Editorial Dept.'s picture

Cursed Kettles - Upland Brewing Co. & Prairie Artisan Ales - 96 Rating

Responses from VP of Brewing Operations Pete Batule.
L-R: head brewer Matt Wisley, VP of Brewing Ops Pete Batule, Quality Manager Adam Covey
L-R: head brewer Matt Wisley, VP of Brewing Ops Pete Batule, Quality Manager Adam Covey

BC: Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
This was a collaboration beer with our friends at Prairie Artisan Ales. Matt Wisley and I from Upland, along with Michael Lalli and Todd Holder from Prairie, developed the process and recipe.
 
BC: What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, etc.)?
The initial aroma is a nice differentiation from many of our other beers. Right away, you get aromas of dark cherries with biscuit and raisin notes that comes from a spectrum of toasted malts. The acidity is also really nice and balanced, making it very drinkable. It has a refreshing tartness and mild funk of Brettanomyces while the finish is dry and tart with lingering dark fruit.
 
BC: Where does this beer’s name come from?
The name Cursed Kettles is a play on some of the hurdles each brewery had to overcome during the brewing process. The first batch was brewed in Oklahoma with the Prairie team, and there was an issue with one of their steam traps causing the brew day to be extended. When the second batch was brewed in Bloomington, we also had an issue with one of our steam valves not working properly, which extended the brew day as well.  After sharing some beers and recapping our experiences, we kept joking that our kettles were cursed, hence the name “Cursed Kettles.”
 
BC: Is this your “desert island beer?”
If I were stranded on a desert Island, I’d love to have this beer along with a nice pilsner like Champagne Velvet. 
 
BC: Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Dark cherries, biscuit, fig, tart, funky, and dry finish.
 
BC: Do you know a story – or have a personal story – that revolves around this beer?
This project grew out of a mutual interest and admiration between our breweries. Each brewery was interested in exploring a territory that the other was familiar with – namely Upland’s barrel-aged sour program and Prairie’s experience with kettle souring and Brettanomyces. We decided to brew two different beers, one at each location, with the same method of production. Each would be soured in the kettle with lactobacillus from Prairie, fermented with 100% Brettanomyces, then barrel aged with Upland’s house microorganisms. For Upland's version of the project, we decided to give the beer a secondary fermentation on a small amount of mission figs and dark cherries, which we felt would complement the dark fruit character of the malt profile. 
 
BC: What's a good food pairing for this beer?
Salad with vinaigrette, grilled beef, blue, cheddar, or camembert cheeses, red velvet chocolate cake.