CINCINNATI — Urban Artifact brewery is known for its focus on fruity, sour brews, but it’s becoming just as well known for the innovative use of exotic (for beer, at least) ingredients. The brewery’s latest addition to their Curiosity Series (their experimental line of brews) features a Midwest Fruit Tart flavored with Yellow Mombin — a Brazilian fruit that tastes similar to a mango, with a touch of banana and a bit of a tart edge.
Beer Name: The Tumi (First of the Curiosity Series)
Beer Style: Midwest Fruit Tart
Fruit Used: Yellow Mombin (AKA Cajá or Hog Plum)
Available: Limited and draft only
Where: Urban Artifact Taproom 1660 Blue Rock St, Cincinnati, OH 45223
Though the fruit is native to the tropical Americas, and is rarely cultivated outside of Brazil, it has been naturalized to Africa, southern Asia, and the Caribbean. It is usually eaten fresh or made into juice, jellies, and sherberts.
“As far as we’ve been able to tell, we’re the first brewery to use Yellow Mombin in a beer,” said head brewer and brewery co-founder Bret Kollmann Baker.
Kollmann Baker and other brewers on the team spent a good deal of time researching the fruit, including what it has been used for around the world. And after reading many tantalizing descriptions of the fruit’s flavor, they pulled the trigger and order 3,200 pounds of frozen fresh Yellow Mombin puree.
“Until we opened the drums, we had no first-hand experience with it,” said Matt Bradley, lead brewer on ‘The Tumi.’ “We didn’t know what it was going to be like to work with, nor had we ever tasted it,” Bradley chuckles. “But we were more than pleased with its unique flavor, and the beer has been a hit in our taproom.”
“That’s what we do here. We take calculated risks, we try new things, and we foster a culture of innovation and experimentation among our brewers,” said Kollmann Baker. “And that culture extends to all of our staff,” he continues, “especially on the artistic side, in terms of the events we do and the chances we take.”
This past August, Urban Artifact hosted their third annual Bewilderfest, which not only featured three stages of eclectic regional music over two days, it included the special release of many rare variants of their brews, special infusions made for the event, as well as the latest additions to their spontaneously fermented barrel-aged sour fruited beers.
“Well, we hope you stop in and try ‘The Tumi,’ a truly unique experience,” said Kollmann Baker. “But we’ve got many more experiments — our brewers can be like mad scientists — and new things coming down the pike. I’m really proud of our team, and hope you enjoy the ‘fruits’ of their labor.”
About Urban Artifact
Urban Artifact is a craft brewery with a taproom, full bar, and live music venue, located in the historic St. Patrick’s Church in Cincinnati, Ohio’s Northside neighborhood. Urban Artifact opened their doors with their first beers and first music shows in April 2015. On the anniversary of their third year in operation, they doubled their production capacity with the addition of two new 120 barrel fermentation tanks, for a total capacity of 7,000 barrels per year. They’ve hosted live music nearly every night since opening, and poured thousands of barrels of beer into thirsty patrons’ glasses.
Urban Artifact specializes in tart and wild ales, especially balanced, heavily fruited ales. Their creations are wild, tart, mouthwatering, and gossip-worthy: things often used to describe the latest pop star gone rogue, and more rarely used to describe style-defying beers. Urban Artifact’s beers are inspired by their culture and community, and by the microscopic natural world around us.