SOUR BEER is beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste. The most common sour beer styles are Belgian: lambics, gueuze and Flanders red ale. At one time, all beers were sour to some degree. As pure yeast cultures were not available, the starter used from one batch to another usually contained some wild yeast and bacteria. Unlike modern brewing, which is done in a sterile environment to guard against the intrusion of wild yeast, sour beers are made by intentionally allowing wild yeast strains or bacteria into the brew. Traditionally, Belgian brewers allowed wild yeast to enter the brew naturally through the barrels or during the cooling of the wort in a coolship open to the outside air, an unpredictable process that many modern brewers avoid. The most common agents used to intentionally sour beer are Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces and Pediococcus. Another method for achieving a tart flavor is adding fruit during the aging process to spur a secondary fermentation or contribute microbes present on the fruit’s skin. Because of the uncertainty involved in using wild yeast, the sour beer brewing process is extremely unpredictable. The beer takes months to ferment and can take years to mature. (Source: Wikipedia)
SOUR BEER DAY was first held in 2013 and is held annually, the 2nd Saturday of September.
The Michigan-based JOLLY PUMPKIN is regarded as the nation’s first and premier all-sour brewery. Under the watchful guidance of master brewer, RON JEFFRIES. Today, Jolly Pumpkin beers are distributed throughout Michigan and 34 other states.
Jeffries began studying and experimenting with brewing in the early 1990s, always with an eye towards opening his own brewery. With a special interest in rustic country ales, he launched his professional brewing career in 1995, and quickly became known as an innovative and respected member of Michigan’s emerging craft beer scene.
Jeffries realized his dream in the summer of 2004 when he and his wife, Laurie, launched Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter, Mich., the first brewery focused on and offering an exclusive selection of oak-aged, wild and sour beers in the United States. Together Ron and Laurie Jeffries, with the help of their son Daemon, have grown Jolly Pumpkin into a boutique brand with widespread distribution and global recognition.
“When I first said I’d brew as much sour beer as people would like to drink, I had no idea what I was in for,” Jeffries said.
Over the years, Jeffries’ vocation has evolved from brewer, craftsman and artist to most recently, philosopher and visionary of all things beer. His outstanding dedication to the art of brewing has led to international attention and accolades.
An advocate for the simpler life, Jeffries believes in decelerating the hectic tempo of modern life and returning to a slower, more livable pace. He runs the brewery on what he calls “Hawaiian time,” allowing Jolly Pumpkin to maintain traditional small scale production while protecting both the outstanding complexity and simplicity of the beverage.
Jolly Pumpkin is part of NORTHERN UNITED BREWING Co., which also encompasses the Grizzly Peak and North Peak Beer Co. craft beer brands, as well as Nomad Ciders, Civilized Spirits and Bonafide Wines. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally-sustainable practices. Jolly Pumpkin tasting rooms can be found in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Traverse City and Midtown Detroit.
To request an interview with Ron Jeffries, please contact:
Dianna Stampfler, Publicist: 269-330-4228 |Dianna@PromoteMichigan.com
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