Investigating the uncommon, unusual, and rare within the craft beer community.

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales: Bambic

Released: January and April 2011

Style: American Wild Ale

ABV: 5.3%

Ah, yes – another limited funky, sour brew from our friends at Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter, Michigan. This one however, was slightly different than the Grand Reserve releases, as the brewers created Bambic specifically for The Winking Lizard, in celebration of the pub’s 25th anniversary. Well, what is it exactly, you ask?

Bambic is a blend of two already existing Jolly Pumpkin beers, beginning with their famous farmhouse ale, Bam Biere. It’s then blended with their practically extinct sour ale, Lambicus Dexterius, to create a one-of-a-kind brew. Fermented with 100% wild Dexter yeast, the latter part of this concoction was brewed in traditional Belgian fashion, consisting of 4 year, 3.5 year, and 2.5 year lambics. The first batch of Bambic consisted of approximately 85% Bam Biere, with the rest comprised of batch 2 and 4 Lambicus.

The first release dropped in January 2011 and was available at the 14 Winking Lizards throughout the Ohio area, as well as the brewery’s Ann Arbor and Traverse City pubs. There was a combination of both 330mL and 750mL bottles produced, with 1560 of the smaller variety and only 180 large format bottles.

The success and demand for Bambic prompted a second blend, which was released on April 25th, coinciding with the long awaited release of Biere de Mars Grand Reserve. Around 150 cases were bottled up this time for sale at Winking Lizard locations and both of the Jolly Pumpkin brewpubs, a small increase from the original batch.

It’s tough to say if we’ll see a third blend of the elusive Bambic brew, but with two releases within around four months, it’s certainly possible Jolly Pumpkin might fire another one through the Winking Lizard bar chain.


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