Sour Beer Studies: Oro De Calabaza, Jolly Pumpkin, MI, USA

A busy day today that will hopefully continue but the one point of agreement seems to be Jolly Pumpkin beers and – oh, happy day – I have one in the stash. I have been known to Bam and Oro de Calabaza is the strong golden ale by the same happy gourd of a brewer.

Wow. It’s like a cross between Duval and Fantome. Plenty of grain texture but a acidic, farm yard funk that leans towards a Flemish red. Plus, a whirlwind of fruit in the malt – yellow plum, pear, sultana. Black tea hops with a bit of white and black pepper. Fabulous. Golden light amber ale under a massive egg white head that keeps growing – it’s alive.

I am heading in two Fridays to get to Jolly Pumpkin after a morning presentation in London Ontario to learn more. 100% of BAers are stunned by the quality.

One thought on “Sour Beer Studies: Oro De Calabaza, Jolly Pumpkin, MI, USA”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Spencer Thomas – October 27, 2007 12:40 AM

    If you’ve got time, I invite you to meet with some of the members of the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild homebrew club while you’re in the area. We could get together at one of the 4 area brewpubs (or several of them!) If you are interested, please respond by email to spencer at

    A fellow Jolly Pumpkin lover,
    Spencer Thomas
    Ann Arbor

    Spencer Thomas – October 27, 2007 12:57 AM
    Oh, yes. Have you tried the Bam Noire? It presents with a lovely fruity, leathery nose — dark cherries, apples, and a hint of oak. The creamy tan head sits atop a ruby-brown beer. The first sip is barely tart, dry, with a dark malt and fruit hit. With a few swishes, the carbonation blooms into a creamy fullness. A slight woody astringency blends with the light hop bitterness to keep the beer alive as I swallow. There’s a hint of funk, nicely controlled, adding to the complex and changing nature of this beer. The finish shifts from tart fruit to woody oak and back again.

    It is a thing of beauty, and I’m so happy that it’s brewed only 11 miles from my home.

    jason – October 27, 2007 7:57 PM
    Alan, it’s worth the trip back to Galt for the Grand River Brewery’s Highballer Pumpkin Ale. Miam miam.

    Alan – October 27, 2007 9:01 PM
    Being the possessor of four empty Grand River growlers, my plan is exactly that.

    Jason Tucker – October 30, 2007 9:13 PM
    Jolly Pumpkin just became available in my area (at least I’ve just started seeing it). I couldn’t be happier about it.

    This was a fantastic beer, and one I’m writing about in a week or so. My wife even liked this brew, and that’s saying a lot for her. I’ve also got a bottle of La Roja I’m itching to try soon.

    Jimmy the KID Hammerle – March 2, 2009 1:15 PM
    Where does a person in southern Oregon pick-up some of this Jolly Pumkin sour beer? I’ve picked up some of the Flemish Reds that Roots brewery in Portland,OR slings, but I was hoping for some sours closer to my home in Prospect, OR near Crater Lake.

    Alan – January 1, 2010 1:25 AM
    Inordinately guzzle-able, even watery, after a Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze.

    Alan – October 20, 2012 4:31 PM
    Delightful after an intense diaper change. Batch 1023. Lemony, long dry finish that seems to start at the start. Pretty much as described five years ago except for the monstrous egg white head.

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