Friday, May 04, 2007


I love some of the weirdo eccentricities of the craft beer “scene” – the deep contemplation given to “lacing on the glass”, the discerning of flavors that probably aren’t even there (“I’m getting some pomegranate in this when I swirl it around – sniff – hmm, now I’m getting a little burnt rye toast – sniff"), the use of the word “Brettanomyces” (or much worse, shortening it to “Brett”), and when American and European brewers go overboard to market their beers as authentic “farmhouse” beers, with all the hoeing, plowing, overall-wearing and manual labor that implies. Forgive me if I’m giving this JOLLY PUMPKIN BAM BIERE “farmhouse” saison short shrift as a result – it just happens to be the most recently-consumed beer of mine, and hence a convenient placeholder for my mirthmaking.

My comrade Trub Wortwurst from LAGERHEADS and from the great state of Michigan was kind enough to send me this offering from Dexter, MI. Have heard many good things about JOLLY PUMPKIN – that fella Dan Shelton we told you about a few weeks ago, the one who ranted in fine fashion all over the Craft Beer Radio podcast, called them out as one of the only US craft brewers who “gets it right”. I’ll say this – this farmhouse saison has some good things going on in it, and it’s the kind of beer where you instantly know that there’s an experimental, creative, smart-as-a-whip brewer standing behind the mash tun. It just wasn’t really my thing. A little on the funky, yeasty side – slightly sour, maybe redolent of some acidic stuff. No real taste that I could grab onto and say, “Wow – that’s really delicious”. It could actually be my relative unfamiliarity with the saison style, so I’m going to go with a 6/10 and revisit this one someday, when I get through this batch of saisons to compare it to. Thanks again to Wortwurst for giving me the hand up and the hand out!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jay,
I get a chuckle out of some of the beer reviews too (apple skin with a hint of baseball card or whatever), though overall I'm glad they exist. More to see what other people got out of a beer I've already tried than to get recommendations. And I'm usually glad to know when Brett is involved (can't spell it - sorry man!) because I have to be in the mood for the wild, sour stuff but I know what you mean - it seems hi-falootin to name-drop it.

Saisons can be pretty varied as far as a beer style goes. Curious to see what your favorites turn out to be. Right now I'm really digging the Ommegang Hennepin Saison. I also like the Bam Biere but it's not exactly a "gateway" saison if you know what I mean. Not sure our tastes always meet but since you're near City Beer, I can recommend the Thiriez Amber which, to me is less like a typical amber (often one of my least favorite styles) & more rustic or earthy which is what I want out of a saison. And now I'm officially tired of typing the word "saison"!


Wörtwurst said...

Viva le J. Pumpkin!

I'd give it a 6 out of 10 myself, maybe even a 5. I thought there was something wrong with my tastebuds because it doesn't seem quite right.

The blueberry stout won't disappoint.