Editorial Dept.'s picture

Brewer Q & A (Issue 22)

For beers that receive a score of "Excellent" or above (91+), we've asked the brewer a few questions regarding that beer's origins.

96 Rating – Upland Brewing Co. – Malefactor

Responses from Upland's Director of Sour Operations Caleb Staton.

Who came up with this beer's recipe?
I did. Malefactor is a take on the Flanders Red style.

What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)? 
Malefactor has this great cherry ester profile, which melds well with the mild char character from long aging periods in neutral bourbon barrels. It is also the strongest beer we make company-wide, typically clocking in above 12 percent ABV.

Where does this beer’s name come from? 
Malefactor means someone who commits a crime, or a general ne'er-do-well. Malefactor's (the beer's) name reflects long fermentation periods with souring microorganisms, a nearly criminal activity for both accountants and brewers alike. It also refers to a little break from traditional Flanders Red-style brewing, with the aging in bourbon barrels and higher alcohol content.  

Is this your "desert island beer?"
I would definitely drink this beer on a desert island, and it would certanly keep for a little while if I was in it for the long haul, Castaway-style. If I had to choose, though, I’d rather drink a cold Session IPA out of a coconut. 

Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Cherry notes and warming dark barrel char meld wonderfully. 

Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
Dantalion and Malefactor are two of the three base beers we brew currently in our Sour Ale Program. A blend of the two beers with Michigan Montmorency cherries is scheduled for release in early 2016. We call that beer Cauldron, reflecting the fun of blending sour beers together with unique ingredients to develop completely new beers and flavor profiles.


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