Review: Upheaval IPA, Widmer Brothers Brewing

Upheaval IPA
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. — Portland, OR

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  85 IBU
  • ABV:  7.0%
  • Malts:  2-Row Pale, Wheat, Caramel
  • Hops:  Alchemy, Simcoe, Chinook, Willamette, Brewer's Gold, Nelson Sauvin
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle (and glass provided by brewery)

Description:  Upheaval IPA is the result of our brewers’ relentless pursuit of the perfect IPA. With more than two pounds of hops per barrel, Upheaval IPA unleashes huge hop flavor and aroma with serious bitterness and a balanced finish. Brewed with wheat, the result is a hazy, bold IPA that’s Unfiltered. Unexpected. Unapologetic. Uncompromised. — Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  Upheaval IPA is Widmer's new year-round IPA. I first learned about Upheaval back in November after listening to the Craft Brew Alliance 3rd quarter earnings call. Based on management's comments, I hypothesized the end of the Rotator IPA Series. When Widmer formally announced the launch of Upheaval last month, they confirmed the end of Rotator. 

The tasting:  Golden in color, hazy, with a white head that dissipates slowly. Aroma is full of tropical fruit (mango and guava), in addition to grapefruit and a bit of pine. Taste starts with grapefruit. In the middle, a light biscuit malt flavor pokes through the hop bitterness. Overall bitterness is fairly high, but does not dominate. Upheaval IPAs just light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated and finishes with lingering grapefruit hop bitterness and a touch of alcohol.

4 star.  Really Good! I want this again!  I enjoyed Upheaval. It's a solid IPA, and I expect it will do well as Widmer's flagship IPA. The challenge is that craft beer drinkers are fickle. While this is a fine beer, I wonder how long it will live. The beauty of the Rotator Series was that it frequently offered sometime new. I imagine Rotator was a costly proposition for Widmer Brothers given the frequent changeovers and SKU management. However, it made a very appealing offering. Time will tell how long Upheaval lasts. I hope it's a long time...

What do you think of Widmer's Upheaval IPA?  Will you miss the Rotator Series?   

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  1. Miss Rotator? I still miss Broken Halo!

  2. I wasn't a fan of rotator, so I'll be looking forward to seeing Upheaval in the stores. I LOVE that glass, too!

  3. I miss Broken Halo also. Loved Deadlift (which I believe is now Nelson)......but now the stores are pulling Nelson off the shelf! (In our area at least) I'll give Upheaval a try....but if I like it, then they'll probably get rid of it watch out.


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