Sunday, October 16, 2011

Amarcord in Le Marche: 2nd stop

   Le Marche is the region just east of Umbria and Tuscany, across the Appenines and on the Adriatic coast. We went there for a farm-stay vacation for several days, at La Tavola Marche.  This place is run by Ashley and Jason, a young couple who met at Seattle Pacific U. and who have lots of Wash. ties.  The last day there was the eve of white truffle season, quite a big deal in those parts.  The truffle hunters and their highly trained dogs (the pigs have been retired) were all set to go on the first day of October.  A town a few kilometers from the farm, Apecchio, was putting on a truffle festival all weekend and we drove over to check it out.
   Well, when we got there, a town from the 1400s with a couple thousand people, we discovered that truffles weren't the only big deal that weekend.  A banner by the town hall proclaimed Apecchio's other claim to fame.
 Yes, little Apecchio was calling itself La Citta' della Birra because it had two craft brewing operations, Collesi and Amarcord.  We weren't able to learn much about Collesi, but Amarcord was quite a story. We met Gianni Pierini, a brewmaster at the works just outside the town, and sat down with him for some brews and beer chat.
    Gianni knew something of the American craft beer scene, as Amarcord has an arrangement with Brooklyn Brewing which enables the company to export its bottles to the U.S.  They stick with the four styles on the poster and the website, a blonde ale, a red ale, a double malt, and the Tabachera, a 9% powerhouse of uncertain style (it was not on tap this first night of the festival).  Gianni was thinking about seasonal ales such as the pumpkin ales so many brewers make this time of year here. He quizzed Mark, a homebrewer from Michigan, who had made a few pumpkin ales, on his methods.
(L-R: yrs truly in the WABL t-shirt, Gianni, and Mark).  Mark got to tour the brewery the next morning, but we had to return the rented Fiat to Bologna by noon and missed the tour.
(Visited 9/30/11)

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