Date: May 2, 2015.
Place: About forty miles north of Dallas near the historic Cotton Mill in McKinney, Texas.

Tupps Northbound 75 can

Follow those space-time coordinates and they will lead you to the opening of Tupps Brewery. Co-founded by Keith Lewis and Tupper Patnode, the facility is an impressive 15,000-square-feet and is currently pumping out five year-round brews with a slew of rotational or seasonal offerings. The equipment may be state of the art but the décor is deliberately “old-world Texas” putting the rust in rustic, so to speak. In fact, many of the objects in and around the brewery have been repurposed or reused from the old Cotton Mill.

Today’s beer is one of Tupp’s year round offerings. It is labeled as being a fire-roasted poblano pale ale with spices and is named Northbound 75. This beer was first released on Aug. 6, 2015 at Craft and Growler of Dallas with a stated ABV of 6 percent, 38.9 IBUs, and an SRM of 6.6. It seems they dialed back the ABV a bit since then to 5.5 percent and upped the IBUs to 45.

The pour reveals a dark burnt orange body that is a few SRM darker than most pale ales out there. The head formed is minimal, dissipating quickly, and is slightly off-white in color. The aroma is immediately smoky and burnt with a mellow poblano pepper hit. There is some caramel malt in the nose and even a small amount of hoppy-ness is present though not as much as I would like to be in a pale ale.

Tupps Northbound 75

Moving on to tasting. Tons of burnt green pepper flavor bursts onto the scene accompanied by a big malty caramel sweetness. The poblano flavor sticks around while the spicing starts to come through with earthy cumin notes. The finish is where the smoke aspect shows up and it lingers long after the beer is gone. The mouthfeel is heavy and slick of which I’m sure the low carbonation and peppers play a significant role.

Tupps Northbound 75
BREWERY: Tupps Brewery
LOCATION: Mckinney, Texas
STYLE: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.5 percent
IBU: 45
PRICE: $1.46
RELEASE DATE: Aug. 6, 2015
AVAILABLE IN: 12-ounce cans
BEERS POURED: One
Overall, Tupps Northbound 75 nails the poblano flavors but misses the mark for a pale ale. The pepper and smoke dominates leaving hops and malt in the dust. A little more balance and finesse would make this an easy drinker but, as is, getting to the bottom of a full glass was challenging.
72Overall Score
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