A Celebration More Than a Year in the Making

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Upslope belatedly celebrates 1,000th batch with high-octane beer release

By Steve Graham

It’s a good thing Alex Meyer and his fellow brewers at Upslope Brewing Company are patient.

They have waited more than a year to enjoy their latest creation, and to celebrate a major milestone. Upslope’s main Boulder production facility pumped out its 1,000th batch of beer more than 18 months ago.

Meyer is the lead brewer at Upslope’s original brewery site, which has become an experimentally focused 7-barrel “brewer’s playground.” He played with a high-octane brew to celebrate the 1,000-batch milestone.

“We thought it was a good excuse to make something outrageous,” Meyer said. “We thought we would make a beer that was as high-alcohol as we could.”

They started with a “ludicrously sticky” barleywine-style wort and, during fermentation, added 10 types of sugar from all over the world, including honey, maple syrup, cane sugar and agave nectar.

“We put in just about every type of sugar we could think of,” Meyer said. The sugar was added little by little in small batches throughout fermentation.

“The biggest unknown was going to be how (the wort) would react to adding thousands of pounds of sugar,” Meyer said.

Upslope then aged the beer for 12 months in fresh bourbon barrels at the Lee Hill facility. Meyer said the process contributed notes of warm caramel, crème brulee, stone fruit and baking spices, and resulted in a 17.5 percent ABV “cordial” that is served and canned with no carbonation.

“Without the carbonation, we’re able to highlight the flavor and the mouth feel,” Meyer said. “It’s something special. It’s definitely worth coming out and trying.”

The brew is officially Lee Hill Series Volume 19, but is better known as Batch 1,000, which was released this week. The beer will be sold on tap and in cans. The first 50 customers also get a free souvenir glass designed to mark the occasion.

Cans will also be distributed to local liquor stores, but customers should act fast if they want to get some of the limited 15-barrel release.

“There’s not a lot to go around,” Meyer said. “I think it will not be around for very long.

He said the brew is a tasty way to mark the 1,000th batch of beer.

“It was a great milestone,” he said. “We’re just going to keep going toward batch 2,000.”