As with every year, opening up that first advent calendar tab is incredibly exciting. It brings me back to when I was a kid and my mom would buy us an advent calendar with little chocolates inside. Every day was a different chocolate and every day was a little bit of excitement. Translate that to an adult version with beer instead of chocolate, I’m a happy camper. Nostalgic.
So, like I did last year, with sincere anticipation I opened the first tab and lo and behold, it was Birrifico Del Doge’s APA. I had the opportunity to visit some craft breweries in Italy. While not typically known for beer, being the largest producer in the world of wine, what I tasted was quite good. So I’m interested to see what this one is like.
Birrifico Del Doge (Doge’s Brewery) is located in Zero Branco (Treviso) Italy and is self-described as an “Italian crafted German beer”. Zero Branco is located on the expanse of the Paduan plain between the cities of Venice and Treviso. The local landscape is characterized by its beauty and network of waterways including the river for which the town is named, River Zero.
Doge’s Brewery takes great pride in their brewing and selects only the highest quality ingredients to use in its beer. Brewing was originally a hobby for the brothers who founded Doge’s Brewery, but once they got a taste for brewing they knew they needed to take it further. In 2012 the Guiman brothers partnered with brewer Federico Casarin to create Doge’s Brewery. ‘Doge’ brewery’s main values include attention to quality, meticulous selection of raw materials, use of source water, deep passion and a desire to impress.
Birrificio del Doge produces eight types of craft beers as well as the occasional specialty brew. They take pride in attention to detail and quality and say on their website that “We do not bottle-condition our beer, but decant the yeast, which affords Doge’s Brewery beer its hallmark clarity.”
American Pale Ales (APA) are, obviously, pale, refreshing and well hopped but with the right amount of malt backbone to balance the beer. The opportunity to select from hops can give this beer a range and either reflect classic hops or new world hops. Generally, an APA is more accessible than an IPA while still providing a hop forward flavour.
The APA is a modern American craft beer adaptation of the English pale ale. These beers tend to reflect ingredients that can be sourced by the brewery locally. While these beers are an American craft beer invention, the desire to source locally means that this Italian version will hopefully have a little bit of that old world flare.
Prior to the explosion of popularity of the IPA, the American Pale Ale was the most well-known and popular of the American craft beer styles. Without further ado, time to taste the beer.
Appearance – Pours golden blonde with a thin ½” white head that retains well.
Smell – Citrus notes reminiscent of lemon and grapefruit with a soft floral hop aroma.
Taste – Mild hop bitterness that is compliment by a very subtle malty sweetness with notes of lemon, grapefruit.
Mouth feel – Light mouth feel with soft bitterness on the start and mild carbonation. Finishes with a light lingering bitterness.
Overall – Subtle hop complimented with malt sweetness that balances well and presents an approachable mildly hoppy beer.
Do I like it? – I did like it. This beer was light, floral, and had some good hop notes to it. These days I find myself leaning towards bolder beers and so, while this one was good, and I did like it, it’s not one I’d be clamoring to grab.