September, so it’s harvest time and a lot of breweries tend to put out
“Harvest IPAs” this time of year – beers brewed with “wet” hops. In the
case of Upstate Fire Pit Pale Ale, it’s a wet-hopped pale ale rather
than an IPA, which is definitely unique and interesting. This beer opts
more for hop flavor than raw bitterness and the result is a flavorful
and highly drinkable spin on the usual pale ale.
I poured a 16oz can into a mug. Thanks to Mark at UBC for this can!
Appearance: Rusty copper/orange/brownish hue with an extremely hazy
body. Translucent and carbonation is visible within. Pours to an
average-sized, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces fairly
Smell: Light tropical and stone fruit aroma (kiwi and peach); also a bit
rustic and piney (as is usually the case with wet hops).
Taste: As much as I love hops and IPAs, I’ve honestly never been a big
fan of harvest ales because of the intense resiny character of the wet
hops. But this beer is different because it’s done as a pale ale so that
intensity is dialed down a bit. I do notice a dank, resiny, almost
tree-sap like flavor right away. There’s a fair amount of dry bitterness
as well, but it’s restrained. On the second half the malt begins to
emerge and creates for mild confectionery notes with just a hint of
toffee. Peach, kiwi, and melon flavors round out the palette and end it
with a light juicy flavor. What’s really interesting about this brew is
that the flavors are delivered in the opposite order I usually get them
in similar beers. Those who appreciate a good pale ale will enjoy this.
Drinkability: This beer would seem to be much bigger than it actually
is. At only 5.2% ABV, Upstate Fire Pit Pale Ale is remarkably big in
body with a mouthfeel to match. Well-carbonated to be sure with a crisp,
dry finish; yet thicker and fuller than most pale ales of its size. I
wouldn’t consider it refreshing, but it is quaffable. This would stand
up to an autumn dinner very well, though a standalone serving is