Four Play | Upright Brewing Company

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Four PlayFour Play

Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
'Four' aged in La Bete Pinot Noir barrels with Oregon cherries.

Hops: hallertauer mittelfrüh
Malts: organic pale, wheat, organic munich
Unmalted: rolled wheat
Also: cherry puree
Yeasts and bacteria: French saison, brettanomyces clausennii, lactobacillus, delbrueckii

750ml bottles
First release - April 2010 [label shown]
Second release - March 2011

Added by DiabolikDUB on 08-17-2009

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 187
Photo of badboyrsl84
2.22/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a strawberry color in the glass with a fizzy white head that disappears to only a lacing around the beer itself.

Smell- very acidic, citrus acid and vinegar smell. I don't get much else. Possible hint of fruit.

Taste- very acidic and strong sour taste runs this bad boy to the ground. Cherry sourness and some wine barrel hints.

Overall- its not worth the hype in my eyes. I would pass on this.

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Photo of slaintemhor
3.15/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap in August of 2009 at Bailey's Taproom in Portland, Oregon. The colour was a very light amber with no head. The aroma was teeming with tangy citrus and notes of oak. On the palate there was a somewhat medicinal character which reminded me of phenols (like an Islay Scotch). Towards the back of my palate I picked up wine-like, tartaric flavours and then a quick finish.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.39/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Four Play started as a prototype for what would later become Upright's "Four". Along the way it was hijacked into pinot barrels, mixed with cherry puree, and spiked with Brettanomyces yeast and Lactobacillus bacteria. It sat for a full year until being bottled and served.

Four Play emerges with an alluring lacto- acidic fragrance that quickly whets the appetite. The simple amber body is undercarbonated causing me to think the bottle could use further cellaring. Its flavor holds more in common with table wine than with beer. Even the aroma emulates wine after its initial lacto- release. The taste is of simple wine-like acidity with a playful, understated sourness. The qualities of malt, hops, and even the cherry puree are subsumed to the character of the actual fermentation.

Ultimately, while the taste and aroma are fine, the lack of body is distracting and the intended complexity of the conditioning process never gels. It's not bad, but the expectation of excitement over this experimental ale passes unfulfilled.

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Photo of highTempo
3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one on tap at the brewery. No boobies for me.

The pour that I got left basically no head. What is there is very clear white and pearly. The appearance is striking for sure but I'm not necessarily crazy about it. It looks like rose champagne, or maybe even pink soda. The carbonation is also pretty high.

First impressions are that this is very crisp, thin bodied, and sparking. I'm getting almost no smell off of it. The flavor is just slightly sweet only at first, then turns very dry. It's fruity but with almost no finish at all. It just sort of evaporates. There is definitely strawberry in there but almost no malt or hops to me. I'm getting no real alcohol presence.

This is a novelty for sure. It's a bit hard for me to believe that it is a beer at all. It's certainly not bad but… well… I like beer, and I kind of want my beer to taste like beer, at least a little bit. I'll give this one big points for creativity and exploration but overall it's not my favorite from Upright. It does show that these folks are able to stretch the box a bit.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pour is grapefruit orange with thin to no white head. The nose is woody, strong fruity Brett, sour cherry, note of green apple. Taste follows suit, lots of sour cherry, oak and fruity Brett, light lacto. Body is very dry, light and a bit granular. Still very nice, very fruity and Brett, decent sourness, and nice oaky presence.

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Photo of almostjay
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm still not on board the sour bandwagon. These beers don't look or smell great, and to me, the sour flavor is tolerable, if not enjoyable. Four Play is a solid sour though, and perhaps you should modify my rating if you're a true sour lover. The tart cherry is present, but not overwhelming, and the sour bite is subdued, to me a sign of thoughtful blending. Certainly worthy of a taste if you are exploring the style.

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Photo of beertunes
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I admit it, I bought this beer because there was a full tit on the label. I've also really enjoyed Uprights other beers, so it wasn't that much of a gamble.

The beer poured a hazy reddish yellow, very still, no head, thus no retention or lacing.

