The beer of the month, Pompeii, is a tropical and citrusy dream come true, ideal for enjoying on warm, early spring afternoons when wearing t-shirts and shorts feels weird, but oh-so-familiar and awesome.
Part of Toppling Goliath’s Hop Patrol series of IPAs, Pompeii is inspired by the House of Faun in Pompeii, Italy, where beautifully detailed floor mosaics were preserved beneath layers ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. “In this fashion,” the beer’s description says, “Pompeii IPA preserves and showcases the luxurious taste of the Mosaic hop. This single-hop IPA offers a floral aroma and a truly complex ‘mosaic’ of taste: dark citrus and pineapple flavors, with deep earthy undertones and a persistent bitterness in the finish.”
Pompeii is currently not one of Toppling Goliath’s year-round releases so availability may be spotty. However, brewmaster Michael Saboe says Toppling Goliath is working to provide kegs and bombers of Pompeii to Iowa on a very consistent basis.
Pour Pompeii into a favorite pint glass: The color is hazy and golden amber, and two fingers of bubble-spotted, dense, shiny head dissipates slowly, leaving trails of foam on the glass, a ring around the edge and a center of thicker foam surrounded by a ring of skim. The aroma is deliciously tropical. Scents of kiwi, orange, light caramel and pineapple are most prominent. It is pleasantly earthy, as well. Mostly mirroring the aroma, the flavor features pineapple, kiwi, orange and an earthy bitterness that lingers on the tongue and tonsils. The bitterness really kicks in after the beer has warmed for a while. Pale malt and caramel are also noticeable, but the citrus and tropical fruit shine.
Alcohol content: 5.5 percent ABV.
Food pairings: Pair Pompeii with Thai or curried cuisines; peppery, sharp or pungent cheeses; cheese enchiladas; poultry; or fish.
Where to buy: Look for 22-ounce bottles of Pompeii at major beer retailers, including John’s Grocery, Hy-Vee liquor stores and Lucky’s Market. Also, look for it on tap at 2 Dogs Pub, 30hop, Blackstone, Joe’s Place, Mickey’s Irish Pub, The Mill, Red’s Alehouse, Sanctuary and Short’s. A full listing of bottle and tap locations can be found on the Toppling Goliath website.
Price: $8 per 22-ounce bottle.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 196.