Omnipollo was founded in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010 by brewer Henok Fentie and artist Karl Grandin. The company is unique in that all of its beers are collaborations. It also originally functioned solely as a contract brewery where all of their beers were brewed at different locations around the world. Currently, it has worked with 13 breweries in 10 different countries.

In February 2020, the company opened its own brewery in Sundbyberg, a municipality just north of Stockholm. However, to keep its beer fresh and economical for its American customers, the brewery works with its U.S. brewing partner, Twelve Percent Beer Project, located in North Haven, Conn. Twelve Percent’s business model is also uncommon as it serves as both an importer and contract brewery.  

Going by the name 12% Imports, it represents brands such as Evil Twin Brewing, Stillwater Artisanal Ales and Against the Grain. As the brewery called Twelve Percent Beer Project, it has partnered with other beer producers such as Timber Ales, Hoof Hearted Brewing and Root + Branch.  

Omnipollo’s offerings cover a wide variety of styles, with one of those styles being imperial stouts. The brewery has been known to produce high ABV beers. Its list includes Hypnopompa, its collaboration with Twelve Percent Beer Project.

Hypnopompa is classified on Untappd as a pastry stout with an 11 percent ABV. The brewery “boiled [it] a bit extra for good measure” to achieve such a high ABV. When it brewed for the first time, it was the brewery’s first-ever dark beer. It is brewed with marshmallows and vanilla beans, which was another first of its kind. At the time of the initial production, the pastry stout category did not exist.  

According to Magnus Björnstjerna, operations manager for Omnipollo, Hypnopompa has been brewed for around seven years at 3-4 different breweries around the world.

I pour Hypnopompa from a 16-ounce can into a tulip glass and it presents with a jet black color. The brewery describes the carbonation as low, which is represented in the thin amount of light tan head. There is also no lacing present. The aroma is roasty with a charred marshmallow and coffee mixture. There are also notes of chocolate and vanilla bean plus a small hint of alcohol.

Despite its classification, this pastry stout does not have an overly heavy body. It is much more drinkable than I expected. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, with a touch of sweetness. The flavor profile mirrors the aroma but without most of the marshmallow adjunct. As it warms, the alcohol begins to come out and negatively affect the overall flavor. However, the lingering bitterness and silky sweetness of the finish was very enjoyable. 

Omnipollo Hypnopompa
BREWERY: Omnipollo
LOCATION: Stockholm, Sweden
STYLE: Imperial Stout
ABV: 11 percent
IBU: 66
PRICE: $5.75
AVAILABLE IN: 16-ounce cans
Pastry stouts are not one of my favorite styles. However, Omnipollo and Twelve Percent Beer Project dialed back the sweetness of this beer to make it more gratifying. While the marshmallow did not play a major role, I found the balance between the vanilla beans and the other flavors to be well executed. Unfortunately, the biggest drawback was the intense flavor of booze as the beer warmed up. This issue took away from the overall flavor and made the beer less enjoyable. Despite this, there are many great qualities to this imperial stout. The medium body, silky mouthfeel, and slightly bitter finish helped this beer stand out from its other overly-sweet pastry stout partners. I would recommend Hynopompa, especially to those looking to try the pastry stout style but may be hesitant due to a sweetness perspective.
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