Four Play | Upright Brewing Company

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Four PlayFour Play

Brewed by:
Upright Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

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 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 glid02
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant – much obliged!

Pours a hazy brownish-copper color with a slightly off-white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of medium malts with large amounts of tart cherries and hints of lactic sourness. Also present are hints of light oak, tannins, and funk. A very complex nose.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as impressive. Mildly dry medium malts up front are joined quickly by tart cherry and berry flavors. Midway through smooth oak and funk come into play before they are smoothed by hints of lactose that carry through to a crisp ending. Mouthfeel is good, with active carbonation.

Overall I was a big fan of this beer; there’s a lot going on but the different components manage to retain their integrity. Very much worth a shot.

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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 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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Photo of RSchaeffer
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #10
2011 Release - 750mL

A - Pours ruby grapefruit in color, bubbly white head that disappears in a rush, leaving a faint ring around the glass. Virtually no lacing.

S - I love the nose on this. Upon popping the cap, I was hit with strong pinot aroma, then tart, sour cherries. Subtle hints of oak, vanilla, and funk.

T - Tart, sour cherries, hints of oak and vanilla that follow the nose. The pinot flavors blend nicely, adding to the complexity.

M - Clean, crisp finish. Light/Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation. Very refreshing.

O - I want more of this. I know there is high demand because of the label and name, which is clever, however there is a fantastic beer lurking in those bottles.

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Photo of illidurit
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at the May Santa Cruz tasting. Pours hazy dark pinkish orange with a small white filmy head. Aromas of black cherries, candied lemon peel, and a touch of chlorine. Flavor is very kriek-ish but without the punishing sourness. Not to say it isn't sour, because it is. Tart cherries and unripe citrus dominate, with wine-barrel tannins really sticking the acid to the tongue. A very nice beer despite a silly label.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 version, served in a 750ml bottle. Poured into a Liefmans chalice. Body is a pretty light orange color, with a touch of light, creamy head that dissipates rather quickly. Tangy aroma of sour fruit, tart cherries, and a good deal of sourness from the lactic acid.
Palate is tart and tangy up front, with a nice hit of sour cherry before the swallow. Lactic sourness pervades throughout, with a mild, slightly biscuity sweetness that lingers on the finish.
Body is nice and effervescent, but not overly carbonated or bubbly, a great vehicle for the complex flavors involved here. While the fruit isn't quite as prevalent as it was when it was first released, this is still a very pleasant brew. A nice change of pace, and a great exhibition of the versatility of the Upright crew.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Current score based on most recent batch.

Thanks to black13 for muling a few of these for me while I was away in Hawaii. After my dissapointment with the 2010 batch I wanted to try this years batch to see if I could appreciate it more. 750ml bottle for $12 split into a pair of Duvel glasses and shared with TulipSnifter.

A: Drinking outside with lots of sunshine, this presents papaya pink orange with a lightly hued rose head that only builds up to a finger and a half and quickly recedes to a full cap. Minimal spotty lacing. 4.5/5

S: Lovely tart notes. The cherries show up well in this batch. Specifically sweet pie cherries. Pie spice (nutmeg) and vanilla integrate nicely as well. 4/5

T: Yep, there's the tartness. It's actually a little sweet as well. Notes of the stone fruit and a little cheese rind funk keep this interesting enough with no off flavors to get in the way of its thirst quenching ability. 4/5

M: Lightly viscous for such a low ABV beer. Carbonation is on the low side but I rarely dock points for low carbonation. Clean enough finish. 4/5

O: Much better then last years. I can't help but wonder if the bottle I opened last year was just a bad bottle. Very enjoyable this go around and a beer I would recommend. Upright solidifies itself in my mind as the best maker of wildly fermented beers in Portland. 4.5/5

2010 score - 2/5

I had my wife pick up a couple bottles of the st the anniversary party back in March. The bottle is a 750 mL bottle with a standard cap and a depiction of a topless woman reclining on the label. These cost $12 at the release and were only available at the brewery.

I split the bottle between two shaker glasses to share with my wife. Being familiar with Upright beers I was careful pouring the beer because of their typical huge heads. Halfway through the pour I realized this was under carbonated and poured very vigorously. NO head formed. This is totally uncarbonated. The tropical juicy juice colored body had loads of sediment throughout and no lacing appears. This looks terrible. 1/5

The smell is probably the best part but still average. A sour cherry aroma lingers in the background behind be some lemony-wheat primary characteristics. 3/5

Taste is sour lemon and little else. Some bitter hops are evident at the back of my throat as an after-taste. 2/5

Mouthfeel is thin with no carbonation. There's not much else to say about it other than its unpleasant. 1.5/5

Drinkability is bad. I don't want another one of these. Another bottle is stashed away in my house and at the moment I can't figure out what to do with it. I seem to be the biggest dissenting opinion about this so far so maybe I can wok out a trade with someone who likes it more. Love the brewery, hate this beer. Not recommended.1.5/5

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a heavy pour into my Duvel Tulip. I don't have a full bottle since I dropped this and a Speedway and had to salvage what was left. Hardly lost any of this bad boy.

Appearance - pours a pinkish orange, almost the color of the inside of a grapefruit. Very little head, some large white bubbles form around the edges.

Smell - Sour cherries, apple, pears.

