Join the Pompelmocellobration!
Pomocel...pompellla, pompelmosell… the grapefruit one please.
This blog post is about our good friend Pompelmocello. The juiciest, most mouth-puckering, zingy, hoppy and least pronounceable grapefruit IPA we could devise.
‘Pomp’ was born in 2015. Hot off the heels of Limoncello’s success, it was designed to be a touch lower alcohol, a little more accessible and packed full of grapefruit. We wanted it to be a grapefruit beer that actually gave you that juicy, mouth-puckering sensation of pink grapefruit. Although there were some grapefruit IPAs available then, and many more now, we still think it’s out there on its own in the style. With a kettle soured base, sweet balance in lactose, ever-improving hop bill and juice and zest of grapefruit, it’s deliberately away from the more common IPA + grapefruit extract kind of beer, hopefully you’ll agree that’s in a good way.
Although it never split the crowd as much as Limoncello, Pomp wasn’t a runaway success immediately. It can still be a bit of a shock to the palate for new drinkers, with its debut appearance on Sunday Brunch being a great example. We're still grateful to Joel Dommett for choosing it as his clear favourite!
It has, however, slowly built a cult following, and we’ve always had the belief to stick with it. It always went down a treat at festivals, and later at the Tap Yard when we were able to build that addition to the brewery, and it was always a beer we were excited to try straight off the line.
The tipping point came in mid-2019 when we made the long overdue switch to cans. Bringing in the canning line and freshening up our branding allowed us to do it more justice in packaging. It became a bright pink 440ml can, vibrant with energy, in-your-face attitude like the beer itself and representative of the range of different flavours, aromas and sensations you get on that first sip. Plus - there’s something about the crack and fizz from a cold can that somehow just suits this beer.
Since then it’s been difficult to find enough of our souring brew slots to keep it around as a permanent addition. It’s available in around 400 Morrisons stores as a permanent fixture, and even prompted the addition of Castilian Lemon & Honey Cheesecake. It’s not sitting still, either. We’ve experimented a lot with the new Talus hop variety, and its pithy grapefruit notes were too good to leave out, so even now, the beer continues to be tweaked and improved.
But we think it deserves a bit more of our love and attention, so we’re planning a pompelmocellobration in the best way we can, with four incredible plays on the beer in a one-off pomp-fest. Here’s how it’s going down.
Nitro Juicy Sour Grapefruit IPA, 6.0%, £4.20
First up, Nitro Pomp. We’ve had this idea in the back of our heads for a while. No-one has ever asked us to make a nitro sour. Literally no-one. But bear with us. Firstly the added perceived body and creamy smoothness takes the grapefruit in a different direction, drinking with a slushie or sorbet like refreshing and comforting mouthfeel. Secondly, we have another idea in mind. We feel that traditional bubbly carbonation can make the acidity of a sour beer feel a little harsher, more direct or perhaps a little spikey on the palate, compared to how it drinks out of tank for example. Using nitro instead, we’re intrigued to find out how the sourness shows through, and can’t wait to hear what you think. Don’t forget to pour hard!
Double Dry-Hopped Juicy Sour Grapefruit IPA, 7.4%, £4.30
One of the key elements of Pompelmocello has always been the hops. At its heart, this is an IPA recipe, so we’ve never gone light on the hop bill. In fact, it’s always been really important to add that irreplaceable drying bitterness, along with the unique citrussy and piney notes that only hops can offer. Although DDH Pompelmocello is still soured, it’s definitely more hop-forward than the standard issue Pomp. Simcoe has always been an important part of the mix, recently embellished by Talus and its unique pithy grapefruit character. In the background we have Loral layering in softer, floral notes, and Mosaic with a touch of dank, stone fruit background. We love it.
Juicy Grapefruit Sour Shandy, 2.5%, £3.90
Here’s the Siren beer you never knew you needed! A radler has been in our dreams for a long time. Perhaps ever since a 50l keg of Stiegl Grapefruit Radler kept the teams collective thirst quenched at Sessions & Sours 2015. However, as always, doing it right has always been the main priority. A radler, or shandy as you may know it, is traditionally a 50:50 mix of beer and soda. We made our own lemon & lime soda for this, blending with fresh Pomp for plenty of impact. This is proudly a Pomp Radler - still punchy, still sour, still vibrant, still right up in your grill. But at 2.5%, you don’t need to go so easy on it. It’s not radler as you know it, nor Pomp as you know it. Let’s hear it for the wildcard.
Brewers Tip: If you like your radlers more traditional or even lower abv, try mixing some 50:50 with Pastel Pils! Guaranteed refreshment.
Barrel Aged Grapefruit & Mango Sour, 8.8%, £4.80
Pompelmocello has always been a favourite festival beer of ours, which itself has inspired some playful one-off versions. First came Pompango, fresh Pomp with added mango puree for some very special occasions, such as our colossal pub takeover at Craft Beer Co Covent Garden, brewery parties, or the likes of IndyMan Beer Con and London Craft Beer Festival in years gone by. But Barrel Manager Steve managed to take it up a notch with Pombango! This version, much to the confusion of our Untappd contingent, took the same concept but used some incredible barrel aged Pompelmocello as its base. The palate gets taken in all kinds of directions as sourness interacts with sweetness, tart fruit meets zestiness and oakey tannins meet, well, a sour grapefruit IPA with mango. Is it a beer? Is it a cocktail? Is it an absolute treat of a can? We think so, and we hope you do too.
Where to get involved
The Pomp fest begins online, and we'll be bringing the launch date forward to make sure as many of you as possible have beers for the bank holiday weekend. We'll also have the beers on tap and in the fridges at the Tap Yard this weekend.
Outside of that, the beers will be out in the wild at the venues listed above, and no doubt more to come! Enjoy!