T-Pom Pomegranate Wheat Ale | ABV 6.3%
BJCP Style: Fruit Beer
CraftBeer.com Style: Fruit & Field Beer
CraftBeer.com Sensory Style: Fruity & Spicy
Brewery: Down Home Brewing Co.
City: Atlanta, GA
(A quick note on Sensory Style: A recent, very thought provoking article from CraftBeer.com (It’s Time to Rethink How We Talk About Craft Beer Basics) by Mirella Amato introduced the idea that separating beers into Ale or Lager categories really doesn’t help newer craft beer consumers determine what beers they may or may not like to try. Sensory Style is actually more informative. I tend to agree with this, so I have introduced CraftBeer.com’s Sensory Style categories, in addition to beer style, to help someone reading my reviews get quicker understanding of the overall experience they should expect from the beer. Sensory Style is divided into six broad categories: Sour/Tart/Funky, Crisp/Clean, Dark/Roasty, Malty/Sweet, Hoppy/Bitter and Fruity/Spicy. If you would like to explore these more on your on, you’ll find them here: CraftBeer.com Beer Styles. Go ahead and explore, you’ll find they work quite well.)
Appearance: Slightly hazy, amber. Mousse-like head with excellent retention. Medium carbonation
Aroma: Light fruity esters & grainy.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Lightly tart, pomegranate. A little grainy. Mild bitterness. On the dry side.
Palate: Light to medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Dry, tart medium length finish.
One of the things I enjoy about craft beer, besides the beer, are the stories behind the breweries and founders. There is almost always a unique story about the brewer’s founding and startup. Take Down Home Brewing Co. of Atlanta, GA. Down Home is the first black-owned and operated brewery in Atlanta (possibly in the state of Georgia). After homebrewing for four years, Chris Reeves founded the brewery in 2014 and launched the first retail available beers in 2017. I love the way Chris has connected his family heritage to his brand. His can labels feature his grandfather Hershel Austell Thompson. Ironically, according to an article by Danielle Harling in Forbes , Thompson was not a drinker. But Reeves believes his grandfather would approve being the face of his grandson’s brand. I think so too, because there is no better way to honor someone than to make them the face of your brand. Down Home’s current beers include: Summerset Gold (Pilsner made with ale yeast), ATL Pale Ale, Georgia Hooch IPA, Ol’ Hefe Hefeweizen, T-Pom Pomegranate Wheat Ale, and Muddy Waters Porter. My first foray into their offerings is the T-Pom Pomegranate Wheat Ale.
T-Pom turns out to be a great choice for the hot, sticky summers in Atlanta. It pours a slightly hazy amber color, culminating in a thick, mousse-like white head exhibiting excellent retention. Checking out the aroma, you detect a subtle note of pomegranate combined with the fruity esters from the yeast. Then there is a bit of graininess, too. From first sip to final gulp, T-Pom provides a light tartness that compliments both the body and dryness of the malt backbone. It’s mildly bitter and leaves you with a refreshing, medium length finish that is on the dry side.
Down Home Brewing Co. did a nice job pairing the pomegranate with an American Wheat style beer. All the elements of the Wheat Ale and pomegranate come together nicely without one overwhelming the other. Just picture a steamy hot 95F degree day during the summer in Georgia. Now ice down a couple of six packs of T-Pom for your gathering of family and friends and you’ve got a refreshing crowd pleaser. The only thing to be cautious of is that 6.3% ABV, it could jump up and grab you.
I can’t wait to try some of the other beers from Down Home. After reviewing T-Pom, the first thing I thought of was, I bet they would make a nice Hefeweizen. I shot Reeves a quick note to compliment them on a fine beer and ask about Hefe. To my delight, as of this writing, they expect to drop a Hefeweizen soon. Like many new, startup craft beer breweries, they are having to fight to elbow their way on to retail shelves; which is getting tougher even in a young craft beer market like Atlanta. I suspect I’ll be seeing more of their craft beers around very soon. They recently grabbed a nice product placement on a large end-cap display at the Target store near me. The entire display was gone within a couple of weeks – easy. I just happened to stumble upon some one day in the Jax Fine Wines & Spirits near me. I am looking forward to watching these guys grow and their business mature. If you see any of their beers around town, be sure to grab some. They go quick!
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!