Jolly Pumpkin’s Bog Beast Porter

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dexter, Michigan
Bog Beast
Cask-Conditioned Strong Porter
??? ABV
pitcher into water glass

One of the best things about living in Michigan is the beer. The small town of Dexter, a mere 7 miles west of my house, is home to Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, which recently received top kudos from the NY Times for having the best Belgian ale in a line-up of 20!

My feelings about Jolly Pumpkin are not quite as positive, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt…again and again. The wordy waiters I complained about before were not a problem last night; when I ordered a pitcher of Bog Beast, I was told absolutely nothing about the beer. Thus I was unprepared for the thin, brown, sour, “porter” I received. I found the beer slightly intriguing with a nice coffee-ness to it; my table-mates found it undrinkable.

Some searching on Beer Advocate (see the second and third review here) revealed that Bog Beast was also the name of the Jolly-Pumpkin cask-conditioned porter I’d guzzled so happily in December!  I never asked the name back then, but the corresponding dates and the words “cranberry” in the waiter’s description could not be a coincidence. Could this possibly be the same beer? Where was the chocolate? The “voluptuous mouth sensation” I’d enjoyed so much?

I went undercover to investigate:

*ring* *ring* *ring*
Waitress: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. Can I help you?
Nininja: Yes, I’m trying to figure out what I drank last night. It was on cask.
Waitress: Our cask offering right now is the Bog Beast.
Nininja: Do you know what your cask offering in December was?
Waitress: Yes, that was also the Bog Beast. It was so popular that Ron Jeffries brewed another batch.
Nininja: I’m just confused because they tasted totally different. Is it possible I was served the wrong beer last night?
Waitress: Each batch that Ron Jeffries makes it hand-crafted and unique. Especially in the cask-conditioned beers,  cask-aging changes the character of each beer a lot.
Nininja: But…they were TOTALLY different.
Waitress: He also uses wild strains of yeast. The wild yeasts and bacteria make each beer unique and alive. Each one a living, breathing, animal.

Wait…bacteria?!? Perhaps that would explain the gastrointestinal distress I had today. Leave the fan on in the bathroom if you’ve had a Bog Beast from Jolly Poopin’.

In all seriousness, the unpredictability of Jolly Pumpkin Beers is interesting, but a little off-putting, and sometimes downright (stomach) upsetting.


~ by nininja on April 9, 2010.

2 Responses to “Jolly Pumpkin’s Bog Beast Porter”

  1. “Each one a living, breathing, animal.” Are they taught to say this stuff? JP is overrated. How does the name “bog monster” entice anyway? is it a play on Compass Box The Peat Monster whisky? And when’s perrinator going to review piraat?

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