Stradaregina, two friends’ passion

foto articolo5The Gothic characters which embellish the labels of Stradaregina are a tribute to Vigevano, its town which boasts a medieval square engraved in its perimeter by a charming portico. The Gothic characters naturally complement the graphics, which is the one considered as the most suitable for distinguishing quality beers by Andrea Branchini, who designed it thanks to his professional experience in the world of advertising and marketing. After this experience, alongside with his friend and now associate partner Alessio Sabatini, he decided to change their shared passion for home brewery into a successful business: Stradaregina. This Lombard brewery is located in an abandoned industrial area of Vigevano dating back to the end of ‘800. In the summer, about once a month it changes into a brewpub, so allowing both fans and onlookers to taste its ales in the place where they are produced along with grilled meats, cheeses, and other local delicacies. These beers are naturally refermented both in bottle and in barrel.
An award-winning commitment
Just at the beginning of the third millennium, the two associate partners gradually implemented the production they had started doing it as a hobby, inviting both their friends and owners of public places they frequented to taste their beers. Sabatini tells: «Our offer was still unpretentious. The Italian breweries were moving their first steps, and however curiosity for craft beers was already showing itself. For this reason, the interest in our products, whose taste already revealed a personality of its own, soon increased».
So, the production proposed by this brewery continued to increase, the same thing happened for the catalogue of its labels, and the assortment of sizes, too. The growth of the brewery Stradaregina, whose production is expected to close 2014 at 1,500 hectolitres, has been stimulated by the participation in trade fairs and competitions.

The beers
foto articolo2The catalogue of Stradaregina begins with Summer Ale (4.5% alcohol), inspired by the American pale ale. It is characterized by an old golden colour, with a distinct opalescence. It is medium bodied, with vinous scent. Its taste is characterized by a strong bitter note, followed by a pleasant sweetness, which reminds exotic fruit. Its end notes are clean and balanced, with a long persistence. Trippel (8.2% alcohol), instead, is characterized by an intense golden colour. It is inspired by Trappist beers typical of Northern Europe, from which its strong and determined character, with a spicy taste and a slightly bitter end, derives. It is characterized by a soft body and a balanced taste, which makes it very drinkable, masking its high alcohol content. Imperial Hop (7.8%) is characterized by double apa style. It shows dark amber colour and strong body. As for its taste, the first perception is the sweetness of caramel, followed by an unstoppable crescendo of bitterness conferred by the American hops provided for by the recipe. Its end is long, herbaceous, and citrusy. Pin Hop (6.2% alcohol), too, follows the American pale ale style. Its name does not hide a reference to ‘pin ups’, the USA icons of 1950s, evoked by a nice pair of legs on its label. It is characterized by a light amber colour in the glass and a dominant herbaceous scent of citrus, imposed by the massive use of American hops, counterbalanced by caramel notes of roasted malts as well as clean and dry bitterness of European hops. This beer shows important body and persistent foam. Weizen Hop (4.7 alcohol) is characterized by a pale straw yellow colour, an opaque shade, a medium body, and a very persistent foam. Its phenolic aromas remind vanilla, clove and banana, developed by the yeasts and well-balanced by the notes given by wheat malt as well as hints of herbs and citrus released by New Zealander and American hops. The yeast in suspension gives the classic cloudy appearance of weizen style, with a sensation of fullness and creaminess. Its hopping, unusual for this type of beer, makes it unique in its kind, very scented, refreshing, and palatable. Christmas (11.5% alcohol), produced in the cold season, is characterized by an intense red colour, a strong body, citrus and caramelized notes due to the generous use of caramel and roasted malts. The sweetness of malt, spices added in cooking, and roasted barley are the elements which offer the initial perception on the palate, where notes ranging from ginger, toasted and caramel are then released. It is an intense beer for meditation, from which Frater Christmas Reserva (13% alcohol) is produced, by removing it from the fermenter in steel and letting it ageing for six month in oak barrels. The same barrels which contained the fine red wine ‘Frater’ coming from the winery ‘Ca' di Frara’ at Mornico Losana, in the Oltrepò pavese are used. During the year, Stradaregina also produces Imperial stout, limbic, and fruit beers.
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Priming and Dry Hopping
Sabatini, who is the ‘brewing mind’ of the two partner associates, takes care of designing the special labels, which are also exported to Switzerland. He planned to ​​use the ‘priming’ during the stage which precedes the packaging. Sabatini explains: «This operation consists in adding a small amount of sugar and must to the drink which has completed its primary fermentation, in order to reactivate it, so generating carbon dioxide. Afterwards, the container is hermetically sealed and the liquid reaches saturation, so developing natural effervescence which prevents oxidation of the product. This way, the organoleptic characteristics of the products are safeguarded». For ‘Summer Ale’, ‘Pin Hop’, and ‘Imperial Hop’, Sabatini also uses the technique of dry hopping, consisting in cold hopping which enriches the beers with scents and aromatic values.

 

 

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