A couple of years ago, Stone Brewing Co., Nøgne Ø, and Jolly Pumpkin got together to brew Special Holiday Ale in Escondido. After that the same recipe (which used chestnuts, juniper berry, white sage, caraway seed and rye malt) was brewed at both Nøgne Ø and Jolly Pumpkin’s breweries. The Nøgne Ø version came out about a year after the original brewed at Stone, and then Jolly Pumpkin version (dubbed Collababeire) was aged in oak barrels and released on a very limited basis earlier this year.
From what I’ve heard very few bottle shops in San Diego got this Jolly Pumpkin version when it was first released in the Spring. But now that it’s the Holiday season, it seems as if more is being released from the distributor. Bottlecraft posted on their New Arrivals page that they got some in, and while I haven’t heard about any other shops getting any, I’d be surprised if Bottlecraft was the only one.
The Jolly Pumpkin version is a great beer, and if you’ve hung on to the previous two releases makes for a nice tasting of all three together. According to Peter Rowe at Signon San Diego Stone, will be releasing some bottles at 11am on Sunday in Escondido. Rowe doesn’t specify if they’ll be for sale at the Stone Store for take away consumption, or in the Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens for on-premise consumption, nor does he elaborate on which version will be available, but regardless, they’re all pretty good. The original Stone brewed version seemed like it had dropped off a bit when I tasted it in the Spring, so I wouldn’t recommend holding any bottles past this Holiday season.