Upstream IPA
French Broad River Brewing

Upstream IPAUpstream IPA
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Style:
Rye Beer
Ranked #71
ABV:
5.9%
Score:
86
Ranked #23,371
Avg:
3.84 | pDev: 9.9%
Reviews:
136
Ratings:
250
From:
French Broad River Brewing
 
North Carolina, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  14
Gots
  10
SCORE
86
Very Good
Upstream IPAUpstream IPA
Notes: Formerly Rye Hopper
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 250 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by tpd975:
Photo of tpd975
tpd975 from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours copper with a small head. Light retention and no lace.

S: Nice bready tones, light rye, spice.

T: Bready with a nice malt sweetness. Mild rye, and hints of citrus. Hints of caramel, and a touch of apple.

M: Nice carbontion, with a good balance between malt, rye, and hops.

D: Pretty good.

Sep 04, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of radcliff
radcliff from New Hampshire

3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice hazy amber brown color. Two finger cream colored head. Streaking lacing that lasted

S- Grapefruit right up front on this. Nice sour rye notes. Caramel and Bready malts are more here than you would usually find in a Rye.

T- A mellow bready & brown sugar taste Bready malts in the middle. but rounded out by the spicy and distinctive rye flavor. bitter hop flavor to round out this beer. Light bitter yeasty flavor at finish

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation seems just right. I was using a big mug. Medium drying on the palate with this beer. Nice bitter flavor left on the palate and light rye and alcohol left at the end.

D- This was a very drinkable beer. Rye beers are getting to be one of my favorite styles.
This is slightly more meaty than most. . I personally liked this beer. It was a nice surprise to see on Ingles beer shelf

Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Durge
Durge from Connecticut

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

From the widely lauded cellars of O'Hoove this brew has a dark copper color, pretty clear with a reasonable off-white head and excellent lacing. The aroma is almost a medicinal buttery rye, herbal hop with some malt balance. The flavor brings bright grassy rye with a herbal malt base. I get some raspberry fruit sweetness but it's subtle. Good drinkability with mid-bodied feel but tangy and crisp. A nice brew with a somewhat dry finish and unique character. A nice introduction to French Broad if you like the sharp edge of this hop brew.

Dec 30, 2009
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo from Georgia

4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottled June 21, 2010.

Pours clear copper/amber with a one finger white head that quickly fades to a small foamy island and ring, but does leave some nice lacing.

Rye bread is heavy on the nose with a good deal of citrus, earthy, grassy, floral hops, a little caramel and toffee, good strength.

Flavor features strong grapefruit hops, a little pine and earth, caramel, and a nice wave of rye bread in the middle with its inherent spiciness that meshes well with the bitterness from the hops on the finish. Very well balanced and quite robust and flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, a bit oily.

Wow, this one exceeded expectations, right up there with the fantastic Red's Rye from Founders. The best French Broad brew I've had to date.

Oct 02, 2010
Photo of birchstick
birchstick from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - poured a dark yellow / faint orange with a MASSIVE, creamy head. I have never seen such a big head on a beer - with a conservative pour, I had about 5% beer, 95% head.

S - loads of grapefruit/citrus hops and some rye malts with a touch of grass

T - the nose didn't translate to the tongue as much as I would have liked. It starts off with a big malt basis of rye and some sweet caramel. On the finish, I got a lot of bitter, grassy and citrus hops. This is a nicely balanced beer.

M - medium to thin body with some nice carbonation.

D - this is a solid rye beer. It had a nice balance between not only between its malt and hops, but between the profiles withing the malts and hops - sweet and rye malts, citrus and grassy hops. I really enjoyed this one - I wish I would have bought more than one bomber of this.

Jul 11, 2010
Photo of pwoods
pwoods from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JCB for this extra.

22oz. brown bomber poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a deep coppery amber, somewhat opaque. About a finger worth smooth head forms and holds a bit of retention. Good lacing.

S: Lots of spicy rye. Some hops come through past the rye, maybe a bit piney. Some sweetness. Really, rye dominant.

T/M: Again, lots of rye. A pleasant light sweetness from some toffee comes out, tasty. A bit nutty as well. Hops are not too big at all... not enough to be called 'hopper', that's for sure. There is a touch of bitterness as well as a bit of pine and some grassy/pollen-y hops. Body is medium to medium full and smooth and creamy.

D: Label says 5.9% ABV, about what I would have guessed. Drinkable with plenty of flavor.

May 08, 2009
Photo of drummerben
drummerben from Georgia

3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.

Deep amber color with two finger white, frothy head. Was surprised by the creamy white head on such a deep amber-colored beer.

Smelled of rye and pine. Taste was less hop and more spice than expected. Heavy on the rye, but not the best rye beer I've had. Light hop notes, but predominantly rye with a nice malty balance. Good mouthfeel with medium body and nice lacing. Smooth finish with a bit of a kick.

