Flagship IPA
Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market

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IPA - American
Ranked #5,206
Ranked #30,500
3.78 | pDev: 15.08%
Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market
Nebraska, United States
Very Good
Notes: Our Flagship India Pale Ale is bigger and bolder than ever. This full-bodied, copper-colored ale is exceptionally refreshing with huge hop character and a malt base that gives it great complexity. A great beer for hopheads.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 72 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Sampled during a visit to the Upstream Brewing Company, Omaha on 23rd September 2003. Served on draft, in a pint Glass.

Appearance: A glowing golden-orange color with coppery-red tints. Off-white head, collar like head. Business like impression when placed on the table. I expected to it to be lighter for some reason, maybe the darker surroundings aided its dark than expected looks.

Nose: Hoppy bitterness leads the entrance of the beer into an acidic middle with a pine needle & floral ending. Crisp bitterness at all times. Had a very dry-bitter odor.

Taste: A crisp hoppy bitterness, builds in strength and increases in bitterness as it reaches the middle, whence it alters to a more citric acidic hop flavor – with hints of lemon. Towards the end these fade and make way for some pine oils. Floral aspects with whole hop leaf bitterness, which fades quickly. A bitter but tasty IPA that drinks well.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy feel in the beginning, the carbonation was partially responsible for this I believe. The hop oils, whilst not overwhelming, add a slick oil feel on the tongue in the astringent finish. Short lived but above average.

Drinkability: The third of the night that arrived with my Jambalaya – it mixed well with the spicy food, as IPA’s so often do. Pleasant drinker, although I could only drink say two or three before the harshness of the beer would slow down my appetite for another.

Overall: Another beer that I really enjoyed from the Upstream portfolio. Not exactly outstanding, but above average. The 55 IBU’s don’t come through as much as I wish they would, and if it had a smoother mouthfeel, this would be a very good beer. Enjoyable nevertheless.

Sep 25, 2003
More User Reviews:
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bditty187 from Nebraska

3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Translucent coppery-gold hue, bubbly white head, good retention, rings of lace. Pleasantly hoppy nose, mainly citrus with a hint of pine… simple yet inviting, it does weaken greatly, rapidly. Mouthwatering hoppy palate, bitter enough… citrus, raw floral hops, pine. Dry, somewhat leafy. The aftertaste is mainly floral. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, it could use more malt in the foundation… this would also add complexity to the palate. Low carbonation. This IPA is yet another solid offering from Upstream. Try one.

55 IBUs

May 25, 2003
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daledeee from Iowa

4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A fine restuarant in Omaha makes this beer.

This beer comes in pint glass with a nice foamy head and bright dark gold with a tinge of orange.

The boquet is absolutely floral with some hops and pine.

Taste is very fresh and hoppy with malt balance. Citrus and pine are included.

Very nice mouthfeel and drinkability. The key was the freshness. Absolutely recommended drink.

Jun 03, 2008
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far333 from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've never given scores like this, but it is how I viewed this beer - above average in all respects, but not extraordinary. Gold honey colored with no head at all (I think the barmaid poured it that way). Nose is pretty light, floral hops and pine. The menu said it was 55 IBU's, so I was expecting at least some hop presence, but it was very very light. Crisp and fresh flavor, with lots of pine and citrus, and then more pine. A little too much pine. Moderate carbonation, slick mouthfeel. Needs a little more character.

Aug 25, 2003
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elmocoso from Nebraska

3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the better beers at the brewpub, IMO.

It was a light copper, verging on deep gold with a nice, but slight, head on it. What was there left a decent lacing along the glass.

This one was very high on hops and low on malt, i thought. It is an IPA, but the maltyness just wasnt porportionate for me.

But hey, like the saying goes: An average IPA is better than a great can of bud. The citrus in the nose and tongue, and the altogether high acohol and hops made for a pretty decent beer.