The aroma was nicely yeasty and spicy, the cherry scent was barely noticeable. The flavor was nicely tart, spice and yeast dominate the tongue, with the cherry being subdued but noticeable in the background.

The body was nicely typical for the style, full without being heavy. Dinkability was also very good, a 750 went down easily.

Overall, a brew worth checking out. And that label's not bad either.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jason for sharing this one.

A - Orangish colored beer with a small off-white head that left some minor spots on the sidees. A little darker than I was expecting for Saison.

S - A decent amount of cherries, some wood, wine-like quality, and a touch of farmy yeast. It's an intersting blend, I don't usually think fruit for a saison, but so far I'm curious.

T - Wine from the barrels comes through and makes itself felt on the taste. Some oak, brett, sour cherries, and a bit of phenolic yeast blend together fairly well.

M - Lower carbonation, lighter-side of medium bodied.

O - Decent beer, not a traditional Saison, and maybe not a Saison at all. Easy enough to drink, and wouldn't say no to it if I had the opportunity to drink it again.

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Photo of Phelps
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared by ejyoung at a tasting, this was poured from a scandalously-labeled 750 into a snifter. Really, I’m shocked the label art got past the feds. According to the bottle, this is Upright’s regular saison, Four, thrown in wine barrels with cherries.

Cloudy ruby grapefruit in color, with a clumpy head like coagulated yeast. A scummy ring of bubbles remains the entire time and seriously weirds me out.

Tart nose. Lemon peel, green apples, white pepper, light peach, lavender and white grape. I do get light hints of oak, but not much cherry.

The flavor is even more sour than the aroma. Hints of sweet cherries, white grapes, untoasted oak and Lemon peel. Dryish finish. It’s a quality flavor, though not very saison-like at all.

Medium-light, watery body. Very lightly effervescent. Refreshingly tart.

Four Play is an interesting beer, if nothing else. The downsides: the brett has completely commandeered whatever saison qualities this thing once had, and I was extremely turned off by the appearance. The upsides: it tastes good, and the label art makes me randy.

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Photo of Overlord
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous BA who let me try this!

Pours a golden orange with a big white sudsy foamy head. Bit of pink to it.

Smells like pepper, lemon, and a bit of hay/grass ... but not nearly as much "farmhouse-iness" as I'm used to from the style.

Taste is really peppery lemon with some zest, and maybe a hint of the traditional saison farmhouse and slight funk notes. Interesting. Some fruit notes to it. Nicely carbonated. Surprised at how much flavor they packed with such a low ABV.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy copper orange with a thin ring of head. Pleasantly soft, funky nose, quite reminiscent of a lot of the lighter Lost Abbey sours. Soft brett, some strawberry jam, light oak. Flavor is a bit all over the place but still interesting -- seedy jam, for some reason I'm getting mostly strawberries, lightly tart, oak, brett blooms in the finish. Not as nuanced as I would like, and a bit flabby. But it's better than I expected and it might age pretty well..

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Photo of MasterSki
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wil for this sexy label, err, beer. Served in a Rodenbach tulip glass.

A - Pours with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thin ring. The body is a hazy peach-orange color.

S - Buttery oak, light vinous notes, pale malt, a little plastic, and some sour cherries.

T - Taste is a little less exciting. Some sour and tart cherry flavor, a little bit of vinous character, but not very intense. Some bretty sweetness as well.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, sticky clean finish.

D - This was a pretty solid American sour, that while a bit above-average didn't really stand out in an increasingly crowded field. I'd be curious to see if it gets more sour and/or funky over time. Probably miscast as a "Saison".

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's just get this out of the way immediately: this is the hottest bottle label ever. Thanks msubulldog25 for sending this my way! My third Upright beer.

Interesting look to this beer...kind of a pinkish/peachy hybrid color that wants to exhibit more redness but doesn't dare. Like it's blushing. Not a dark color, but opaque for sure. The head begins wispy, despite a strong pour, and thins to a crown with a quickness.

Strong cherry essence in the nose, lightly funky yeast (nearing Band-aid), some other fruits like grapefruit and raspberry flash by.

