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Upstreet’s Go Devil Goes Down Just Fine

A friend went to PEI this summer on a family vacation. And proving they are a rather great friend, they brought me back some beer to try. Gahan Brewing (PEI Brewing) is a longtime staple of the PEI beer scene (meaning they were the only one for many years) and have at times sold in Alberta, so they new better than to bring me back that.

The good news is in the last couple years there have been three new entrants into the PEI beer scene. My friend got me three beer from newcomer Upstreet Brewing who just opened their doors last year. It was my first opportunity to try their beer. I was offered their Ruby Social rhubarb witbier, the Eighty Bob Scottish ale and the Go Devil American IPA. Just because I sampled the Go Devil last, it became the subject of this post.

First let me offer a brief comment on the other two. The Ruby Social tasted, well, like rhubarb. Tart with an earthy sweetness. If you like rhubarb, this beer will work for you. If not, well…  It also has some strawberry to soften the effect, but still. The Eighty Bob is a decent Scottish ale with a bit of a dry finish.

As for the Go Devil it clearly presented as an American-style IPA. It pours dark gold with great clarity. It forms a thick, dense white head with noticeable lacing. I also note fairly strong carbonation. The aroma gives up sweet citrus and some floral notes. I get papaya and sweet mango. It is backed by a light biscuit malt sweetness.

The first sip is fruity and sweet with some honey, red fruit and sweet grain. The middle draws out a sharp graininess and a bit of wildflower. The finish is sweet with a clear citrus angle. I pick up papaya but also an odd grassiness that doesn’t quite fit the overall effect. The finish also has a green shoot character to it which I can’t quite reconcile with the other flavours. The linger is fruity and citrusy but not overly bitter. The beer could use a more assertive hop bitterness to draw out the American qualities and to accent the citrus hop flavours.

It is a nice tasting beer. I quite appreciated my 30 minutes exploring it. It had nteresting flavour combinations to keep me thinking. It is not necessarily to style, lacking in clean bitterness, and it has an odd combination of hop flavours which I find curious. Still, I can’t deny it is an enjoyable quaff.

Upstreet is still a young brewery in an under-developed market, so both patience and some latitude are warranted. In that context I see this beer as a very promising start.

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