Oct 19, 2003
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Ahhdball from Ohio

4.67/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly darker offering than the ESB with a nice ½ inch beige head. Great auburn color and lucidity, very nice lacing.
The beverage was barely handed to me and I could smell the smart usage of hops. Strong with a mellow floral tone, this was going to be a fantastic drink.
The first drink slams a ton of hops on the palette leaving no prisoners, excellent usage of the bitter plant. Bold at the start and finishes smooth with burnt nuts and sweet caramel. I was having salmon at the time and this was pairing great!
Mouthfeel was smooth and velvety, disappearing quickly in time for another drink. It was almost as if it wasn’t there, completely gone.
This was a fantastic IPA, one of the best I’ve had so far. I can’t wait to have it the next time I’m in Omaha.

May 23, 2004
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Boto from Connecticut

3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a slightly dark golden color. Just a bit hazy. There was a good amount of an off-white head. The aroma is mostly of hops, mainly being of pine. Decent malty body and fairly well balanced taste with the hops. A strong dose of piney hops in the aftertaste. The pine is a bit too strong and detracts from the beer.

Sep 16, 2003
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was served as "cask conditioned", but I'm not sure if they truly conditioned this beer in a cask. That said, it was a decent American IPA with a strong raw hop pellet aroma. The malt was subtle to the nose and a bit sweet on the tongue. I felt there was a bit "home-brew" (meaning yeast) to the tasting. Long bitter aftertaste.

Nearly no head but it does leave some nice streaks. Cloudy and amber.

Sep 02, 2018
Photo of neonbrown82
neonbrown82 from Nebraska

4.46/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is said to be retired, though it was available on cask on my visit to the brewpub earlier this weekend. I can't possibly express my love for a good cask ale in words, but I'll try. This is a massive improvement over their original IPA, and their DIPA too for that matter.

The beer was poured from a beer engine into a standard pint glass at the perfect serving temp. Has a nice thick creamy foam that took a while to settle. I would have thought this was a nitro pour if I didn't know any better. The beer was a very cloudy, light golden amber color. The head is the most delicious part of the beer. Every time I tip the glass, I have a thick and tasty foamy mustache. Leaves magnificent sheets of lacing on the glass.

The aroma was nice and hoppy with a great balance of malts. Smells like every IPA should at the very least. Quite remnicient of their Firehouse ESB, but a bit more mellowed out from the cask, and with a little more hops than malts.

The taste was quite good. One of the best blends of hops and malts I've had. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Nice and earthy maltiness with caramel and piney, fruity hops. Huge creamy mouthfeel with a light bitterness. I would love to sit around and drain a cask of this, but unfortunately my parent's place is about 40 minutes from Omaha, and I have to limit myself on each visit or have a DD.

Sep 19, 2005
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hylton44 from Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If the score is slightly low, it's because of the exceedingly high standard I set for one of my favorite styles of beer; especially on tap and especially after having gotten out of a truck after driving 400 miles.

Color was a little more coppery/orangey than I expect with an IPA. Rather think head-rapidly disappearing. I definitely noted the pine that is mentioned in a few other reviews here. Tasted lemony & citrusy with requisite hoppy-bite, though not among the most bitter of IPAs. Also, while refreshing, it seemed slightly oily in the mouth.

Overall, a fine beer. But I was expecting a little more definite character.

Aug 29, 2006
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Oxymoron from Colorado

3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on location at their downtown facility. The IPA poured a light amber color with a clear base. A good amount of head and some lacing but decreases over time. Did last for some time, but not throughout the whole drink. A good hop smell with some earthy tones mixed with some citrus influences. A good overall aroma that doesn’t punch you out but still is noticeable.

The taste is a good citrus hop bite to it. More grassy then grapefruit. More of an American feel to it as well. A slightly stronger floral taste then say bitter, although it is very light and the hops are blended well. A good malt backing too. I didn’t really noted it as much, put other people in my party thought it was a little bit oily on the backend of the taste.

Overall it was a good tasting IPA. Some grass and oily but not really phenol. Worth another taste if you ask me.

