/ Doug's Beer Republic /
Review: Birra del Borgo Duchessa
Birra del Borgo Duchessa
Posted: 19 November 2015
Duchessa is a saison, or a seasonal French-style farmhouse
ale known for being fruity and spicy. As a disclaimer,
I had no idea about the style before I drank it. What
probably gave this beer a degree of funkiness is the
inclusion of spelt grains.
Avg price/liter: USD 24.00
ABV %: 5.8
It's been a long time since I
sampled a beer from
Birra del Borgo from Italy -- and not because I think their
products are lousy. Birra del Borgo makes fantastic
artisanal beers. But for some reason, here around
Bangkok, when you go to an Italian restaurat offering up
bottles of the few brands of Italian microbrews imported
into Thailand, Birra del Borgo's beers don't appear.
I had just forgotten all
about 'em. They were nowhere to be seen in
Another issue is that the
online shop from which I procure them -- I ain't finding
them at restaurants, am I? -- doesn't sell that many Birra
del Borgo varieties in 330 ml bottles. Only the
ReAle Extra. There
used to be a free more back in May when I did the original
sampling. Now the site is filled with 750 ml bottles
of different Birra del Borgo styles. These are all
pricier brews, at least 40% more per liter than the 330 ml
varieties I was getting months back.
Did I care? I ordered a
few ReAle bottles so my wife could try the brand and assess
it herself. And then I topped up with a few pricier
750 ml bottles, the Duchessa among them.
Duchessa is a saison, or a
seasonal French-style farmhouse ale known for being fruity
and spicy. As a disclaimer, I had no idea about the
style before I drank it. The Duchessa shares, like
other Birra del Borgo beers, a certain yeasty wheatiness
that cheap beers just don't have.
What probably gave this beer
a degree of funkiness is the inclusion of spelt grains
traditionally harvested in the Duchess Mountains Regional
Park Now you know where the beer got its name!
Spelt has been around for over 7,000 years and was common in
parts of Europe until the fifteenth century. Now it's
common to see spelt more often in health food shops than in
beers. Birra del Borgo is no stranger to weird
grains in their beer. Their
ancient grains. Spelt is supposedly lower in gluten
and easier to digest than normal wheat.
I'd savor one of these with a
bruschetta. You don't want flavors competing with your