Middle of 2017, I (Jim) started to hear rumour of a new brewery in Salford. That Brewery was Pomona Island, they were preparing to open their wings and fly, but - having chatted with one of the founders, Gaz - they weren’t quite ready for #ISBF4. I was gutted. What better than to launch an exciting new brewery at our wee Salford bash?
Fast forward a year. And Pomona have been putting out some simply astonishingly good beer. From a standing start, they have firmly established themselves amongst Manchester’s finest brewers. And that’s no easy thing to achieve. I was ultra keen to have them onboard at #ISBF5.
I was also keen - this year - to match members of the ISBF family up with friends. With people they know and respect. Jock with Malcolm at Five Towns, Sarah with Black Jack. Somehow, Jeff and Pomona just went together like cheese and crackers. Pomona being the cheese and Jeff? Well, do the math……
Accompanying Jeff - and keen to get involved - was excellent amateur brewer Paul. They may have enjoyed themselves….Take it away Jeff!
When the opportunity to go down to & brew down with POMONA came up how was I able to refuse, I had one of best nights of Manchester Beer week there when myself & a whole bunch of others went on a barge trip along the River Irwell to the brewtap. I’ve known Gaz a while & had been introduced to head brewer James when he first arrived in Mcr from Tempest Brewing.
On the run up to brew day discussions were had over what to brew, our remit was something pale, preferably cask & not too big. At the ticket launch for ISBF I asked a local homebrewer & fan of the festival Paul Delaney if he wanted to join in the brewday ( a shrewd move by me meaning the cleaning of mash tun could be halved). (Lazy git! Ed)
On the morning of the brew day Gaz picked us both up & we headed over to the edge of media city where the brewery is sited, not too early a nice civilised half 8. We were greeted by James who had already printed off the recipe sheet & immediately started running through it while Gaz grabbed us some wellies & brewed the coffee. First job is mashing in & for this it was 10 bags of Maris Otter
All the while James is sharing his knowledge & explaining the process to me & happy to answer Paul’s more technical questions. While the mashing in & the transfer are happening we get an invite from Gaz to taste some of the beers they have been barrel ageing, probably a good idea to watch out for these when they are released.
Transfer complete & it’s time to clear the mashtun with the two of us taking turns & James doing his bit too
It was going to be a 75 min boil which was enough time for a stroll into media city for a pint & some food. Suitably nourished we return to add the hops which for this is 3.5kg of Amarillo. Transfer to the fermenting vessel followed with then more cleaning
The mandarin juice will follow to create a pale coming in at 5.5abv & available for first taste on cask at ISBF5
We hung around & had a go at filling some casks, moving casks to cold store & having a few more beers fresh from the vessels. As it was by now around 5pm we thought a good idea to head for a few beers & so made the 30min walk into Eccles for to The Northern Type.
Massive thanks to the Pomona gang for a good day out.”
Cheers Jeff. Looks like FAR too much fun was had for my liking!
A Mandarin Pale eh? From Pomona Island? Like Jeff said……First pour at Hemsley House!
Shame there’s so few tickets left eh?