Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Wheat Ale

Upland Brewing Company
Bloomington, IN

Style: Wheat
ABV: 4.5%

Jill’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Pair With:
This beer advertises that it took first place at the Great American Beer Fest in the herb and spice category. In 2002. So even though it’s been a few years, I had to hope it was still a top notch beer.

Um, no, it wasn’t. Here’s the thing: If you’re looking for herbs and spices, you will find them in at least a couple of places: Kentucky Fried Chicken and this beer. What else does KFC have in common with this ale? Neither of them have beer.

Now, before you go all, “Well, you’re still giving it three mugs!” on me (that means you, Eddie Glick), here’s what happened when I drank this: I got a nice pour, and the beer was golden and sunny and clear. The nose is fantastic with a beautiful herb and spice smell, and based on the smell, I was really looking forward to the taste. The spices really hit your tongue and spread out in your mouth—it’s lovely. The spices are full of flavor and give the beer a lot of character. You might say that the spices are its only character because there’s really no beer flavor behind it—the beer disappears down your throat, and you hardly know you had anything to drink. The spice flavor lingers a bit and keeps you wanting more, but as a total beer, it’s not much. It’s refreshing and would be a decent summer beer, but it’s not much for the true craft beer connoisseur. In fact, a friend of mine said, “This is almost like Bud Light with spice.”

I don’t know if it’s quite that bad, but it is a bit disappointing for a winning beer to be watery like that. They took this great, four-mug-worthy spice and knocked it down a bit. Don’t be afraid, Upland Brewing, give this beer a little meat to it, and you’ll have a total winner.

Reviewed by Jill Jaracz on January 28, 2008.
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