Uprights Fantasia

Fantasia from Upright Brewing answers the age old question: What is craft brewing? Craft beer is not defined by market segments, budgets, or campaigns. Forget the ideas surrounding the size of the brewery or the barrel production numbers and boil it down to the simple, yet often overlooked concept of "what if". Craft beer is created by carefully executing an idea—and creative brewers will come up with equally creative ideas. Throw quality ingredients and patience into the equation, and you're one step closer to a truly evocative beer.

Take a look at Upright Brewing owner Alex Ganum's notes on the idea and process of Fantasia and you'll know exactly what craft beer is. This one sounds delicious!  Bottles of 'Fantasia' will be wax dipped and sold in 750ml style champagne bottles for $20 a piece and $225 for a case, with a 1 case limit at the brewery this Friday 1/20 starting at 4:30 pm. There will also be just one 50 liter keg of 'Fantasia' pouring on draft on Friday.

From the official press release: Upright is happy to announce the release of an exciting new beer conceptualized and brewed back in the summer of 2010. The Fantasia (pronounced fan-tah-zee-uh) is barrel fermented with fresh peaches and made with multiple yeasts and bacteria, yielding a sour beer with aromas and flavors reminiscent of traditional Belgian lambics. Hand wax dipped 750ml bottles will be on sale at the brewery for $20 each and $225 for a case with a 1 case limit. Extremely limited amounts of bottles will make it out to fine bottleshops.

From Upright owner Alex Ganum:

"It was a tremendously friendly Trevor Baird, whose family operates an orchard producing wonderful fruit, who planted the idea in my head to make a peach beer. I set about to brew something totally different from anything I've done before and began by propagating some lactobacillus and brettanomyces, which don't reproduce all that quickly. I wanted a healthy and respectable pitch to get the flavors I had in mind, and by the time the peaches were ripe and ready, the yeast and bacteria were plenty ready to go.

Fantasia Peaches

The few weeks leading up to the brewday were also spent procuring some appropriate oak barrels, eight in total sourced from four different wineries. After finally getting the call from Trevor that the peaches would be ready on the 23rd, everything was in order and Gerritt fired up the brewhouse while myself and a few very hardworking friends unloaded 800 pounds of fruit and spent most of the day cutting them up and stuffing them into the barrels. It took quite a while, and the wort enjoyed an extra long boil in the meantime much like the processing of traditional lambics.

The recipe on the brewlog that day was simple; all barley malt (unlike the wheaten lambic style), but employing warm aged hops from the 2008 harvest. By the end of the boil, all eight barrels were full of the fruit plus a mixture of saison yeast and the aforementioned lactobacillus and brettanomyces. The wort was then cooled and pumped directly into the barrels, all of them getting filled to roughly 2/3 or 3/4 capacity to allow room for the fermentation, which after a couple weeks was on it's tail end and the barrels were topped off with one of two beers; the Four and the Tokay d' Portland, a small batch barrel aged experiment of sorts.

At that point, the Fantasia was ready for extended maturation in the casks, so it was hard bunged and set aside until the following August when seven of the eight barrels were blended and bottled shortly thereafter. Those bottles have been conditioning in the back of the brewery since and are in prime form and ready to enjoy, although I expect it to develop nicely for two more years before the fruit character begins to fade away."