When Upslope Brewing Company first started making their beer in 2008 they were just an afterthought in the already crowded Boulder craft beer market. There was not much they were offering that made them stand out. Sure they were only canning their beers, but Oskar Blues had the distinction of being the first canned craft beer. Instead of fancy names and labels for each of their offerings they went minimalist, just the beer style on a clean can devoid of pictures and mythical beings. If you wanted an IPA that was what you asked for. There was not much to grab your attention, until you sipped what they were making. Inside each can was a well-rounded flavorful beer.
Making the trek to their brewery and tasting room tucked into an industrial neighborhood in North Boulder, you had to make sure you were in the right place. From the outside it was hard to tell that there was a brewery here. Once you came inside, the funky intimate feel of the place made you wonder what they were smoking out back. But, the beer was damn good. It was a hidden gem enjoyed by those in the know.
When they announced a few years ago they were opening an expanded brewing facility in East Boulder in another industrial zone many people were excited, but also nervous. Would it live up to the original? Sometimes bigger is not always better.
Well worry not, their Flatiron Park location is one of the best breweries in Boulder. With a large taproom able to fit a few hundred drinkers, and a comfortable outdoor deck, they have managed to retain the feeling of their old facility while offering some of the best brews on tap in town. With a selection of over twenty-five different beers on tap offering styles running the gamut from their workhouse Craft Lager, to a big beefy Belgian Style Quadrupel, you are able to spend an afternoon exploring a spectrum of suds. Their brewers are given free reign to experiment with different batches of beer and at least half of the taps are always pouring beers only available on site. During my last visit I tasted their Whisky Barrel Aged Scotch Ale collaboration with Lyons-based distiller Spirit Hound. It was a full flavored beast that was a smooth as it was potent.
The large garage doors behind the taps allow you to see the brewers busily at work making their next batches of beer. If you want a closer look, the staff will willingly take you back for a tour of the place. The vibe of the facility is relaxed and the staff is friendly. On any given night there are sure to be a few dogs hanging around the tasting room with their owners, a large crowd of people fresh off work, or recently descended from playing in the mountains and a food truck outside offering tasty grub. It’s a place to head to unwind, and it’s good to see nothing has changed over the last eight years.
Locations: Flatiron Park: 1898 S.Flatiron Court, Boulder 80301 and Lee Hill: 1501 Lee Hill Road N20, Boulder 80304.