Style: Wheat Beer - American Pale Wheat
ABV: 6.5%
7.5 Stars

Ogma Brewing Co may not be open yet, but they are delivering fire updates on social media and brewery recommendations. I reached out to the crew at Ogma to see if they were open when I visited Jackson, MI at the end of last month. They were not open yet, but encouraged me to check out Ironbark Brewing Co. on the southwest side of Jackson.

The brewery was a great stop and I enjoyed their Brown Ale with peanut butter, Gone Nutz, along with a taster of their recent release, Ella’s Elegant Orchard. There were exclusive crowlers available, so I decided to snag a crowler and give this beer another look.

Ella’s Elegant Orchard is collaboration peaches and cream wheat ale between Ironbark and the Ella Sharp Museum. According to Explore Jackson, Ella Sharp was “the first woman in the state of Michigan to take up forestry as a cause.” Her estate was left to the City of Jackson upon her death and it has been maintained with a museum, art galleries, and Civil War-era village. The ingredients used in the beer were ones that Ella would have had available on her farm.

In addition to the beer being a nod to the local Ella Sharp, the beer is also being used to promote an upcoming traveling exhibit that will be at the museum titled “Spirited: Prohibition in America.” It is set to open in November. I may have to make the trek back down to Jackson to check it out.

The brewery and museum hosted a can art contest for artists to submit their vision of what should be posted on the can. Megan Kay Borgeling won with her artwork (pictured above). I thought the black and white artwork looked great on the cans. I liked the intricate details she incorpoated into the label, like the cursive “Ella Sharp” and “Jackson, MI” around the portrait.

As for the beer, Ella’s Elegant Orchard was light and refreshing. There were subtle peach notes on the nose and throughout each sip that worked extremely well with the wheat beer. The cream mellowed out the beer and made it seem a lot lighter than a 6.5%.

I’m glad I was able to try this beer as a solid summer sipper and contribution to Michigan history and the craft beer scene. Collaboration beers like this are always cool in my book. Thanks, again, to Ogma Brewing Co. for the recommendation!


Disclaimer: Ed purchased this beer for review.

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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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