As much as I like rye, I didn't love this one. Might pick up a bomber to compare, but won't seek this one out.

Aug 21, 2009
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME from New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Feb 15, 2013
Photo of dashirey
dashirey from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this bomber at the brewery on a recent trip to Asheville. We enjoy some local bluegrass while sampling some beers, but brought this one home to PA.

A - This beer poured darker than I expected - deep amber and even close to brown in some spots. A small off-white head with little retention, but a good amount of lacing present on the glass.

S - I really like the smell on this one. Some toastiness, rye, and hops - that's what I got from it. Not much more to go one about here.

T/M - Again really nice, nothing overwhelming, but just straight forward good. Some sweet notes with a good dose of rye followed closely by the hops - some citrus and some pine. The aftertaste hangs on after the beer is gone. There is a pretty big prickly sensation on the tongue from this one at first, but that mellows quickly and the carbonation is very well done.

D - Easy to drink and could have a few more. I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. Nothing spectacular, but just a good all-around beer that I would love to have on hand! I will definitely pick more up next time in NC!!

Jun 01, 2009
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4 from Tennessee

4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A new addition to the Nashville market here so I picked up a couple of bombers on my way through...

Pours an almost brown with a thick creamy head on it... Wow, this is an awesome looking brew actually. I'd swear this was a Marzen from the looks of it...

Spicy rye aromas mingle with a surprisingly citrusy hop presence here. I'm a little shocked at the hoppiness present here but pleasantly....

Biscuity malts up front followed swiftly by the hoppiness that soon takes over and mixes wonderfully with the spiciness of the rye... This is delicious... A little thin on the palate is my only complaint here..

This brew shocked the hell out of me... I loved it and will definitely be picking up more...

Sep 04, 2010
Photo of grover37
grover37 from District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Aug 24, 2013
Photo of glid02
glid02 from Georgia

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of grassy hops and robust caramel malts with a hint of spiciness from the rye.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors up front are soon joined by grassy and piney hop flavors. Near the end of the sip a good amount of spiciness kicks in before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could have a few of these.

Overall this is a good and hoppy rye beer (as the name would suggest) that does a good job of integrating the rye. It falls short of the best rye beers out there, but is still worth a shot.

Note: I tried this side by side with the bottle version and the tap version is thicker with a cleaner hop flavor. Definitely try on-tap if possible.

Apr 26, 2009
Photo of jera1350
jera1350 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New brewery to the state of MN I believe. New to my beer store, that's for sure.

Deep amber hue that is crystal clear. Soap sudsy head is about one finger high and light tan in color. Leaves some lace.

Dominant rye fills the nose. Their is a light hop smell, but the rye is so robust that it's hard to pick up.

The rye is definitely the star of this show. After the rye the nice bitter hops kick in. It's almost like tasting two beers.

Medium body, very smooth, maybe undercarbonated actually.

Great drinkability. Big on the rye malt, but a nice hop kick to please just about any beer drinker. This would make a nice session beer.

Jan 23, 2010
Photo of aubuc1
aubuc1 from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

draft poured in to a shaker pint glass.

pors a light amber with a steady off white head.

smell is sweet piney and bitter.

taste is smooth chalky bitter. not as clean as i hoped.

mouthfeel is good and beer is pretty drinkable.

an above average beer.

May 27, 2009
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a clear texture. There was an inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet smell of citrus, hops, and a tinge of rye.

T: Tasted of hops and lemon, with some malt and rye in the finish. A very sweet and vibrant flavor that seems to have more in common with an IPA than a rye beer.

M: A well carbonated beer with a slick, oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A pleasant, drinkable beer.

Nov 24, 2010
Photo of GJ40
GJ40 from North Carolina

3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Mellow Mushroom in Asheville.
A - An amber, caramel color with good clarity. It had almost no head and very little lacing.

S - Mostly toasted malt. I was expecting more hops but there wasn't much.

T - Starts malty and sweet but quickly goes to a nice hop flavor with grapefruit. Some rye flavor joins in but not a lot. Slightly tart and bitter in the finish.

M - A bit thin with a nice low carbonation.

D - Very smooth, balanced and drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer.

Feb 09, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rye Hopper Ale, growler courtesy of dkachur - thanks!

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark orange amber, one-finger of sticky, offwhite head with good - perhaps great - retention, replete with tons of fast, fine-bubbled effervescence. Very nice across the board - retention, clarity, and color. Great stickage on the lace too, falling like rings with every sip.

Aroma: Rye is huge in this one, spicy and bold, and comes accompanied by tons of other hop notes - orange zest, slight herbal notes, and a well-roasted array of backing malt notes (though the rye's definitely the real star here).

