It's #FloridaBeerFriday, when we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft-beer movement of Florida.
Welcome back! This week, we're taking a look at Up Top! IPA from Jdub's Brewing Company, who hails from Sarasota.
Owner Jeremy Joerger (we see what he did there with those double J's) opened his brewery and tap room in early 2014 on the west coast, entering a huge beer market anchored by the tremendous beer community of the Tampa Bay area.
With a mantra of “Quality, Innovation and Culture”, Jdub's has accumulated a following and put top talent in their brewhouse, including Mike McCarthy, former Capitol City Brewing Co. brewer.
On to the beer review!
Up Top! IPA claims to be a "sessionable India Pale Ale that doesn't slap you in the face with bitterness." I find it interesting that nowadays 6.5% abv in a beer is considered sessionable. The times they are a changin'.
The beer pours from the can a brilliant golden orange with a frothy white head. It is slightly hazy and includes a plethora of unappetizing floaties. I don't see a canning date, so I don't know if it's old or just some quick temperature changes on the way to the store that pulled the yeast out of suspension. Anchor Brewing's Bob Brewer (a name that sort of writes your destiny for you I suppose) says that it's usually no big deal, just something to look out for that might be a sign of other problems. Luckily these are just cosmetic.
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Even from an arms length away, the nose reaches out from the glass and smacks around my sense of smell with big citrus hops. It's fully hop based too, with no specialty grain aromas rousing up.
The mouthfeel is quite present, with a nice density to it. The malt bill is produced by a base of English Maris Otter and roasted Victory. As I move into the flavor of the beer, there's a hit of hop bitterness but it's restrained. It's mostly pithy in bitterness, and ramps up towards the end of each sip, hitting an apex of peppery character. It's not very sweet, and holds a toasty malt profile that finishes slightly dry. For the home brewer and hop enthusiast, Up Top! uses Falconer' s Flight, a blend of several different hops (including Citra, Simcoe, Sorachi Ace).
Up Top! from Jdub's Brewing Company is available in South Florida in 12 ounce cans at more specialized beer stores.
Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers, and has been a homebrewer since 2010. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.