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Birrificio Maiella

Birrificio Maiella lies in the shadow of the massive limestone massif of the National Park that bares its name, written as Majella in Abruzzese. With wolves, bears, chamois, and peaks dotted with snow all year long, the Majella feels more like an untouched Alps than  a mountain range in the Mezzogiorno. The nearest town of Pretoro clings to the walls of it like a Shangri-La cloaked from outside view via fumes of mountain mist that stream through its streets up the slopes. Brewmaster Massimiliano Di Prinzio takes advantage of every aspect of this location. The water for his beer is sourced from four different springs depending on the quality he seeks for each specific beer. Ingredients like wild mountain flowers, acacia honey, spices and even two types of indigenous antique strains of wheat, Solina and Senatore Cappelli, are harvested by hand. Even the malting is done locally in Ancona. Nothing is filtered nor pasteurized.

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Emigrante

Briliant gold in color, the perfect metaphor for the promises from across the seas that lured so many away from this paradise. Ultimately drawing its inspiration from American Pale Ales, the Emigrante is a blend of ingredients from the lands the ancestors of these Abruzzesi left for: American and New Zealand hops; German, English, and Belgian malts; the flowing waters of the Del Verde spring in the Parco Nazionale della Majella forming the transitive base. What flavor would you expect this beer to have other than bittersweet.

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High fermented Amber Ale made with three grains — barley, organic spelt, and an ancient strain of local durum wheat known as Solina — acacia honey, hops, and water from the Del Verde spring. Oranges, candied fruit, honey, and caramel greet the nose, while a creamy complex lather makes sure the flavors stay in your mouth.

 

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In lieu of hops for aromatics (though there are some used for bittering), this blanche is made with chamomile and lavender foraged from the Parco Nazionale di Maiella. Nothing more need be said.

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This Saison uses a type of grano duro called ‘Senatore Cappelli’ that exists only in the area surrounding the brewery. The secondary fermentation is initiated with apple marmalade from ‘Casolana’ apples that again/of course come only from their zone. Too drinkable.

Retorto

 

 

 

 

Birrificio Retorto

Brewmaster Marcello Ceresa’s approach to crafting beer begins with the soil, graduating from l’Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza with a degree not simply in brewing but also in food and nutrition supply and technology. His sense of where it begins to where it goes is fundamental to the beer he creates. Wanting to maintain that connection to all parts of the chain, in 2011 he stopped working as a traveling brewmaster for other breweries around Piacenza, enlisted his sister and brother, Monica and Davide, and opened Birrficio Retorto. Retorto means wring in Latin and is meant to evoke the topography of the sharp valleys that wring the tiny rivers and canals cutting through the province. They’ve been racking up the awards since they opened, even being voted the best brewery in Italy in 2013 by Ratebeer.

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Daughter of Autumn

Strong scotch ale characterized by a nourishing yeastiness and several malts, including Pilsner, Crystal, Munich and a predom-inant peated barley one. The name is misleading as this is a food beer made to be enjoyed across all four seasons, especially summer BBQ season.

def_arancioMorning Glory

An American Pale Ale made with Pilsner and Cara Pilsner malts as well as malted wheat and roasted barley. Hallertauer Perle hops gets thrown into the boiling process while Citra and Simcoe are used in dry hopping. In the Italian spectrum this is considered to have a “strong” hops profile, but therein lies the beauty of Italian beer – nothing blasting out at you nor out of balance. This is a highly sessionable APA made, as all things Italian, to not overpower the food and conversation you may be accompanying it with.

def_arancioLatte Piu

Yeast, wheat, and baking spices stewed with the grapefruit rind all arrive at once. It then begins on the palate like a full-bodied blanche yet ends clean and alive with gentle grapefruit bitterness that calls for food. Think cheeses and anything fried, particularly french fries with mayonnaise.

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Bitter chocolate, coffee roast, and a vanilla that lacks any cloying sweetness. This beer drinks like a stout that is so well balanced it compels you to keep drinking. Pair with mildly sweet desserts or just by itself, a fireside, and a thick rich book. Very limited supply.

DariobtlThe label says Bloody Mario but in a neat swap of cultures we sell it here Stateside as Bloody Dario. You see, the forces that be thought Bloody Mario sounded like it contained spirits in it… That’s cool with us though because we’re rewriting the story as instead a shout out to the mastermind of so many epic Italian B Horror films, Dario Argento! Anyhow, this is a kriek done as traditional as possible, including crushing the cherries with their feet. Sour, Savory, fruity without being sweet, and the most delicate kiss of Brett.

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Birrificio Rurale

Though Lorenzo Guarino is technically the brewmaster at Birrificio Rurale, this is truly a collective of friends who had the good fortune to grow up in and around Milan and Monza where there have been no shortage of small breweries they could sample from over the years, fine tuning their own senses of what it was they wanted to make. In the end, they’ve committed themselves to making fun and creative all natural beers. Everything remains unpasteurized, unfiltered, zero conservatives, and with all organic ingredients including things like chestnut honey and bergamot. Drink to your hearts content because a hangover will not find you. Another brewery that’s racking up the awards, no less than 4 of their beers have been rated Birra Dell’ Anno by the Associazione Unionbirrai.

Oasi

Oasi

This deep golden “Pilsner” was the result of the search for a beer with all the clean crispness of a Pilsner yet matched with the complexity of a high fermented ale. It’s made with locally sourced organic chestnut honey that gets thrown in the fermen-ter bringing out more of the bitter, nutty, woody, baking spices characteristics of the honey and chestnut rather than simply the sweetness. In fact, the bitter profile blends right into that of the organic herbaceous Noble German hops employed as well during both the fermentation and dry hopping.

Scarliga

Scarliga 

The name of this Double IPA  means “slippery” in Milanese dialect. The brewery’s take on what a Double IPA would look like if all European ingredients were used (i.e., they favor ele-gance and delicacy over in-your-face-everything over there in case you didn’t know). With gentle Pilsner and Munich malts matched by subtle Dana (Slovenian) and Kazbek (Czech) hops used in both boiling process and dry hopping giving it a per-fume of blood orange and passion fruit that balance rather than define the structure, this one goes down so easily one tends not to notice the 8.5% alcohol, hence the epithet.

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The Seta Special is a take on the Seta, a wit that won first in its class in 2014 by Union Birrai, wherein Calabrian bergamot rinds are thrown in. When you’re lying on the beach and your pavlovian salivation kicks in when you hear the guy with the cooler walk buy and yell “cervezas frías” this is the beer you wish he was selling.

SetaSourwebSeta Sour

Probably the way the first sours happened, this too began as an irresistible mistake. The aroma is a tart and lactic lemon/limonata with light cracker malt, earthy hops, and a  mild bretty bitter finish. This is a highly sessionable sour that doesn’t need food to be enjoyed. Very limited supply.

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Inspired by American Black Pale Ales (Black IPA), this is a beer that captures the maltiness of a richer beer while remaining light and quaffable. As with all of our beers, take ‘IPA’ lightly as this is a balanced, nuanced, and elegant beer made to be paired with food. You’re not gonna notice the 7.5% alcohol.

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An Italian Pilsner took third place in one of the world’s most famous competitions, the European Beer Star in Bavaria. Read that sentence again, an Italian Pilsner took 3rd place in a German competition. For those of you who understand the difficulty of crafting the perfect pizza margherita, the beauty of a ball of mozzarella di bufala on its own with no condiments whatsoever,  and the etherealness of epic two ingredient pastas like cacio e pepe it should come as no surprise that Italians would excel inside the restraints of the Reinheitsgebot.

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