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Home / Doug's Beer Republic  /   Review: Birra del Borgo Duchessa

     
Birra del Borgo Duchessa 
Posted: 19 November 2015  Beer Republic 7.5 
Birra del Borgo Duchessa from Italy 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  Type: Saison   
       


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 Italy.     

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 and 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 Enkir included 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 spelt. 

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19 Nov 2015
 
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