Vieille Ville

Style: Saison Style
Birrificio del Ducato, Soragna, Italy

"Cheerful and crisp, Vieille Ville Saison is golden yellow and opalescent with fine bubbles. Brettanomyces yeast prolonged activity during secondary fermentation makes it particularly foamy with an abundant head and decisive carbonation, an easy escape from the bottle…
"Its 6% ABV superbly hide behind a young freshness, spiciness and moderate sour taste. The yeast’s unmistakable character, typical of a Saison, is dry with a hint of spicy hotness and a subtle yet unique acidity. Its distinctive Brettanomyces induced sourness remains shy to the nose while exploding in the mouth.
"Neither snobby nor rude, neither submissive nor subservient, this beer’s character is unique. Balance, elegance and Brettanomyces’s rustic simplicity coexist beautifully. The yeast keeps refining with time making the beer more complex and round year after year.
"It has been almost a year since the day we bottled Vieille Ville Saison’s first batch. I remember it being an extremely intense, hot and laborious day. Wanting to finish all the beer in the tank, we worked all day nonstop from early in the morning till late at night. It was the first time we ever bottled a re- fermented beer at our facility in Fiorenzuola and we had to hurry to prevent the newly added sugars from triggering a re-fermentation before bottling. We hired two very special helpers for that “mission”: Manuel and Michele. Our two “accountants” proved themselves men of great endurance and patience. 2400 numbered bottles of 25 fluid oz resulted from that long, hot and humid day.
"This beer started as a bet, a daring one… During adolescence, when I used to spend my afternoons in pubs with friends, Orval was one of the beers that struck me the most. Unique to its kind, it stands out for its freshness, dryness and simplicity. Complex aromas of leather, cellar, salami skin, cheese ends and rust make its character mysterious. Bottle aging enhances further its complexity by making it more and more charming. Added before bottling, Brettanomyces wild yeast is the secret behind this marvelous beer. Knowing about this practice through Orval, I took up the challenge of making my own. I decided to brew a standard Saison by using a very simple recipe (Pilsner malt, Poperinge hops and Belgian yeast).Then I re-fermented it by adding a single strain of Brettanomyces before bottling.
"Months of aging made this beer’s end result go way beyond my greatest expectations. At Villaggio della Birra Festival or at Boreft Beer Festival (September 2012) although still young, it was already incredible for its freshness, multi-faceted flavors and balance. Drinking it after seven months of bottle fermentation was a multi-sensory experience. Brettanomyces conveyed it greater dryness, complexity and elegance. Just like a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis so this beer undergoes a transmutation that with time makes it a completely new beer.
“Thus no visible thing perishes completely as Nature recreates from one thing to the next and never lets one be born without another dying” as the lustrous Latin poet Lucretius writes in his De Rerum Natura. This is the only quote showing on the label because nothing else needs to be said or explained. We only ought to take it in and reflect. We can’t always understand everything as truth cannot be grasped. The modern western man is obsessed in his rational attempt to possess truth and to enclose the entire universe within categories. In my opinion, neither the unknown can be grasped nor can beauty be captured. Beauty, that part of the unknown alive within us all, can only be perceived during rare moments of ecstasy. If you are sensitive enough, if you listen deeply and open your mind then you may be fortunate enough to “touch” beauty and beers like this one will reveal themselves to you as you would have never expected before.
"Drink it right away or, if you can master the patience, keep it for the future to accompany your happiest moments on a beautiful sunny day."

~ Giovanni Campari, Brewmaster Birrificio del Ducato.

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