The Jolly Pumpkin brewery in Dexter announced the impending release of La Roja du Kriek and Rojzilla Michigan Soure Biere, two new limited-edition ales to be distributed beginning this month in both kegs and bottles.
Patrons of beer festivals and the NULL Taphouse have probably already sipped the draft version of La Roja du Kriek, a blend of La Roja Amber Ale and Michigan tart cherry juice. Rojzilla is a new, aged blend also based off of La Roja. From the official press release:
(DEXTER, Mich)—Jolly Pumpkin’s quintessential beer – La Roja – may be hard to find, but two new specialty brews will hit the marketplace in limited quantities this month and are sure to quench the thirst of sour beer lovers around America. Rojzilla and La Roja du Kriek will be distributed in Michigan and 34 other states during the brand’s “April Showers Bring Jolly Pumpkin Sours” campaign.
La Roja (7.2% ABV | 25 IBU) was the second beer to be released by Jolly Pumpkin, after opening in 2004. This artisan red ale, brewed in the Flanders tradition, is deep amber in color with earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes that are developed through natural barrel aging.
Flanders ales are fermented with usual brewer’s yeast in an unfiltered and unpasteurized fashion, then placed into oak barrels to age and mature. The mature beer is then blended with younger beer, to adjust the taste for consistency. The name comes from the usual color of these ales, which are descended from English porters of the 17th century.
Due to the extensive time involved in the production of La Roja, it is only released in limited quantities and is considered one of the most sought-after sour ales in the country.
Rojzilla – Michigan Sour Biere. Aged for a year-and-a-half in a 100-bbl oak foudre before being blended with a few “normal” size barrels of varying ages to create a complex, mellifluous combination of flavors and sophistication. (7.4% ABV | 750ml)
La Roja du Kriek – Sour Amber Ale with Michigan cherry juice. This is what happens when 3,100 gallons of 2013 La Roja meet 50 gallons of Michigan tart cherry juice, aged in oak barrels and bottle conditioned – a perfect blend of sour and tart joie de vivre! (7.5% ABV | 750ml).
Locally, look for these beers plus several others to be tapped at events at World of Beer (May 21), Ashley's (May 26 @ 6 p.m.), HopCat Ann Arbor (May 28 @ 5 p.m.), and at NULL and the Jolly Pumpkin locations in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Traverse City (June 6-7). Follow Jolly Pumpkin on Facebook for other scheduled events and all that jazz.