Who doesn’t like things that are simple, easy, and clean? Probably the engineers at Microsoft, the DMV, tax forms, the NYC subway, and Apple maps. But for every Microsoft there is an IKEA, for every subway there is a tube, and for every overly ornate, “please by me now I’m desperate” bottle on the shelf, there is Omnipollo. Minimalist, and dare I say hipsteresque, Omnipollo keeps it straight forward and efficient with their presentation… with some quarks. Though the label seems unassuming enough, the neon yellow bottle cap screams, “You don’t know me!” and the shadowed block numbering keeps it retro (circa 1994 49ers jerseys), foreshadowing some of the twists that might present themselves inside of the bottle. For instance, what appears to be a subtle wit turns out to be infused with some pretty exotic ingredients including passion fruit and lime. Full of juxtapositions, I’m ready to open up this capped brew.
Smell: Tart citrus, yeast, banana, orange peel, coriander, lemon Powerade, and the minerality of city tap water. This smells suuuuuper crushable.
Taste: I really notice the flavor of the citrus paired with the distinct wit yeast up front. It is very delicate and lighter than helium. Then, the brew just gets a little more tart, verging on the sour line – this is actually more tart than many Berliner Weisses I’ve had in the past. The citrus is certainly noticeable, however I can make out the passion fruit more than the lime, but both put on a show for my palate. It tastes a little green and the slightest bit earthly, but those flavors make it incredibly refreshing. I think pairing passion fruit and lime is absolutely brilliant with this yeast strand as both of these fruits are tart enough to make their mark, but submissive enough to let the yeast impart some flavor too. It drinks very clean and the minerality I detected in the smell can be found in taste, in addition to the slight tartness that lemon Powerade has. I can compare this brew to a classic Italian opera singer as it gets louder from start to finish. You taste the tartness of the passion fruit at the beginning, but this brew ratchets up with a sour mid palate and finishes with some slight bitterness that reminds me of citrus rind. I love that progression, but for some, the bitterness at the end may be a bit off putting.
The drinkability of this beer is insane. It’s more refreshing that a blast of Cool Water cologne to the face. It is incredibly light in body and 42’s ABV pairs wonderfully with not only its mouthfeel, but its taste as well. At a mere 4.5%, you could crush this and not worry about calories. The carbonation rounds things out as it is a bit zesty, but again, with how light and tangy this brew is, it’s a glorious match.
Overall: I am thoroughly impressed with Omnipollo for this brew. For what it is, it is exceptional. Witbiers are typically pretty drab and often have less unpredictability than a one trick pony, but this breaks the mold. The combination of citrus in here, matched with its sessionability, matched with the lightness in body, matched with the ideal amount of yeast creates perfect storm of beer drinking nirvana. For being so minimalist on the outside, this brew has a lot going on. Considering the style, I give this an A+. You must enjoy this on a simple, warm sunny day.