Updated December 18, 2018 13:24:47I had no idea the history of pomegrenate liquor had such a dramatic impact on Australian beer.
The drink is an amalgam of several different spirits and the original recipe for ginger liqueurs is still in use.
It’s now available in many countries around the world, including the US, and it’s not uncommon to see the recipe printed on beer bottles.
When I first started researching the history, I couldn’t find a single reference to it in Australian history books.
It was quite a surprise to discover it was actually a relatively recent development.
The word pomeginate was first recorded in the 17th century and it was popularised by the first published Australian beer recipe, written in 1824 by James Cook.
“In the same year that James Cook first published his recipe, John Mackey published his Pomegranated Pimento,” he wrote.
“This recipe became the standard for the pomegrination of beer.”
It’s believed that this recipe was written in the 19th century by the famous American brewer John Mackeys friend John Macallan who was also a noted alchemist.
“John Mackey and John Macalls recipes for the use of pomesgranate were the basis for the first-ever American beer recipe in 1876.”
“I guess it was in the 1880s that the word ‘pomegranates’ first started to appear in the Australian language.”
In the late 19th and early 20th century, a handful of Australian brewers began to experiment with new, innovative liqueuring techniques.
“We were in a period where people were really enjoying the fruit flavours in our pomego liqueure, so we started to try and add the fruit flavour to the beer,” said historian and beer historian Rob Wainwright.
“In a lot of cases we did it with some of the fruit-based flavours of pomelo, or lemonade.”
In 1877, the US introduced the first “modern” liqueour, named pomegrain.
“When I went to the US to try to try out some of these new flavours, I was surprised by how good it tasted,” said Wainnington.
“The flavour was so good, that I really liked it.”
I’d been brewing for almost 30 years before that and I thought, ‘This is really good’.
“It was one of those things where you would not believe how good this was.”
He said pome grin is still a staple in the US beer scene, even though it was never widely adopted in Australia.
“Pomegranacies are still in a place of history.
They are still part of the American food culture.
They’re still a part of Australian cuisine.”
Pomegrins first appearance in the Aussie lexiconIn 1881, John Gurney wrote the book, The American Brew Book, which was the first Australian book to use the word pomeli.
He described it as “a delicious blend of fruit, herbs and spices”.
“The fruit and spice are the real draw.
It’s a real flavour, and I think that’s what makes it so distinctive,” he said.”
You taste the fruit in a way that you don’t really taste the wine or beer.
It really is an Australian flavour.”
He added that pome-grin liqueures were the perfect combination of flavours, as it was a “light, sweet, tangy, pomey, fruit flavour.”
The book was the bible for the Australian beer industry.
In 1903, it was reported that the Australian Beer Institute (AAI) had issued a statement that the “pomegris” were “one of the most significant achievements of the brewing industry in the United States in recent times”.
“It is said that a pomega has a flavour similar to that of the lemon of the citrus fruits, and that its use in the beer industry has been largely responsible for its introduction into the world,” it said.
In fact, the first commercial use of the word in Australia was by a brewer in 1903, and its use by the beverage industry in Australia continued to increase until the 1950s.
In 1962, the AAI changed the definition of the term to include pomeger, which is still used today.
By the 1980s, the term pomegor was also used to describe the flavour of pumice.
In 1987, the Australian Beverage Association released the first edition of their Beer Dictionary, which included the term.
“Today, Australian beer is still the standard brand in terms of the quality and taste of its ingredients and the flavour,” the ABA said.
But the association has also said it wants the term “pomela” to be removed