30 May The Beer Drop: Pollyanna Kiwi Allure
This week’s Pollyanna Brewing Company might call Lemont, IL, home, but the star of this week’s Beer Drop show is all about the easy-living, land down under vibes: Kiwi Allure! Thanks to the addition of Australia’s favorite fuzzy fruit, this refreshing sour wheat ale will have you coming back to the cooler for more, especially on those humid summer days.
Pair that can with Pollyanna’s staple Lexical Gap IPA for a hell of a 1-2 punch for your grillin’ and chillin’ this weekend.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Pollyanna’s head brewer and co-founder, Brian Pawola, to learn more about these cans, the stories behind the brewery, and where you might catch one of their beers on the big screen this year – read on for more!
Tell us about Kiwi Allure:
Kiwi Allure is a Berliner Weisse with lots of Kiwi! It’s tart, fruity, dry, and super refreshing on a hot, humid, muggy day. Best served cold from a glass dripping with condensate.
And Lexical Gap?
Lexical Gap is our flagship West Coast IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Centennial, and Columbus hops. Nearly a double IPA at 7.3% ABV, this one has a plethora of American hops that give off loads of citrus, tropical fruit, and pines, but is perfectly balanced by a very lightly sweetened malt backing.
When and how did you get into craft beer? And what were you up to before that?
I got into craft beer in college when I realized there was more to beer than just binge drinking Busch Light. I homebrewed for several years before finally committing to the brewing industry when I went through the Siebel Institute of Technology (Chicago) and Doemens Academy (Munich) Master Brewer Program in 2013.
Before beer I was in Healthcare IT. I got bitched at by doctors and nurses daily while traveling the country implementing software into hospitals.
When did Pollyanna first get up and running?
Pollyanna has been open since September of 2014 in Lemont. We opened a second tap room and brewery in Roselle in November of 2017. We were founded by five partners (Brian Pawola, Paul Ciciora, Don Ciciora, Ed Malnar, and Ryan Weidner). Each of us has a different background, so we each specialize in certain things and come together to make a pretty good team.
What’s the story behind the name? How do your labels and branding tie it all together?
Pollyanna is defined as “irrepressibly optimistic.” We take the glass half full approach to most things. We believe that optimism doesn’t need to be a naïve mindset.
Our brand is clean and consistent, but intriguing. That’s how we view our beers, so that’s how we’ve wanted our brand presented on cans and bottles as well as social media.
How do you name your beers?
Most of the beer names have a story to tell, like the story of Pollyanna, but some of them are just random names I think of when I’m drinking.
What’s your favorite thing about Pollyanna?
My favorite thing about Pollyanna is our ability to make and sell any style of beer. We brew them, but we don’t focus on IPAs, pastry stouts, or hyped styles of beer. We brew a mix of hoppy beers, lagers, sours, pastry stouts, fruit beers, and all sorts of experimental beers.
How do you measure success at the brewery?
The amount of sleep we get!
Hot Hop Takes
Hit us with something people might not know about Pollyanna:
Mazzie our APA has a role in the upcoming next “Halloween” movie. We were told the following: “I just want to be clear, as the scene they want to use it for is with underage kids. Were you aware of that? I just want to make sure you are okay with the kid being underage carrying the beer and that he does indeed get killed.”
Hope we made the final cut! Pun intended.
Favorite craft beer festival:
BUG and Naperville Summer Ale Fest
Weirdest thing your brewery has ever been tagged in on social media:
Not necessarily a social media tag, but we once got a proposal from an online porn site asking us to contract brew a house beer for them. While honored, we weren’t sure what our wives would say about that one…
Favorite brewery other than your own:
I lived in Kansas City for a few years after college and grew to love Boulevard. They have an incredibly diverse portfolio and an extremely well run business. That “Love Child” series is so good. They’re certainly a brewery to admire.
Favorite beer other than your own:
Easy. Pilsner Urquell. It’s perfection.
Pick a character from history to drink Kiwi Allure with:
Crocodile Dundee. He probably liked Kiwis, no?
Favorite beer quote:
“You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.”
Thanks to Brian and the Pollyanna team for the great conversation and for brewing some tasty stuff! Be sure to stop by their taproom the next time you’re in Lemont or Roselle to enjoy some beers straight from the source.