Omnipollo: Craft Beer + Art = Genius
One of the world's most famous and respected Craft Breweries, Sweden's Omnipollo is possibly the ultimate gypsy brewery, using spare capacity at bigger breweries to brew their often leftfield, but always superb beers, earning them a well-deserved place in Ratebeer's list of Top-100 breweries worldwide.
Omnipollo was founded in 2011 by Brewer Henok Fentie and Artist Karl Grandin. As the term gypsy suggests, the peripatetic pair began by brewing their beers in Sweden before travelling the world to see their creations brought to life.
Seemingly limitless talent
With an unquenchable thirst for innovation, coupled with seemingly limitless talent for creating new flavour combinations and enhancing well-established recipes, the pair have created an almost mythical status among the Craft Beer cognoscenti. Take for example their wonderfully thick, slick Noa range of Imperial Stouts that bring together rich, dark, unctuous malts with nutty maple and pecan, chocolate cupcake, or even marshmallow flavours. Then there’s the wonderfully inventive Milkshake IPA – which involves combining sublime IPA with lactose for an incredibly creamy, bittersweet India Pale Ale. This radical new style - masterminded by Henok - has sparked a global arms-race among Craft Brewers, taking on a life of its own.
Weird-and-wonderful leftfield Craft Beer
But it‘s not just Omnipollo’s weird-and-wonderful leftfield brews that are so awe inspiring. They also have a range of crazy-good standard beers, such as the award-winning Nebuchadnezzar Imperial IPA and Arzachel Session Ale. And with a range of standard brews this good, they deserve their place in the Craft Brewing hall of fame.
“I want my work to be simultaneously clear and abstract.” – Karl Grandin
Omnipollo are also one of the first breweries to combine exquisite artisan ale with high-art. Their bottles feature instantly-recognisable, highly stylised designs, all created with the same playfulness and attention to detail, that make them so immediately identifiable, something which carries over into the beer: a treat for the eye and the palate alike! If proof were needed, then look no further than their Yellow Belly Peanut Butter Biscuit Imperial Stout brewed in partnership with Buxton, or Anagram Blueberry Cheesecake Stout, brewed with fellow countrymen Dugges.
As essential to Omnipollo's identity as the beer...
And it’s not just their own packaging that they create art for. Indeed, for the 2017 Edition of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar, Beery Christmas, we entrusted the design to the supremely talented Karl, helping us to sell 50,000 units. As founder of chic Swedish clothing label Cheap Monday, and member of the Swedish design collective Vår, Karl’s Art is certainly successful. It is also as essential to Omnipollo's identity as the beer.
Legendary Swedish Craft Brewery
Karl sums up his work as follows: "I like visual clichés but try to stretch and turn them into something new - give them new sense and logic. I want my work to be simultaneously clear and abstract." It’s not just a perfect description for his work, but a perfect metaphor for everything that this legendary Swedish Craft Brewery stands for.