Taste: Rye is huge again, bigger than in most brews I've had. It's almost like "hey, so THIS is what rye tastes like!" Remainder of the malt bill is slightly toasty, with hints of toasted bread and faint cocoa. Overall, it's sort of dry, with hint of bitterness and perhaps a few other faint hop undertones.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and soft, though it does manage to still be slightly crisp given all the carbonation, all wrapped up in a medium body. Very light and airy.

Drinkability: A damn good beer, in my opinion, and one of the few rye beers I've truly enjoyed. I'd glad to have this one again, and would really like to try it on tap. Manages to strike all the right notes without going overboard, and the abv% seemed low enough to where a few of these wouldn't be a problem. Recommended.

Mar 13, 2009
Photo of nmann08
nmann08 from Virginia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

Dec 05, 2011
Photo of vbiliyar
vbiliyar from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Apr 13, 2012
Photo of philbe311
philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers worth of slightly off-white colored frothy head... Fairly impressive retention gives way to a full lather of lacing... The color is deep rich autumnal orange color with some reddish trying to burst through... Loaded with swirling small bubbled carbonation... Loads of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Pizza dough fresh out of the oven... Just a moderate touch of rye spiciness... A bit of hoppiness lurks beneath the surface... A bit of earthiness... Nice balance...

T - Bready malts to start... Some caramel... A pungent hop bitterness comes next... A bit of rye spicienss follows... Everything begins to fade and then the finish is a returning crescendo of hops and rye... Loaded with nuance and complexity... A job very well done...

M - A very nice mouthfeel... A dense medium bodied offering... Light, but biting carbonation... Fairly intense... Starts juicy... Finishes a bit on the dry side...

D - Definitely a very nice beer that walks the fine line between American Pale Ale and Rye Beer... Not the best in either category, but very nice offering none the less... More hops than rye, which as a rye beer lover is a bit of a let down... A great value at sub $5 per bomber...

Jun 24, 2011
Photo of babaracas
babaracas from Florida

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

Pours a clear darker amber with half inch creamy white head that slowly settles to a thin ring and leaves a few splotches of lace. Smell: spicy and slightly sour rye, a little citrus rind, bready. Taste: spicy rye, grapefruit, toasty with a little toffee sweetness. Medium bodied with soft, creamy carbonation. Nice easy drinking offering.

Mar 17, 2011
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with some nice soapy bubbles on the surface. The aroma is a nice mix of the rye, some floral hops, some lemon and some spiciness. Taste is mostly rye with a nice touch of floral hops. Bready with some light spiciness as well. The mouthfeel is pretty light and thin, almost a dry finish with the rye coming back in the finish pretty strong. I'm not a big fan of rye beers, but this one is very drinkable.

May 15, 2011
Photo of cvstrickland
cvstrickland from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 22-ounce bomber bottle with the presence of both rye and hops denoted on the label is an easy sell to someone like me who happens to love both! Decrowned and poured into my DFH shaped pint glass, Rye Hopper Ale is clear copper in color with a huge ivory cap of foam atop. The head is persistent and fine-bubbled, and as it slowly relaxes, copious lacing remains plastered onto the sides of the drinking vessel.

The smell is richly bready and grainy brown-sugar sweet with just a spritz of citrusy hops. The rye malt is front-and-center in the aroma profile; the effect of that placement is husky-scratchy, syrupy and mouth-wateringly savory. A more toasted effect gains purchase as the drink warms.

The taste is more sugary-rich and bready rye a-go-go. The maltiness is mouth-filling and sweet with a branlike, peppery rye backing. Mild herbal hoppiness arises in the finish but is quite subdued, and really does more flavoring and balancing in the brew than it does any real embittering.

The drink is surprisingly fullish-in body with a silky syrupiness nicely complemented by fine-grained carbonation. Plenty drinkable.

Jun 07, 2009
Photo of beer2day
beer2day from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with little to no head. Decent lacing. Minimal carbonation.

Nose hints at rye and hops, but not as strong as I would like. Somewhat flowery, but very mild. Some breadiness as well, but not yeasty.

Malty sweet on the hit, but the rye zing quickly kicks in. Nice dry rye finish. Mouthfeel is just chewy enough for the style.

Overall, very good and worth seeking out if you like rye's.

Apr 19, 2009
Photo of FutureCowboy
FutureCowboy from South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Bruisin' Ales (purchased 1 week ago) poured into Coast imperial pint glass.

A - Dull burnt orange. Thin white head, but might have been a faulty pour on my part. Did get a swirl of carbonation in the glass after pouing.

S - Not overwhelming on either the rye or hoppy side, a subtle blend of each. Wasn't expecting much in terms of bold flavor based on that.

T - BOLD flavor. Really nice rye front, with a strong west coast hop backbone. Wonderful balance between the two.

M - Clean and crisp, goes down very smooth with little resiny/chewy feel.

D - Very much so.

Would make this a go-to rye ale over Terrapin if I could get my hands on it often. Impressive.

Nov 29, 2009
Upstream IPA from French Broad River Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 250 ratings