Upright Brewing Releases Highly Anticipated Hearts’ Beat and Shades


It’s been a while since Upright Brewing announced any big new bottle releases (not counting the annual release of Fantasia), so it’s exciting to see Hearts’ Beat and Shades bottle releases this coming Saturday, February 20th. A few people have tasted early samples and draft of these new cherry wild ales and know that they are stunning; they walk the line between Kriek and farmhouse ale and are both very different.

Upright Heart's Beat label

Hearts’ Beat was brewed first using Chelan cherries from Baird Family Orchards. Those are very dark and intense fruit, so the route on that beer was to showcase the fruit above all else. To achieve that, Upright brewers started with their usual process of using a very basic grist with aged hops for minimal bitterness, then ran the wort directly into eight casks that contained over 100 pounds of fruit in each. A blend of two different brettanomyces strains with some lactobacillus was added and the barrels sat for one year before blending and bottle conditioning which began in July of of 2016. The high tannin level lends the beer a distinct edge that holds up well against the acidity, and the amount of fruit makes the beer drink much like a cherry wine, a character that is enhanced at cellar temp over typical beer serving temperature. The Hearts’ Beat is not intended to mimic Belgian Kriek or any defined style, but rather to follow in the path of Fantasia as a beer combining elements of Belgian lambics, saisons, and our the brewers own whims. 

Grains: two-row, wheat, melanoidin, special roast
Hops: 2012 harvest Columbia, aged at room temp
Also: Chelan cherries
Brewed: June 14th 2014, bottles on July 1st 2015
Yield: 109 cases, 6 kegs, 7% ABV

Upright Brewing Shades label

Shades also uses cherries from Baird, although in this case we’re talking Rainiers, which don’t alter the color of the beer. This is deceiving, because it’s loaded with fruit flavor–employing over 100 pounds per cask–although this blend only comprised six barrels. Upright brewers used two different lots of cherries, one notably sweet and the other tart, and inoculated the casks with three different brettanomyces strains. The beer was aged and conditioned just like the Hearts’ Beat, but the brett was pushed further to produce a funkier aromatic profile with a bit more acidity. Both beers are named after a Charles Mingus composition from his album “The Black Saint and Sinner Lady.”

Grains: two-row, caramel

Hops: 2012 harvest Columbia, aged at room temp
Also: Rainier cherries
Brewed: July 4th 2014, bottled on July 2nd 2015
Yield: 99 cases, 2 kegs, 8% ABV

750ml bottles of Hearts’ Beat and Shades go on sale this Saturday, February 20th, at the Upright Brewing tasting room starting at 1pm. Extremely limited bottles are available for $20 each and a 3 bottle per person limit.

Upright Brewing, 240 N. Broadway, Suite 2, Portland, OR 97227 http://www.uprightbrewing.com/

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com