Brewery party!

Come join us for the release of our newest beer on Friday the 26th – an Oyster Stout! We’ll have one of only a few kegs on draft as well as bottles of this full-bodied and creamy stout available to take home. It was brewed in collaboration with fellow oyster lover Jason McAdam of upcoming Alchemy Brewing. We made the beer using over ten gallons of oyster juice fresh from the Oregon coast and eight dozen DeCourcy oysters from B.C. For the release raw oysters  will be available along with some free snacks as well between 4:30 and 9 pm which also marks the beginning of our new Friday tasting room hours. Hope to catch you there!


fermenting away!

We’re making beer! Upright Brewing Company is in full production mode right now and the photo attached to this post shows the very early stage of fermentation for batch number six as viewed from above our open top vessels. Brewer Gerritt Ill and myself began by filling thirteen used pinot noir oak barrels with two different long term projects before starting our year round brews. Look for Upright’s first farmhouse style ale to be available in most beer-centric establishments within a couple weeks and catch us at this year’s North American Organic Brewers Festival the last weekend of June where we will be pouring a hop-less spelt beer made with several different herbs and spices. We should also have our weekend tasting room open by that time as well and are looking forward to meeting more of Portland’s beer lovers in person.


upright update

Many of you know that Portland is the beer center of the entire world, a bold statement that strengthens every day. People here love craft beer and are showing tremendous support and enthusiasm for what we wish to accomplish here in the basement of the leftbank.

The brewery is currently under construction and coming together beautifully with an expected completion date in late January, at which point we will begin producing special batches of a barrel-aged sour cherry beer, a barrel-aged old ale and a redwood smoked lager in addition to our four farmhouse inspired year-round offerings.

Upright will have a small tasting room with other local beers on tap until our first batches are ready, so we hope that you’ll stop by once we start brewing to say hi and check out our open fermenters in action.

quercus sessiliflora

While people often overly romanticize the work of a brewer, there is one aspect of it that is full of excitement, mystery, and sometimes breathtaking results. We’re talking about long-term maturation in oak barrels, but before we get to the beer, let’s begin with the wood.

Oak is incredible. Very strong and capable of directly contributing a truly distinct character in a beer, it’s properties vary from species to species, forest to forest, and even tree to tree. The typical barrel is made of wood harvested from 100 year old oaks which is then seasoned one to three years. During their construction the interiors of most barrels are toasted to some degree to provide different flavor profiles. The porous nature of the wood allows small amounts of oxygen to contact the beer and promotes slow and extended fermentations that cannot be rushed. Barrels used for sour beers are often dosed with several strains of bacteria and yeasts which ultimately take residence within the wood permanently, varying in their proportions and viability and making each barrel unique. If a barrel was previously used for another beer, or a specific wine or distilled beverage, it will retain some of that character which also differentiates them greatly and provides interesting blending opportunities. In this modern world bent on absolute consistency in production, the ageing of beer in barrels presents a chance for the brewer to cross his fingers, exercise his patience and embrace the complex and sometimes unpredictable maturation that takes place.

Upright Brewing Company recently acquired over twenty used wine barrels from the very friendly folks at La Bete winery in McMinnville. Some of them have been dry for a while and have irreparable leaks, but we have been able to restore at least sixteen so far back to working condition. Most are crafted from French oak and held pinot noir for years, saturating them with concentrated fruit aromas. We plan to use these barrels for our inaugural batch of beer later this year, a light, dry and refreshing farmhouse-style wheat beer that will spend most of the winter and spring on the oak with a healthy dose of cherries, the first of many fruit beers to follow.

Upright Brewing

Upright Brewing specializes in farmhouse inspired beers rooted in France and Belgium but made with local ingredients and a Pacific Northwest twist. The name is a reference to Charles Mingus and his primary instrument. Mingus was a musician whose compositions defy categorization. At Upright we use a special saison yeast and open fermenters to produce beers that are a true hybrid style, sharing Mingus’ spirit of exercising creativity and craft.

The tasting room is open every Friday from 4:30 – 9pm and Saturday/Sunday from 1 – 6pm.