Welcome to our weekly beer column, wherein we point you toward the world’s destination brews.
Beer: Calabaza Boreal
Brewery: Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter, MI and Anchorage Brewing Company, Anchorage, AK
Availability: Released in May in 750 mL bottles, Calabaza Boreal made it around to states where both breweries’ beers are distributed. I drank a beer with a very Jolly Pumpkin-esque label, but it was also released by Anchorage Brewing company, with a different label, under the same name.
Tasting notes: Using a centuries-old technique, Jolly Pumpkin utilizes something called open fermentation. Instead of trying to create a sterile environment for the beer to ferment, the brewery allows wild yeast to aid in the fermentation process. This gives it a slightly tart taste — the watermark of a beer fermented with wild yeast. Anchorage is known for spicing beers and adding fruit juices. This specific beer also gets a bit of tartness from grapefruit peel and juice, and the flavor is rounded out by a subtle peppercorn spice. The flavor also benefits from oak-barrel aging and bottle fermentation. The color is straw gold with a small amount of foamy head.
Food pairings: This is a delicate beer, so you’ll want to pair it with something delicate. It would work really well with a summery cold crab and avocado salad. The tartness also works well with the sweetness of fruity desserts.
This appears to be a one-time-only release. Although the price is a bit high on this one, I recommend snagging a bottle before they all disappear.