Taste - Wow, cherries, apple, citrus, pear, peach.

Drinkability - ok, it is a sour, but it is very easy to drink.

Overall - I am upset that I may have lost some carbonation with the drop, but I am very happy with this guy. Ignore the label, it is a good beer.

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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 joshuaseresse
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle compliments of black13, thanks a ton Michael! 2011 bottling. Couldn't wait to share it with my tasting group so I decided to pop this one open with my girlfriend and roomate. Split three ways into tulips:

A - This is probably the most beautiful colored beer I've ever seen! A nice lushious peach, amber color, slightly pink. Pour produces a light eggshell white head about a half inch thick that dies into decent foam ring around the edges. Murky clouds in the middle with signs of carbonation. Really no lacing retention.

S - Smells of funk, oak, wine and sour cherries. Additionally, and to a much less extent, strawberries and raspberries, tart cranberries, light vanilla and a little bit of barnyard. Smells decently like wine.

T - Light citrus notes of lemon vest, lime, pineapple and grapefruit. Cherries abound, oak is prevelent, peach notes, a nice tart funk and various berries. The wine flavors are there but are kind of taken over by the funk.

M - Tart puckering effect, pretty good carbonation. The tartness tingles my tounge and make my back jaw clentch a bit. A little bit of sweetness from the citrus notes.

O - This is the first brew from Upright that I've had and I just love it. Everything ranks incredibly high for me and I just totally dig this beer. I'd be curious to see how it ages, but this tastes excellent right now. Thanks again Michael for sending this my way, I really appreciate it! Good stuff.

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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 sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Huge thank you to hopsbreath for the surprise extra! March 2011 batch.

(A)- Pours a hazy blush color; not quite orange and not quite pink. Produced a nice cap of white foam with decent retention. Minimal lace.

(S)- A nice dryness. Mildly earthy with some definite Brett characteristics in front of some subtle acidic cherry notes. The oak is also very subtle, but lends a nice finish to the aroma.

(T)- Right off the bat, a nice sour acidity in front of a combo of subtle Brett, an oaky earthy quality, and tart cherry/peach/strawberry fruits.

(M)- Crisp, light and refreshing. I like the balance of funky Brett, dry oak, and sour fruits in this.

(D)- This is a very unique saison; more fitting of a wild classification, but no matter. A really nice easy drinking sour beer for summertime; I can see this being a big hit at picnics. Solid stuff right here.

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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 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 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 tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite label ever. I like boobies.

A: Pours a golden hue with a small white head.

S: Light apple, yeast, and sour cherries

T: Yeasty fruity goodness. Subtle tart cherry, mild sweet apple with a hint of granny smith.

M: Medium in body smooth, with nice snappy carbonation.

D: Good, did I mention I absolutely love the label.

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Photo of chumba526
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer appears a full-bodied golden color with a small white head.

It smells acidic, cherry like, I get a bit of a apple smell, a dry mountain ash berry smell and a tad bit of a sweet smell as well. It almost smells as good as the bottle looks, almost.

It tastes initially very sour and acidic. The sourness becomes tamer as the taste goes on to a slightly tart cherry flavor and a nice dry wine taste. There are slight hints of oak in the beer. There is a nice wild yeasty flavor that adds some leathery flavor to the finish of the beer. There are a lot of flavors going on in this beer but it works extremely well.

The carbonation is very low, but it works well with the flavors the beer have, as the beer is very wine like in flavor.

The drinkability is really good for a sour beer. As the sourness is not overwhelming like other sour ales.

Overall an amazing beer with amazing artwork. This has many more different flavors going on then many other sour ales I have had. In result it is not the most "sour", sour ale but all the multiple flavors of the beer work very nicely with each other. Overall I am impressed with this. I bought this a while ago and had one fresh and one now and age did this beer some good.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange body with a ring of white head.

S - Strong and bitter orange aroma.

T - Sour apple and cherry wine mixed together for a blissful flavor.

M - Mild coarseness with a very dry finish.

~ This is a fantastic beer and I would recommend it to all. If you can get your hands on it, I suggest you do so. When I first saw this bottle I had to get a closer look. It has the image of a beautiful topless woman. The bartender explained shes a business owner in Portland. I'm not sure of the entire story but it was an easy choice to get my feet wet with this brewery. I'm glad I did. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle, then my congratulations to you.

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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 emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wil for breaking out this random sexy bottle!
This label is going on the beer fridge ;)

Hazy amber, with white foam that almost had a pinkish tint to it. Flecks of lace around the edges, some foam with a vigorous pour, though it didn't last all that long.

Tart Lacto crispness and Brett funkiness in the nose, right off the bat it reminds me of batch 2 Uplands and LeBleu. Fruit is there, muddled and funkafied, but the suggestion of cherry is present, just hard to pin down.

Cherry is more present in the taste, blended with a general fruitiness, almost more like faint cherry yogurt than anything. Brett is there in spades, adding a backdrop layer of complexity. It's tart and juicy with a slight sweetness, mild cherry skin acidity that dries up somewhat in the finish. Overall, sort of typical of inoculated US sours. More oak and acidity from the wine-barrel would be an improvement.

Spritzy body, light and refreshing. It's hard to slow down and take many notes before it's gone. A whole bottle of this would disappear all too soon. Thanks again Wil for the opportunity to try this!

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