Arbor Ales, Oz Bomb
Bristol was still very much a cider city when Jon Comer quit a job in IT to start Arbor Ales back in 2007.
He brewed on a second-hand kit in the back of his brother’s pub for a year before the pub closed and he was forced to move out. Having found some space to rent in a former factory just up the road, he invested in a brewery twice the size and set to work converting the good people of Brizzle from apples to hops. Ten years, and a few relocations later, they’re now a team of ten brewing five days a week on a 20 barrel plant.
Arbor has a reputation for rarely brewing the same beer twice. On ‘Freestyle Fridays’ they rock up at the brewery and create whatever takes their fancy. This experimental approach has led to them creating over 300 different beers to date across cask, keg and bottle.
We asked Jon how this week’s beer came about. “The ‘Bomb’ series of beers, most of them single hopped, started with C Bomb (using Citra hops) back in 2013. The G Bomb, (using Galaxy hops), went down a storm and we had quite a few requests to brew it again. Though we had loads of Galaxy leaf hops, we couldn’t get any more pellets which we use for dry hopping so we used Vic Secret, another Australian variety. Oz Bomb was born.“
It’s a heavily hopped golden bitter brewed with a small amount of caramalt and plenty of Australian Galaxy and Vic Secret hops. Tropical fruit flavours and aromas dominate, whilst there is a long bitter finish.
Bristol now has a beer scene arguably as good as any other city in the UK. Arbor can take some pride in the fact they are more than a bit responsible for the transformation.
Images courtesy of the wonderfully talented Nicci Peet.