Cat fight! Against the Grain vs. Upland

Nov 1, 2017 at 10:33 am
Against the Grain

I normally ignore press releases, but sometimes you get a dandy, such as the one I received recently from Against the Grain Brewery regarding an IPA brew-off with Upland Brewing Co. of Bloomington, Indiana.

Actually, both breweries agreed to brew their version of a double IPA, both of which are called Overcompensation Double IPA, both depicting hipster cyclists on the cans. It’s Against the Grain’s 10-percent ABV beer versus Upland’s which, according to the press release, is “barely over 9.9.”

“It’s pretty clear who’s packing more hops, and who’s *cough* overcompensating,” the press release snorts.

But it doesn’t end there.

Against the Grain co-owner Sam Cruz insisted upon pouring bags of salt on the open wound.

“Literally everything we do is better than them,” Cruz, with the title of brewery “visionary” in the release, said. “Everyone knows that we’re better. I mean, even the Bloomington Herald knows.”

For its part, Upland appeared bent on playing nice: “This collaboration with our friends at AtG has been one hell of a ride,” said Pete Batule, VP of Brewery Operations at Upland. “Going toe-to-toe, making a better, bolder, IPA has pushed us to use an unconventional amount of hops. I recently got to try Against the Grain’s version. I wouldn’t call it a big IPA, but it’s a good size.”

Undeterred, the AtG release referred to its version of the double IPA as “superior liquid” versus Upland’s “mediocre imitation,” and urged buying a four-pack of the Against the Grain version. Both beers were released over Halloween weekend. And it won’t bother the Louisville brewery if you also grab a quartet of Upland’s Overcompensation IPA, “just to see who’s really trying too hard.”

“We just put hops into it,” said Cruz, nearly channeling the current president of the United States with his hubris. “Our hops are better. We just get them from better places. What else can I say? We’re just better.”

Meanwhile, once Upland got word of the trash-talk, it responded on social media: “If you’re tired of enjoying our superior version of Overcompensation over the past couple weeks, feel free to pick up AtG’s take on it this weekend. You’ll see who’s really overcompensating.”

My, my. They’re so cute at that age.

Bo & Luke

Speaking of Against the Grain, the brewery held its fifth anniversary Bo & Luke release on Oct. 22, drawing some 900 people to Copper & Kings American Brandy Distillery, where attendees grabbed four-packs of the sought-after smoked stout, gazed longingly at the General Lee from “Dukes of Hazzard” fame, listened to live music from several local bands, and enjoyed a mini beer festival featuring other local breweries.

A portion of the proceeds benefited the Squallis Puppeteers.

Traditionally, folks have come from the region and beyond, with a few even coming from halfway around the world to get a crack at the coveted liquid, which this year was available in its original form, along with three variants aged on white oak, sassafras wood and white ash, respectively. Per usual, there was a line, and this was the first time the event was not held at the Against the Grain taproom.

The Bo & Luke bottles sold out (as always), although I’m told there is still some on tap at the taproom. Don’t delay.

Happy hours at Mile Wide

Mile Wide Beer Co. recently announced that every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 4-6 p.m., will be happy hour. That’s $1 off pretty much everything with a tap handle attached, although there may be exceptions from time to time.

Comings, goings

Falls City Brewing Co. has hired Cameron Finnis, long-time brewer at Cumberland Brewery, to be the head brewer. Falls City recently switched from bottles to cans and is entering the homestretch of a buildout of a new brewery and taproom in the NuLu/Irish Hill area.

Meanwhile, Vince Cain has moved on from his share of Great Flood Brewing Co. to pursue other interests.