Maui Brewing and Jolly Pumpkin collaborated to create Sobrehumano Palena ’Ole, a red ale brewed with liliko’i (passion fruit) and Michigan cherries. The brewers crafted this ale while visiting each other’s breweries. Do not assume that because the brewers worked together that these beers will taste the same. If you didn’t know that this was a collaboration beer, you wouldn’t recognize that these beers are related in any way.
This is not by accident however. Even though the beer was crafted by both brewers, they chose to ferment in a totally different way which allows for a uniqueness in flavor between the two beers. Maui used a standard fermentation process. For more information about how most beer is fermented, check out this link. http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/beer4.htm This is probably what you think of though when you picture a brewery. Those large cylindrical vessels where beer is magically created…Jolly Pumpkin chose to create a sour als and ferment their version of Sobrehumano using an open-fermented, barrel-aged, and bottle-conditioned method. So, while the ingredients are the same, the beers are totally different.
Jolly Pumpkin Sobrehumano Palena ‘Ole
Wow! This sour beer is pretty tasty. I can definitely taste the sour cherries, which makes this a sour I can get into. Jolly Pumpkin beers uses Belgian strains of yeast in their brewing process for all of their beers. This leads to many of their beers having that Belgian funky aftertaste. Sobrehumano falls into that category. While the initial flavor is tart cherries, it quickly fades into a funkiness that overpowers everything. The warmer it gets, the more the funk reveals itself.
Maui Brewing Sobrehumano Palena ‘Ole
This is a really hard beer for me to review. I have now had it twice, but both times I have had it, I tried it with the Jolly Pumpkin version. Next to that, this pales (get it…pale ale…) in comparison. The sour of the Jolly Pumpkin version removes all flavors that I might get from the Maui beer. I feel like this isn’t an accurate review. Please don’t judge this beer by this review only. However, as with most pale ales, they don’t go crazy in flavor. And that’s kind of their point.
Maui and Jolly Pumpkin Sobrehumano
Just for fun, we poured some of both beer into a glass. What it created was the best version of the three. The addition of the Maui version took away the funkiness of the Belgian yeast used in the Jolly Pumpkin version. What was left was a tart cherry beer. It was very refreshing and really quite good. Too bad the two breweries didn’t blend their concoctions.