THE HONEY BEER FROM BIRRIFICO RURALE: HERE’S OASI!


This article is also available in: Italian

Name: Oasi
Brewery: Birrificio Rurale (Desio, MB)
Alcohol content: 5.0%
Size: 33 cl
Batch: L325

THE BEER

Birrifico Rurale was born in 2009 on the initiative of five partners, friends and homebrewers with experience accrued over the years during seminars/brewing lessons called Esperienza Birra and organized by Agostino Arioli from Birrifico Italiano in the early 2000. Initially, the offices were rural in all senses: the brewery was located in a silo owned by the Azienda Agricola l’Oasi in Certosa di Pavia. The brewery stood out for the quality of its beers from the beginning, but the production suffered from some structural limits as well as being carried out part-time and compatibly with the partners’ different jobs. The turning point happened in 2013 after many changes, including the transition of Lorenzo Guarino, one of the founders, as a full-time brewer. The same year, they acquired a warehouse in Desio (MB) and finally the brewery could fully express its potential. Three years later, the range of beers is extensive and keeps evolving. All products are strictly unfiltered, unpasteurized, with no added preservatives, and characterized by high quality and “clean” production techniques. Today we are tasting Oasi, which takes its name from the original location of the brewery. It is realized with the addition of chestnut honey produced by the company “Le api di Spino” (Calco, LC). Oasi just won a silver medal at the competition “Birra dell’anno 2016” (Beer of the year 2016, Cat. 25 – Beers with honey) following the first place gained at the same competition in 2015. For this type of beers, the contribution given by the honey must be clearly perceptible without prevaricating grossly the characteristics of the basic style, which in this case is a Pils (i.e. malt, herbaceous, bitter, and dry).

THE TASTING

The picture doesn’t do justice to the beer. It is golden yellow and cloudy (but this characteristic reduces significantly as the temperature increases). The foam is white, abundant and soft with a fine texture persistent in the glass. The beer is fluid. The aroma of chestnut honey emerges immediately, followed by a light fruitiness and herbaceous notes given by the hops. In the background, a sweet smell of malted barley (which leads to honey again) closes a fresh and delicate bouquet. What captured on the nose returns symmetrically to the mouth: the beginning is sweet, malted and sugary, but the finish is dry and tends to bitter – a round bitter, perceptible only on the palate, not in the throat, that fades in a short time. The persistence of the aftertaste is short and follows the aromatic path (honey, herbaceous and honey again); the body is light and the carbonation is medium, pleasantly sparkling in the mouth. As a result, Oasi appears extremely drinkable, fresh and fragrant. As the beer warms up, the chestnut honey emerges more, even if it remains nice and doesn’t shadow the hop component. Everything is balanced on the harmony between the aromatic sweetness of the honey and the delicate bitterness of the herbaceous notes. It is a simple yet tasty beer, pleasant to drink and relaxing, in which the basic characteristics are well balanced with the special added ingredient.

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