Upland Brewing Co. is located in good ol’ Midwest, USA, or more specifically, Bloomington, Ind. They are very much known for their fruited Lambic Series and hold lotteries each month to have the opportunity to purchase different allotments of whatever they are releasing. They began brewing them in 2006 to show their appreciation of the traditional lambic-inspired beers and Upland is quick to note that this is its Indiana version of this popular Belgium style.
They are fermented with wild yeast and then aged in oak casks for over one year to help give the “bugs” the time to really do their work and sour the beer. They then add fruit to the base beer and age it until all of the flavor is taken from the fruit1 and then finally the beers are bottle conditioned.
Upland’s Raspberry Lambic was the beer drank and it poured a very deep red, it actually reminded me a bit of cherry Kool-Aid when I was a kid. It was a very thick looking red, almost juice-like and the carbonation disappeared at such a rapid rate that contributed to the look of juice as well. A quick not eon the carbonation, it was one of the most interested carbs on a beer I have ever seen, it went from one, to two fingers of head to nothing in about three seconds, it faded quickly and sounded like a bowl of Rice Krispies.
The beer had a very lambic quality to it, the whole thing smelled overall musty, with some wet blanket in there as well. It was like opening up the door to an attic that had a roof leak, if that makes sense at all. There was a berry presence as well, but I’m not sure if you could have pegged raspberry specifically. It has a very astringent sour aroma as well, slight vinegar even, and rounds out with some oak and wine tannin in there as well.
This is hands down the most sour beer I have ever had, I can feel my jowls quivering as I recall drinking it. Besides the obvious tartness of the beer it is very dry, almost like drinking a red wine that has soured, red wine vinegar if you will. As it warmed up I could taste a little more of the earthiness, the barrel and also the fruit. Again though, I don’t think outside of the label and color of the beer I could have pegged raspberries, there was just too much sour for the berry to be front and center in any way.