31 Jul The New Upland Brewing in Fountain Square Has Something for Everyone
This is going to be so cool! The new Upland Brewing in Fountain Square has got everything a beer fan craves, including Upland beer – and the opening is just a couple of days away. Located down the block from New Day Craft, across the street to the east of Kuma’s Corner, and a two minute walk from either Fountain Square Brewing or the upcoming BrewDog taproom (tentatively scheduled to open in September), this particular neighborhood is craft beverage central. And now Upland is ready to have their Grand Opening, August 1st from 11am – 11pm.
The former Value World discount store has been given a new look and feel, to the tune of 26 taps, with this location serving more Upland sours than pretty much all the other satellite locations combined. In fact, it’s a misnomer to call Upland-FSQ an offsite taproom or restaurant. This Upland is the real deal – brewery, taproom, beer garden, restaurant, and bike shop……yes, bike shop. Gray Goat Bicycle Shop will be opening their 4th location in the southwest corner of the new brewpub.
Walter and I ventured out to the new spot on last Wednesday evening for the industry showcase so we could see for ourselves how the place had come together. It’s even better than we expected. The bike shop will have it’s own entrance, but there is a large garage door which can be opened to allow free passage from shop to brewpub, and everyone will be able to get a great view of the bikes and the repair work going on.
Above the separating wall between the two businesses is a large mural done by a local artist that highlights the label art to be used for Breaking Away, the new beer made to celebrate the union of bike and beer. With Upland based in Bloomington, it’s not surprising that they have a great relationship with bicycling going back to the early days of Doug Dayoff, but now that relationship has a physical emblem to which they can point.
There is a bar on the same side of the building as the bike shop, but if watching the bikes while drinking isn’t your thing, there are also taps on the opposite face of the bar, closer to the front entrance of the brewpub. Still doesn’t tickle your fancy? Then try a seat on the huge patio and get your beer from the third side of the bar that is equipped with taps. You heard that correctly, there are taps and bar tops on three sides of the central bar area.
What’s more, on the only face that doesn’t pour beer is the wall where they make beer. This is a full on brewery with a 7 bbl Blichmann Pro Series system and four 7 bbl fermenters. Head Brewer Patrick Lynch is going to make a batch of Dragonfly and one of Upland Wheat, but after that he’s being turned loose to explore his mad scientist side. Look for some creative one-offs and small batch beers to come out of this location, and to be available only at this location.
During the evening showcase we were kindly shown around by general manager Tim Fogleman and Assistant GM Andreya Kennerk. They pointed out the art on the walls, always a good way to link the brewery to other parts of the creative world. We walked out to the patio and looked back at the building to take in the large mural on the west side. It’s gorgeous, combining rustic elements with what looks like tagging graffiti. All the different elements of the FSQ space fit together very well to form one cohesive message and feel, from the power strips below the front wall tables and the multiple wireless routers for people looking to get some work done to the corn hole games for people looking to avoid work entirely.
Andreya showed us the first of the seasonal menus from the massive kitchen. The summer edition features snacks, soups and salads, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. I’m already picking out dinner for next week, probably the smoked French-tip pork chop and greens, along with the some buffalo chili and a peach crumble to finish. Walter is eyeing the vegan Hopping Johnny of black beans and rice, along with the deviled eggs with candied bacon. She’s a sucker for deviled eggs – they’re how I got her to marry me. But they will be doing lunch as well, with hours that start at 11am seven days a week. It’s nice to see another location doing Monday and earlier hours – it’s good for us day drinkers.
Brian, the general manager of the Upland Wood Shop, was up from Bloomington to pour some sours, as well as the unpeated Scotch Ale Flayrah and the Barrel Chested Barleywine. This is was nice reunion since he poured us a bunch of beer just the weekend before last in Bloomington. Speaking of the sours, Upland-FSQ will have 10 taps dedicated to barrel aged beers, both clean and sour at the opening and beyond, which is extraordinary since the Carmel, College Ave., and Columbus locations usually have only two or three at a time. As time goes on and Patrick Lynch beers become more numerous, this number may be reduced, but they will still be a feature of this location. This alone is enough to pull in huge crowds, but you get the great location, the food, the patio, and the people in addition.
However, as Upland always does, they’re going to connect with the community as well. Even though the Grand Opening is on August 1st, they are already sponsoring free summer concerts on the plaza every Friday night. Last Friday was WHOA! TIGER, and August 2nd is Bashiri Asad. In addition to this, the bicycles come back into play on August 10th, as the Tour de Cure will finish at Upland-FSQ, and then there is the Romanus Records Fest at Square Cat Vinyl the next day, the 11th.
Becoming part of the community is an important part of being successful for a brewery, but Upland knows all about that and has starting building those relationships even before opening day. Join the craft beer community in welcoming Upland to Fountain Square and come on down for the Grand Opening. I guarantee that your first trip won’t be your last.