Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jolly Pumpkin Weizen Bam

This is the fourth in the series of "Bam" beer's from the always unique Jolly Pumpkin brewery in Dexter, Michigan. The original Bam Biere is one of my favorites, a great easy drinking farmhouse ale well suited for hot days on the beach. The other two predecessors are E.S. Bam which was a hoppy farmhouse ale and Bam Noire which was a dark version of Bam Biere. This particular version called Weizen Bam takes the farmhouse ale and gives it a hefeweizen yeast twist. Here are my thoughts on this harder to find brew in the series. (Thanks to Shelton Brothers the distribution has expanded for Jolly Pumpkin as well.)

Batch 315/316. Pours from the 750 into my glass a slightly hazy straw yellow with an inch of light, airy bubbly white head on top. Carbonation rises up the sides of the glass. Aromas of crisp wheat with a sour funky kick along with earthy, spicy yeast tones. Hints of lemon and citrus zest, banana and clove come through. Very crisp and dry with that trademark farmhouse aroma that I love in the Bam series.

First sip brings crisp sun dried wheat malts upfront met by a wonderful sour funkiness. Citric accents weave in and out along with earthy yeast tones. The spiciness is there but it is much more mellow than a normal hefeweizen. It flows down quite dry with a lingering puckering tart / barnyard accent. Mellow grassy hops accent as well. Overall, an interesting and ultimately quite tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light with fast moving carbonation. Although it is quite dry, it still manages to go down easy and be refreshing. A 750ml bottle of this treat goes down almost too easily. I only wish I would have grabbed another when I had the chance, as this is another tasty treat from JP.

Overall this one gets a rating of Great. Quite a tasty brew.

Check out more of what Jolly Pumpkin has brewing at

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Russian River Salvation - Batch 001

Batch 001.

Pours into my glass a dark cola brown with ruby accents. An inch of khaki foam on top with great retention. Lots of active carbonation as well. Aromas of chocolate malt upfront with a good blast of spice. Hints of banana and earthy Belgian yeast tones.

First sip brings more crisp chocolate malt upfront moving into a blend of spice and fruit flavors. Earthy yeast kicks in on the way down. Nice sweetness that is not overpowering and great balance overall. Raisin and toffee afterthoughts as it finishes a bit dry. Good, chocolaty stuff.

Smooth body with creaminess and perfect carbonation. A tasty treat that has aged quite beautifully in my opinion. I will have to seek this one out again and would love to try it on tap someday.

Overall I gave this tasty beer a rating of Great.

Check out more of the great beers of Russian River by surfing over to

Monday, March 09, 2009

Guinness Trying to Make St. Patrick's Day a National Holiday?

Yes, it's true and the title is not deceiving. The makers of Guinness are trying to make St. Patrick's Day a National Holiday. Now, I've never been a huge drinker of Guinness myself, but I do enjoy it if I happen to be at an Irish bar without a huge craft beer selection and I like when I can find it at clubs or concerts as it is usually the best option among the other swill offered, so I found this somewhat interesting:

The makers of Guinness, the world’s most famous Irish stout, are supporting Proposition 3-17, a national effort to make St. Patrick’s Day an officially-recognized holiday in the United States . The period from President’s Day to Memorial Day (98 days) marks the longest stretch in the working calendar without an official holiday break. By contrast there are five official holidays within the 81-day period from Thanksgiving to President’s Day. This year happens to mark the 250th anniversary of Arthur Guinness signing the 9,000 year lease from St. James Gate brewery. To mark this anniversary there will be a year-long global celebration, all the while looking forward to the next 250 years. To support Proposition 3-17, adults (21 and over) can sign a petition by visiting

Here is a link for a special message from Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray regarding Proposition 317:

You can also check out their official website at

So, anyone out there have any thoughts or comments on this?? I don't see it ever really taking off, but it's a fun marketing concept and does tie in well with the brand. Feel free to post your thoughts and I'll be back with another beer review soon!