in Portland, Oregon (map provided below). The draft house is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and also before each Blazer home game.

[nokia-maps template=”” sizes=”{‘width’: ‘auto’,’height’: ‘370’,’label’: ‘Auto’}” place_data_1=”{‘location’: {‘address’: {‘city’: ‘Portland’,’countryCode’: ‘USA’,’country’: ‘United States of America’,’state’: ‘OR’,’house’: ‘240’,’street’: ‘N Broadway’,’postalCode’: ‘97227’},’position’: {‘longitude’: ‘-122.668′,’latitude’: ‘45.5348’}},’name’: ‘240 N ” place_data_2=”Broadway, Portland, OR 97227, USA’,’extended’: {‘type’: ‘Street’},’categories’: {‘0’: {‘categoryId’: ‘address’,’iconURL’: ‘’,’iconLabel’: ‘Address’}},’_index’: ‘1’” place_data_3=”}” place_data_params=”3″ ]

Tags: , ,

One Response to “Review: Upright Brewing’s Hard Bop Brown”

  1. Pints and Steins » Blog Archive » Review: Everybody’s Brewing Hoedown Brown Says:

    […] and almost zero bitterness. My favorite brown ale by far is Hard Bop Brown from Upright Brewing (review) – which […]

Leave a Reply