Wednesday, February 24, 2010

239. Upland Helios Pale Ale

Our first beer from Upland Brewing Company, located in Bloomington, IN. Helios pours a pale golden copper with a light white head that quickly dissipates to a ring. The nose is grainy, fruity, and grassy; in addition, we can’t quite determine whether there is a DMS component to the nose, or if it is a skunky lager-like aroma—the bottle is brown, so we’re not sure it is light struck, but something is going on here (we’re gonna go with just not good). Helios starts grainy and corny; the middle brings some bitterness, but not enough to override the graininess of the front. The finish is clean, but there is a re-emphasis on the corny DMS flavors. Helios has a light body, too light for the beer; the mouthfeel is thin and harsh, and the graininess gives it some sharpness that is exacerbated by the carbonation in the second third of the beer. This seems to not quite hit the pale ale category—while we’re guessing they’re going for the light, drinkable version of the pale ale, this one doesn’t quite cut it. While this wouldn’t be egregious if it was served on tap at a brewpub, there was no reason to bottle it and pass it along. We’re giving this one the Top 10 Worst contender nod.

From the Upland website: “This traditional American Pale Ale is a combination of the finest Midwestern malts and American Hops, creating a refreshingly crisp, citrusy, and slightly bitter taste. Named for the Greek sun god, Helios Pale Ale is a great choice for those who like a lot of personality and individuality in their beer. Helios was given its name to reflect Upland’s commitment to environmental sustainability, specifically the installation of ten solar water tube panels on the roof of the brewery, which have dramatically reduced the amount of natural gas used to heat water in the brewhouse.”

ABV: 4.9%
IBU: 21.7


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