Presented by Consumer Beverages
by Paul Marko, Willard Brooks, Chris Groves
JOLLY PUMPKIN ARTISAN ALES BAM BIÉRE
>by PAUL MARKO
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales produces finely crafted Belgian style ales in Dexter, Michigan—most with Spanish influenced names—and is headed by a vegetarian brewmaster nicknamed “Spooky.” You’ll want to try everyone of their wild, oak-aged beauties, but you may want to start with their year-round flagship: Bam Biére. Named after the brewers dog who overcame a near-death accident, Bam is a golden, naturally cloudy, bottle conditioned farmhouse ale that has been oak aged and dry hopped—revealing a near perfect balance of spicy malt, fresh hops and Belgian yeastiness. At a highly drinkable 4.5% ABV, there’s just enough funky hay character to bring all the geeks to the (barn)yard, while not overwhelming those new to the term “horseblanket.” Bam is a dry, highly complex and active beer (lots of carbonation) that features subtle hints of lemon zest and white pepper. With thoughts of veg brewmaster Ron Jefferies, pair Bam with steamed vegetables over rice and a second bottle of whichever Jolly Pumpkin beer you can get your hands around.
WOODCOCK BROTHERS HOPPY PILSNER
>by Willard Brooks
There’s a new trend in which talented brewers with a propensity for hoppy pale ales and IPAs produce “hoppy pilsners.” Firestone Walker Pivo Pils (38 IBUs), Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner (38 IBUs) and others. But wait a minute! Are not pilsners supposed to be hoppy? Yes, so what’s this all about? IBU measures how bitter a beer is. But hoppy character comes from layering in hops in additional brewing stages than in a traditional German pils. Woodcock’s brewer Matt Redpath—who is from Oregon but brewed at Gordon Birsch for years—has produced a traditional German-Style Pilsner and added extra hops during the end of the brew. The result is a delectable and classic Pilsner with all of the biscuit flavors and bitter balanced by malt sweetness expected of a German pils but with hop character tinted by the Pacific Northwest. Golden color. Thin white head. Classic lager character with more hop character than its German ancestor. Paired perfectly with the Spars Bratwurst at Moor Pat where this is currently on tap. Redpath shows skill and west coast hoppy roots in this beer. Get it while it lasts—it’s delicious.
OTTER CREEK OVER EASY
STYLE: HOPPY SESSION ALE
>by Chris Groves, Certified Cicerone®
Americans are obsessed with hops and Brewmaster Mike Gerhart knows it. Over the past year and a half, Otter Creek has rolled out four new seasonal beers. What’s interesting about this rollout is that every one of these exists in the “hop forward” category. When it came time to introduce two new year round offerings...they didn’t mess with what’s worked to help them get back in the conversation. Otter Creek Over Easy is one of two new beers being introduced this spring. A new addition to the ever growing market of sub-5.0% ABV session ales, Over Easy packs in the aroma and hop flavor of a modern American IPA but sticks to a simpler malt bill bordering on what seems to be a crunchy pilsner malt base. The clean and crisp nature of what lies beneath the hops is what allows this beer to really shine. I have a feeling that this beer and its bigger brother “Backseat Berner” are going to fly off shelves once word gets out that you don’t have to beg, borrow and steal to get awesomely hoppy beer from Vermont. Check it.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Bam Biére, Woodcock Brothers Hoppy Pilsner, Otter Creek Over Easy Hoppy Session Ale blog comments powered by Disqus
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