Sep 22, 2005
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On cask. Poured a slightly hazy, golden orange color with a large fluffy head of foam. It smelled of citrus and toasted caramel. Sweet caramel and light toffee flavors with a citrusy bite.

Mar 28, 2018
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Tone from Missouri

3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, floral hops, sweet malt, slight citrus hops, ad hint of yeast. Fits the style of a IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an low carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, floral hops, sweet malt, and slight yeast. Overall, not too complex, but still a good cask IPA.

Nov 07, 2010
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LXIXME from New Mexico

3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Oct 02, 2017
Photo of Brenden
Brenden from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Bright orange-gold color with a slightly tinted head that shows strong retention at almost a finger's height and good lacing
S: Floral with a bit of citrus and malts on the sweeter side adding some caramel notes for balance. Piney bitterness kicks in and it dries out toward the end.
T: A solid blend of hop varieties at a decent bittering level, though the hoppiness does get steely and taper off into the finish. Malts don't add quite the same sweetness as they do in the nose. It starts off strong, though, citrus oils giving way to pine before dropping off.
M: The medium body is smooth with just enough bite, though it could be a little more crisp. It wants to go dry, does go slightly acerbic, but some sort of yeasty oddness keeps it from feeling especially clean.

Aug 11, 2017
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MinorThreat from Nebraska

4/5  rDev +5.8%

Apr 11, 2014
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jimmygord from Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 13, 2016
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jakecattleco from California

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Nov 11, 2013
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DangerDawg from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Aug 14, 2015
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ghebel from Iowa

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a growler that was filled about 4 hours ago. Pours with a plentiful head that leaves laces on the way down. Color is an orangish amber, slightly cloudy.

S - Earthy, citrusy hops with background sweet malt and alcohol.

T - Nice bitterness and hoppy flavor. Sweet malt. Finishes with an alcohol bite.

M - Moderate body. Bitterness lingers in the back of the mouth. Warm bite.

D - Highly drinkable.

Feb 20, 2009
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MarshallMan from Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

May 01, 2012
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pigc from Nebraska

4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother Jeff for bringing over this fresh growler.

A - Pours a dark copper color with massive three finger head.

S - Heavy pine, slight citrus, little bit on ganja going on here.

T - Starts out with a slight maltiness then the heavy pine bitterness sets in. Finish is dry.

M - Medium with average carbonation.

O - Very bitter, yet malty IPA. This one could use a bit more complexity and more citrus but a solid IPA from Upstream.

Dec 11, 2011
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StoneTSR from Colorado

4.77/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured straight from the growler (after a one-day drive back home to Colorado) into a Ska pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a pretty and opaque burnt orange with an off-white, half-inch head. The head is locked in place, still sitting there as I type this, losing just 1/4 of itself in three minutes since I poured it. The lacing is outstanding as well, covering about 75% of the back side of the glass.

SMELL: Big, pretty flowers with a very pleasant piney aroma behind the flowers. This smells exactly how an IPA should. The smell is exceptional.

TASTE: This tastes like the smell, floral and piney with an outstanding hop flavor that is neither too bitter nor too sweet - Although it leans towards the sweet side. A slight bitterness lurks in the background and swells up towards the end of the sip providing a very nice set up for the next sip.

MOUTHFEEL: A little creamier than most IPA's, but given the flavor profile this is a nice fit. It should not be too sparkly. Despite the sweetness, the finish is dryer and wipes away any chance for this to get too cloying.

OVERALL: This is a really great IPA. A couple years ago I stopped in Omaha and had a sampler. The IPA was my favorite in the lineup, but I would have rated it a strong B+. This time, I was more impressed with th improvements made by Upstream and this is easily a A beer at this point. This is tough to say as a huge fan of Empyrean, but I think this is the best beer I've tried out of Nebraska.

Jan 04, 2012
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ScorpyX from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +19%

Dec 27, 2012
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eawolff99 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

May 16, 2013
Flagship IPA from Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 72 ratings