Archive for November 23rd, 2008

Jolly pumpkin/Nøgne-Ø/Stone Special Holiday Ale

Ummm … what?

When I first saw the title of this beer, I was utterly perplexed. BUT now it makes complete sense.

The brilliant brewmasters of Stone (California), Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) and Nøgne-Ø (Norway) have joined forces and brain power to create what they are deeming a “Special Holiday Ale”

How did this all come about? Long story short: Greg Koch from Stone ran into Kjetil Jikiun, the owner and head brewer of Nøgne-Ø, at a bar in Tokyo. They saw each other again at a Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego. Kjetil invited Greg to visit his brewery in Norway. Greg accepted and took a trip out. The new friendship triggered the gears in Greg’s head. He suggested that the two of them collaborate with Jolly Pumpkin‘s head brewer, Ron Jefferies. All parties involved agreed and a magical triad was formed.


I happen to love superstitions, folklore … and all that jazz. (I was born on the 13th.) For me, the number three is pure magic. 3 is a Prime Number. 3 is a Triangular Number. 3 is a Fibonacci Number.  White light is composed of the mixture of the three additive primary hues: red, green, and blue.  The physical world has 3 dimensions. Earth is the third planet in its local Solar System. Atoms consist of three constituents: protons, neutrons, and electronsevolution3glyph

The Rule of Three is a religious tenet held by some Wiccans. It states that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times.

Plato split the soul into three parts: the appetitive, the spirited, and the rational.

The 3 Musketeers.

The 3 Stooges.

Whether it be a triad, trilogy, three-of-a-kind, trio etc … I believe that some of the best things come and happen in threes!


The “Special Holiday Ale” was brewed at Jolly Pumpkin’s facility in Michigan and is rumored to have a very limited release in late November. The theme of the beer reminds me a bit of Dogfish Head’s PANGEA (which was made with ingredients from each of the seven continents).

Here’s an excerpt from what Mitch wrote for the back of the bottle: “We quickly decided to try and use one indigenous ingredient from each of our brewing regions, Southern California White Sage, Juniper Berries (we couldn’t get Norwegian, unfortunately, so we used Italian Juniper Berries, at least they are from the same continent), and (mostly) Michigan Chestnuts. Kjetil suggested brewing with rye malt and Ron suggested adding some caraway to complement the rye, so we decided to brew a full bodied, spiced ale with 25% rye malt.”

For the full story on the ale’s creation from start to finish, visit THE STONE BLOG.

The beer is being released with three different labels.


The back of the Stone bottle.


The back of the Jolly Pumpkin bottle.


The back of the Nøgne-Ø bottle.

FYI: The name Nøgne-Ø translates to Naked Island.

Lucky for me, Stone just entered the state of Florida last week. We also get Jolly Pumpkin, which doubles my odds. HOPEFULLY, someone somewhere will get their hands on this beer so I can taste it! I am crossing my fingers that my stars will be aligned!


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