COLUMBUS COULN’T FIND INDIA, BUT IPAs HAVE FOUND ITALY
Fire Witch India Pale Ale, The Wall, Varese, Italy, Abv 6.5
Florence’s Beer Club House would be a destination beer bar even in Portland or San Francisco; in Florence it has a niche of its own. Although there are the requisite double digit taps and a huge range of hard-to-find bottles, it’s the care in the selection that sets it apart. The owner/barkeep is a beer enthusiast who is good for engaging conversations about the Italian beer scene – in exceptionally good English.
The bar is located near the river, no more than a ten minute walk from the Uffizi and even less from Santa Croce. Unlike most of the good drinking places in Florence, it opens at noon, so when your feet wear out, it will be ready for you.
Today’s beer probably won’t be there when you get there, but you’ll surely find something like it. IPAs have taken off throughout Europe. They’ve been popular in Scandinavia almost as long as they have in the US, but they have exploded in Iberia and Italy in the last few years. The Wall is typical of the craft revolution. Located in Venegono Inferiore not far from one of the pioneering Italian craft breweries in Cumo, it’s only a few years old, but like so many new American craft breweries, their learning curve has been pretty quick.
Tasting notes: Lots of hops fill cauldrons of metal flavors, but by the end they add fruit as well as some grass and herbs. Caramel malt seems to add to the metallic profile. As it drinks, hops get sticky and pushe it close to a double IPA.
Food Pairings: Big flavors. Italian pizza or a medium rare Steak Florentine. Beer Review # 0109 20170513
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