Good balance between the sour/tart elements of the pinor noir barrel aging, the tartness of the cherries, the sweetness of the cherries, and the pungency of the yeast. Pretty strong essence of green apple too. I like how vinous this is, delivering the cooling, refreshing traits of a good white wine. Pretty much a no-brainer as a gateway beer for fans of wine, especially whites.

Smooth feel, with just barely enough carbonation to give it some life. A bit sticky, the sour/tartness delivers a gripping pucker to the inside of the cheeks and rest of the mouth.

I like Four a lot, and Four Play is a sweeter, sourer, more playful version of that. Interesting that it has lots of parallels to Russian River's Supplication, although not as intense and inhumanly tart--and probably why I like this better.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pink-tinged amber-tan with floaties and no head.
Faint sweet-acid nose – not much here.
Candy sugar, a bit of white vinegar, some lemon rind, hints of stone fruit and a slightly cheesy finish. Barrel, if you think to look.
Crisp, fizzy, light.

2010 version

Understated, which can be another way of saying muted. Not getting the interplay of all those yeasts. Also might have aged too long; the cherries are all but gone. Accessible, for all that, and mellow, refreshing, and balanced.

But this doesn’t amaze as a beer, or validate the fuss over Upright.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap @ Upright Brewery poured into Pilsner glass.

Pours a pinkish-yellow-orange with a finger of fizzy white head that quickly dissolves into a thin layer atop the glass. The aroma is sour cherry and some touches of yeast. Flavor is sweet cherry upfront accompanied by fresh cirtus hoppiness, a touch of wood and a tart finish that ends up being very dry. Its light to medium bodied with a nice carbonation. Very tasty stuff and I may be pushing it but I believe this has been my favorite from the brewery.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. April 2010 release. Pretty good label.

3.5 A: Hazed vibrant medium orange color with a hint of brown. About one fingers of frothy white head with below average retention and just a touch of lacing.

4.0 S: Good amount of cherries first off. The pinot comes through fairly well lending a vinous character, but it isn't overpowering as in some beers aged in wine barrels. Rather, it works quite well with the beer. A mild amount of acetic acid with a moderate amount of tangy lactic acid fruitiness. Some oak and vanilla with a touch of tannic astringency. Dank cellar funkiness to cap things off. Pretty good and everything works together, but this could use a bit more strength.

4.0 T: The taste suffers from the same problem as the nose. This is a pretty good tasting brew, but the taste is a bit anemic. Cherries and grape work really well together, like a tasty fruit cocktail. Just a touch of acetic acid and a good bit of lactic acid that gives a fruity tangy twang. Oak and plenty of vanilla accompanies the moderate amounts of horseblanket and general barnyard funk. Near the finish, the tannic astringency kicks in, though it is mild.

3.5 M: The mouthfeel is pretty average all around. Lighter medium body. Moderate on the lower end amounts of carbonation. Not particularly creamy, but very smooth.

4.0 D: This is a pretty good brew and based on the older reviews, it appears that some age has benefitted this brew a lot. I can easily see this brew getting really good with 2+ years on it, though who knows.

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Photo of djbreezy
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - pours a cloudy orange/pink grapefruit color with no head, light carbonation, no lacing

smell - cherries on the nose, lightly tart, lightly sour

taste - cherries, barrel wood, sour, slightly tart, a bit subdued for the style

mouthfeel - very light, some carbonation, not much body

drinkability - light and refreshing, a bit light for the style, feels "watery"

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks metalgdog for bringing this to the tasting.
The beer pours a hazy pink-orange with no head. The nose is a touch sour with a bit of funk and fruit, but very little in the way of Pinot barrels. The taste is a semi-sweet with a bit of stone fruit and lingering tartness.This is a genuinely drinkable sour that's not overly sour with great fruit character, but is still lacking wine barrel characteristics I'd hope for. The beer drinks like a wine with great sour/tartness and carbonation, but it lacks the oakiness and dry, vinous characteristics I think a beer like Supplication does so well by comparison.

