Petoskey Pale is a liquid ode to our great state, an attempt to represent the unique character of Michigan in a bottle of living beer. This quintessentially Michigan beer is named after the state stone. Petoskey stones are actually fossilized coral freed by glacial activity, and can be found in sand dunes and beaches at the top of lower Michigan, near the town of the same name. Both are named after the community started by Ottawa Indian Chief Ignatius Petosega, so our name is a nod to the native culture we so respect. We even put a number of petoskey stones around the large wooden cask during aging, more to impart the soul of the land than an actual flavor. This drink is so steeped in history and complex in flavor that we think of it as a style all to it’s own – one we call Michigan Grand Cru Pale Ale.
As soon as its poured into a glass the difference between this and other pale ales is evident. A tall head rushes to the top of the glass, becoming quite rocky as it settles. The aroma is lively, with more of a farmhouse character than other pales, but the citrus hop notes are dominant. By this point the ale’s origins at the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery are evident: the wild yeasts that inhabit the brewhouse give an unmistakable character. On the palate this beer has a perfect balance between the sweet apricot notes from the malt, the complex hoppiness, and wild, slightly tangy character from the time in barrel. More herbaceous than floral on the finish, but refreshing nonetheless.
Like all of the Leelanau beers, Petoskey Pale is great on it’s own but was designed to be consumed with a variety of the world’s cuisines. Pair this ale with bold meat and vegetable flavors: lamb kabobs, ratatoullie, and bison burgers with blue cheese are some of our favorites. It cuts through the fat and barbeque sauce of a rack of ribs like none other, leaving one’s palate refreshed and ready for more. For the true Leelanau experience, drink it in the woods and cook on an open fire.