For some years, Jolly Pumpkin has been scouting around on the wilder edges of the Belgian ale repertoire without being curmudgeonly about it. When it makes a sour ale, it's always an attractive one. Here we have a Belgian-style golden ale aged in Chardonnay barrels and made with a wild yeast, which gives it a certain edgy, peppery quality as well as a distinct sharpness.
It's unfiltered and pours cloudy yellow with a high, coarse head. The nose is yeasty in the Belgian manner. It's distinctly tart on the palate, almost citrusy, but the fruits that come to mind as the finish gradually softens are more likely to be cherries and bananas than lemons.
Altogether, it's almost more winey than beery. It's decidedly food-friendly, and you could use it like a crisp white wine. It would be particularly good with fried fish.
Price: $12 to $13.50 for a 22-ounce bottle
Where to find it: Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles, (310) 306-2822, http://www.beveragewarehouse.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; Wade's Wines in Westlake Village, (818) 597-9463, http://www.wadeswines.com; Red Carpet Wine, 400 E. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale, (800) 339-0609, http://www.redcarpetwine.com; Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, http://www.hitimewine.net; Total Wine stores, http://www.totalwine.com; and Beverages and More stores, http://www.bevmo.com.