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Photo of vkv822
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip snifter.
2011 release.

Pours a beautiful grapefruit hued orange color with a thick bubbly white ring around the rim of the glass.

The nose is of pinot and cherries upfront. A pleasant aroma, though it stays fairly light overall.

Cherry is the most predominant note in the flavor. The pinot barrels comes through just enough to keep things interesting and from becoming too fruity.

Light and crisp mouthfeel.

While I wish that the flavors were a bit stronger at times, I feel that the lightness does help give this a crisp and refreshing taste. A very nice saison, especially on a sunny spring day!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured an orangish color with a nice white cap and some bubbles

S: Cherries, some cream with some old wood, horseblanket and a touch of lemon?

T: The cherries are an immediate with red wine which provides some light grape blended with some oak, Earth, funk and a stinkging lacto presence with a light hay and lemon squeeze

M: Well carbonated, medium body with a unique feel from wine like silky texture, lacto and the traditional dryness of a farmhouse. All uniquely blended

O: Good

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Photo of johnbjaeger
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 version.

Not sure how on earth this is a Saison, but I've got to say it's a damn fine sour.

Pours out of a bottle that has boobies on it. Boobies are good and all, but I wonder how much attention this bad boy gets with a picture of trees on it.

Beautiful color like the inside of a peach near its pit. Murky as all heck, but really pleasant to look at.

Smells like a Cantillon. Dusty, musty, sour and cherry. If I were tasting this blind, I'd guess lambic all day.

Tastes like one too. It tastes like a kriek. A really nice kriek. It's mature unlike a lot of American Wilds. It's tart is balanced nicely with cherry sweetness. I could drink this all day.

Mouthfeel is downright perfect.

I wish this beer were easier to get a hold of. It is a great beer that I can drink in volume. Stupid Portland getting all the good stuff...

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Goblet glass

Served at Fridge Temperature. 2011 Release

A- Pours a really nice light orange peach color with a thin 1 finger off white head that's got some big bubbles that don't stick around. Leaves a nice combo of splotchy lacing and clear legs but nothing to crazy only being %5.

S- Really sweet cherries up front with some nice funk and vinegar notes to follow it up. The saison spice's definitely come through in the background as well as a nice sour grape aroma.

T- Slight funky sourness and sweet cherries with some vinegar or lactic acid that goes down smooth leaving really nice vinous flavors in the finish. The oak and vanilla from the barrels are definitely present but very faint.

M- Medium to lighter body with a good amount of carbonation and a nice sour finish to top it off.


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Photo of ottovon
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

shared by ejyoung.

A: a hazy brownish-pink color with no head.

S: a nice lactic aroma with cherries. a little bit of oak, with hints of bread and yeast.

T: acidic and sour. I get cherries and some oak. Some vinous character as well. this is not overyly sour, but a nice acid bite.

M: thin body, and highly carbed.

O: a very good offering. would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


First batch poured into a snifter.

A: Pellucid orange with a subtle pink tinge and a small bubbly white head.

S: Nice cherry profile with wine notes and some oak. Lower moderate acetic acidity goes well with the expressive fruit. Moderately lactic and light vanilla notes. Light barnyard presence with earthy and musty characteristics. 

T: Moderate tartness with the same level of lactic sourness. Big sour cherry notes in the flavor with a firm acetic acidity. Evident tannins with notes of oak. Pretty vinous.

M: Lower medium in body with low carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky, smooth, dry, and lightly tannic.

Overall: Good stuff. I like this better now than when it was first released. 

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Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to Jason for this one. Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a peachy/pink color, white fizzy head, whisps on top, and a thin ring around things out. Love the color, very cool.

S - Lacto, sour/tart fruity notes, oak.

T - Sour/tart, slight funk, big fruit character, oak, lacto, short tart finish.

M - Light body, fizzy carbonation, crips, dry finish.

O - Really enjoyable. The only thing I could find with this beer I didn't like is the short finish. Very solid sour and would def have again if someone offered it up.

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Four Play from Upright Brewing Company
4.18 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
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