Craft Beer Preview: Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca
Monday at 11:26 pm
Let’s hit another beer that I received from the brewer for comment.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales is a specialty brewer based in Dexter, MI, with taproom across Michigan, and in Chicago’s Hyde Park, too. Their beers are based on Belgian styles, with open fermentation to capture wild yeasts, and aged in oak.
Calabaza Blanca is a slight rebranding of their regular beer Blanca, a witbier brewed with wheat malt, plus coriander, bitter orange peel and sweet orange peel. They have recently switched production from bottles to cans, thus the promotional effort that brought this to my hands.
It pours a light, very hazy yellow under a big puffy head. The smell is kind of light, with notes more of lemony citrus than the orange peel the fruit notes stays nice and quiet in the background. The taste starts out with a mild tartness, but more than in most big corporate witbiers, even the avatar Hoegaaden. There’s only a slight note of coriander, as the citrus now grows in dominance. Wheat malt also acts as background support. Tartness starts to become more prominent the further I go. Then some of the oak aging becomes part of the taste the rest of the way down.
The beer can pair with Belgian foods, of course. It works well with mussels and simply prepared foods with light spices.