Sunday, 3 October 2010

Now Drinking: Birra del Borgo Castagnale

There's not much to add to this video, to be honest. Unusually for me, I sort of stay on message, cover all the points, and say what I set out to say. Maybe the only other thing to add from a tasting point of view is that the beer has a nice classic English hop character that comes through in late the finish. I was too busy wagging my tongue to pick it up while making the video.

Founder of Birra del Borgo Leonardo Di Vincenzo popped into the shop last week, along with Brooks Carretta, who is currently brewing at Birra del Borgo, but will shortly be heading off to oversee the brewing operations at the New York outpost of the Eataly group. It was a bit of a surprise to see them, to say the least. Obviously, they hadn't just got on a train to come and see me - they were in Leeds visiting Vertical Drinks, the UK importer of Birra del Borgo, Le Baladin and Gradisca beers.

I always get a bit overawed meeting brewers whose beers I like. I feel compelled to pump them for technical information about their beers, which is a crappy conversational technique because (a) the information is interesting to me, but perhaps useless outside of the context of my brain, and (b) I'm sure they'd rather talk about something other than work.

In the course of a conversation lubricated by Marble Tawny and BrewDog-Mikkeller Devine Rebel Mortlach Reserve, we chatted about the recent collaborative brew between Leonardo, Teo Musso and Sam Calagione (a shade too much wild thyme, apparently), techniques for making easy drinking session ales (if you're going for something low %abv and delicate, you can think about missing out the first hop addition all together) and late hopping techniques (I asked if they added hops after 'flame out' - 'sure, to the whirlpool. About a ton' was Brooks' laconic reply).

Anyway, Brooks and Leonardo were in the UK to do a brew of Castagnale (4.2%abv) at Everards. It will feature as part of the JD Wetherspoon's winter ale festival (website here), which has an interesting line-up of beers - plenty of trad, and a decent smattering of one-offs. And it will be coming to pub near you (if you live in the UK).


  1. Where'd you get the Sturgis shirt?

  2. Stan - it's a repro knock-off. Although in my defence, I knew exactly what Sturgis was before I saw the shirt.

  3. Looking forward to trying this at the JDW fest. Hopefully it will be one of the beers that's easy to get hold of.


  4. Ah, so this is ewhat happened on that fateful afternoon. As BdB are my new love, I'm looking forward immensley to the JDW fest, hoping desperately to get my mitts on some of this.

  5. Mark - I think Leonardo said they were doing four 60brl brews, which I think is more than enough to put a cask in every JDW's in the country

    Leigh - I'm looking forward to trying it in cask too.

  6. Even if they don't go to every JDW, you have to hope that they will spread them out evenly.

    If you think that they have one on Millennium Sq, one behind the art school, one on Park Row, one on Merrion Way as well as the one in the Station - that's a fairly brief crawl there.

  7. Zak
    I recently bought a bottle of 'RePorter' from the same brewery in a specialist wine shop in Settle and have brought it home to drink, the cost of the beer was £7.50 so I hope it's looks and tastes as good as your Castagnale.

  8. Rock & RollDoc - I haven't had a bad beer form them yet, so at most all you'll have to decide is if it is worth what you paid!

  9. HI ZaK! lovely presentation for my Leo's favourite autumn beer. From today CastagnaAle in cask is available for the first time in the UK at JDW's....just for 16 days...


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