No Corporate Beer Reviews: Kindred

Beer: Kindred
Brewery: Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN) / Paradox Beer Company (Divide, CO)
Style: Brown Ale – Other
9% ABV / 10 IBU

The base, alone, is a complicated thing of beauty for this collaboration brew from kindred spirits Upland and Paradox Beer Company: 11 spices and 16 (!) different malts. That’s extremely ambitious and malt-forward for the brown ale style, which often achieves its nutty profile and brown hue from a combination of Munich and chocolate malts. Kindred has three different types of Munich malt alone, plus a bunch of other stuff (like flaked corn and Pilsner malt) that works because by the end of the aging process, this brew shares a lot more with a fruited sour than the one-note brown ales we’ve grown accustomed to drinking.

Upland and Paradox both excel at the science of taking one thing and transforming it into something radically different, particularly when it comes to barrel-aging sours. Kindred pours like a brown ale, with minimal head and a beautiful dark amber color, but it does not smell or taste like one. The initial base beer was aged for 16 months, including introducing bananas and, in a particularly-genius twist, pawpaw for the final two. The nose offers a sensory experience that’s pretty close to Bananas Foster: cinnamon, vanilla, and burnt caramel notes abound. Spice comes through in Kindred’s taste, too, as well as a tiny hint of bitterness from the Goldings hops.

Kindred’s most radical trick /treat is its pronounced tropical fruit flavor, which comes both from the bananas and the inclusion of the pawpaw, a unique fruit that only grows east of the Mississippi River. You can really taste the unmistakable flavor of the pawpaw—halfway between a mango and a banana—in Kindred, with spiciness at the tip of your tongue and a bracing sourness all around the front of your palette. I don’t think every brown ale should arch for this type of complexity, but as a one-time experiment, the results are pretty radical.

For more info, check out Upland Brewing here.