Hi, friends! How’s your week shaping up so far? I’m counting down until Friday, which is when James and I kick off a two-week vacation. I feel like we’ve been talking about it forever, so I can’t wait for it to finally be here! I’ve got lots to do before we hit the road and head west, but we found time to start our week out on a really fun note.
Upland Brewing and Oliver Winery hosted their first “Sours After Hours” event at the Bloomington brew pub Monday night. Upland President Doug Dayhoff and Oliver President Bill Oliver guided us through a tasting of sours and wines, talking about the process it takes to achieve the final product and their unique partnership.
Upland’s become a standout in the sour beer scene. Turns out it all started a little more than ten years ago when the brewery traded Oliver a few cases of beer for some oak barrels. The barrels were used to help brew Upland’s first sours and are still used in the process today. The sour program’s grown every year since its conception, as well as the partnership. In addition to using Oliver’s barrels in the process, Upland uses some of the winery’s grapes to make two of its sours: Vinosynth Red and Vinosynth White.
We got to taste both sours next to Oliver wines that are made using the same variety of grapes, Moscato and Catawba. Bill and Doug encouraged us to experiment by taking a bite of cheese, meat or fruit, then sipping the sours and wines. It was amazing to see how doing so brought out different flavors in each drink. I enjoyed everything we tasted, but Vinosynth Red is among my all-time favorite Upland beers. I can remember buying a bottle when we first moved to Bloomington and I didn’t know much about sours. We opened it during a late night with friends on our front porch and I was blown away by the unique, complex flavors. It’s one of my go-to special occasion drinks.
We had a blast learning more about the collaboration between Upland and Oliver throughout the evening. It was the first Sours After Hours, but they’re planning on offering the event on a somewhat regular basis. I can’t wait to learn something new next time!