DE ZYTHOLOOG #15 – Novembre 2006 (Kuaska)

Belgian beers up on the hills of Tuscany

The first edition of “Villaggio della Birra”,beer-festival focused on Belgian and Italian craft beers has been held on third weekend of September in Bibbiano/Buonconvento in Tuscany, up on the beautiful and green hills around wonderful historical Siena.

Beer-enthusiast organizer Gianni Tacchini who sells beers on line ( www.birrerya.com ) exclusively from small indipendent Belgian breweries, invited six Belgian and four Italian brewers.

Belgian beers are very popular in Italy so despite bad wheater have forced to move the booths from outdoor to inside the adjoint TNT pub, a crowd of happy beerlovers attended the festival enjoying great beers on tap, speaking with skillful and genuine brewers in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Free entry, every beer on draugth was served by brewers and their staff in a pretty 15cl. festival tasting glass (token at 1,20 Euros). Excellent local dishes was served at bargain prices.

From Belgium we had the pleasure to have Marc Limet (Brouwerij Kerkom), Kris Boelens (Brouwerij Boelens), Achilles Van de Moer (Brouwerij Achilles), Bart Desaeger (Brouwerij Den Hopperd) and Grégory Verhelst (Brasserie de Rulles) accompanied by young cartoonist Palix. Unluckily my dear friend Armand Debelder (Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen) was not able to come but his Oude Geuze was there, strongly appreciated by our more educated consumers.

The four Italian brewers were Dano Meinero (Birrificio Troll), Beppe Vento (Birrificio Bi-Du), Cesare Gualdoni (Birrificio Orso Verde) and Tuscanian Moreno Ercolani (Birrificio Olmaia). All had a great success confirming high quality of newborn “Made in Italy” in brewing.

Finally I led two tutored tastings of three Belgian and two Italian beers each,which all tickets were sold out in advance. Lucky attenders learnt more about beers and pairings with local craft cheeses and sausages, and above all. they had the opportunity to know directly from brewers, some of them very shy in front of a microphone, about their different histories, thoughts and future projects.

See you next year, hoping sunshine will kiss us.

Lorenzo Dabove aka Kuaska, professional beer-taster

www.kuaska.it