Tag Archives: Ivan Borsato

Casa Veccia Calibro 5

Calibro 5 Ivan Borsato Casa Veccia

This is the forth of the Micro Birrificio Casa Veccia Ivan Borsato Birraio beers I’ve tried (after Molo, Dazio and Formenton). As with the other ones, Calibro 5 has a great Matt Groening-style cartoon on the label, this time showing two chaps who seem to be having a party with a couple of phantom sheep. Reading Borsato’s description on their site (in Italian), apparently the image is of a rustic party, because “Le Calibro 5 è la birra per tutti, di tutti e per tutto” – because “Calibro 5 is the beer for everyone and everything.”

Indeed, the spiel is predominantly about how it Borsato and Casa Veccia’s most multi-purpose beer, one that goes with all sorts of foods – and specifically it goes really well with pizza. Why? Because pizza is a dish that varies greatly according to what toppings you choose, and as such needs a versatile beer.

I’m not quite sure what type of beer it is though, specifically. The site describes it as “Belgian Ale-style”, but I dislike that expression. It’s like saying a beer is “British Ale-style”, or “American Ale-style”. I suppose “Belgian Ale-style” is a fairly catch-all term for beers that don’t necessarily fit neatly into other brackets, but I just dislike the woolliness. Untappd calls it a blonde ale, though again, this is a generic term that refers to little other than colour.

Casa Veccia Ivan Borsato Calibro 5 label

It’s certainly a light golden-orange-brown colour, murky, with a foaming but quickly subsiding head. I got very subtle scents of pineapple, lemon, soap. The taste meanwhile, was very sweet, honey-ish, with a little black pepper. Overall, a very easy drinking beer. This is, in fact, its purpose – a low alcohol (by Italian standards: 5% ABV) beer that is made using Kolsh (sic; Kölsch), a strain that, Borsato explains, “is a neutral yeast that limits the natural fermentation, making the beer diminishingly (?) dry but not excessively perfumed or flavoured.” It’s more malty than hoppy, though while the latter gives negligible bitterness, the former is also pretty mild.

Borsato recommends this one be drunk at 4-6C, colder than most ales – so cold you won’t get so much perfume or flavour, but he suggests that at this temperature it’ll be thirst-quenching and refreshing. So again, another good option for encouraging industrial lager drinkers to try a top fermented beer – or indeed a real beer. The spiel on the site does also say that if it’s drunk a few degrees warmer you will get the maltiness more.

So a very easy, versatile beer and another pleasant, pleasing beer from this Casa Veccia Ivan Borsato Birraio brewery, all of whose range I’ve so far really enjoyed. Oh, and the name is just a reference to the ABV: calibro means calibre, size or gauge.

Micro Birrificio Casa Veccia Ivan Borsato Birraio
0422 872397 | ivanborsato.it | birraio@ivanborsato.it

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Casa Veccia’s Molo

Back at Oasi della Birra in Testaccio, with my chum Rachel and my wife Fran. Fran’s beers of choice are unfailingly porters and stouts. As the bar – disappointingly – doesn’t have any Italian beers on tap, we were drinking bottled beers. We asked for a 32 Via dei Birra Altra, a double-malted dark brown ale. They’d run out, but offered us another dark beer. This turned out to be Molo from a micro birrifficio (microbrewery) called Casa Veccia. Not one I’d heard of before. Turns out it’s in Povegliano, in Treviso province of the Veneto, inland from Venice.

Reading the info on Casa Veccia’s Facebook page, the story of the brewery seems not unlike that of several of the other Italian microbreweries I’ve been learning about. (Indeed, it’s a story that’s repeated in the microbrewery scene across the world.) Ivan Borsato, a chef and cookery teacher, says he started making beer for a laugh with three friends in April 2009 but by the end of the year he’d glimpsed an opportunity take it to a professional level. By January 2011 they were producing their first commercial beer, Dazio, an American Pale Ale, then Formenton, a wheat beer.

Borsato, meanwhile, is recognised on all the labels, which says “Micro Birrificio Casa Veccia Ivan Borsato Birraio” with birraio meaning master brewer. (And veccia meaning “vetch“, that is the Vicia genus of Fabaceae, the pea family or legumes.) In fact, I’m not really even sure what the brewery is called, as my beer guidebook simply lists it as Ivan Borsato Birraio.

The labels are also distinctive for their Matt Groening-esque cartoons. (Actually designed by Kulkuxumusu from Pamplona, Spain.) Molo’s label seems to feature some kind of exchange between salty sea dogs, swapping a fish for a bottle of beer.

Anyway. Enough pre-amble. The beer.

The most notable thing about Molo is that it’s a dark, dense 6.5% stout that contains tawny porto, that is tawny port – port that’s been aged in wooden barrels and, according to Wikipedia, imparted with a nutty flavour through gradual oxidation. Now personally, I don’t touch port, not after a work Christmas party about 20 years ago when I learned the hard way how it  gives the worst hangovers. Something to do with congeners. But it certainly added a depth of flavour to the Molo, an almost rare meatiness alongside the more typical stouty flavours of well-roasted and toasted malt, slightly burnt biscuit etc. Though nothing fishy, despite the image on the label.


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