Saturday, 6 June 2015

Birra del Borgo Old and New Brewery Tours

Just checking out the Birra del Borgo old brewery where they are doing a brewing demonstration for the fans. John from Harbour Brewing in Cornwall and Roberto from Beer Fellas, a distribution company specialising in English Ale, are here helping out too. Nothing new to see here but interesting heating about the brewing process in Italian!
Roberto runs a couple of bars in Rome, including one that plays English soccer and is adorned with paraphernalia from all the English leagues. The picture below shows their old kit which is now used for Gypsy brewing as well as experimental sours usng their cool ship (not pictured). For those not in the know, a coolship is wide and shallow vessel/tub that the wort is poured into after the boil and allowed to cool in the air. This happens fairly rapidly due to the width and shallowness of the tub. It's basically a really big, rectangular stainless sink, about 30cm deep and 4x2m around. The natural yeast and bacteria in the environment will then feast on wort. I'm assuming they add some lactose to aid in the sour bacteria fermentation too, but this type of fermentation is a bit beyond me at this point.

We went back and had a few beers at the festival and then joined the tour of the new brewery (spoken in English by Leo). In true style they have some crazy things going on here too. They have had terracotta amphorae made in Tuscany to age some of their beers, alongside some large oak barrels. 

Fermentation is still occurring  in stainless vats. This brewery is quite a bit larger and more sophisticated than the original/old  brewery setup. I didn't take many photos becausen I didn't want to feel like a spy!

The tour was great and the developing story of Italian beer is what really shone through. I'm not sure how well all the experimentation is working but there's a nucleus of Italian artiganle brewers experimenting with local ingredients and wine making techniques to create a truly "Italian" beer.

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