Now is the time of the crazy fool

“Now is the time of the crazy fool”, was Bruno Carilli’s broad translation of his brewery’s name into English. Very clever as it sums up his brewing philosophy: intelligent but always tinged with humour. Bruno was at Port Street Beer House to tell us more about Toccalmatto, his brewery in Fidenza, Italy, and guide us through some of their beers. Since beginning brewing in 2008, Toccalmatto has quickly established a reputation not only amongst the booming Italian craft beer market, but internationally as well. 

 Bruno is passionate about beer and is a self-confessed hop addict, hence their reputation for hop-led experimental beers. Such is his commitment to all things hop related, 16 new varieties are being cultivated between Fidenza and Tabbiano. A very genial host, the place was buzzing with conversation until last orders was called. But did the beers live up to the hype...?

Re Hop
A 5% American Pale Ale. Bursting with flavour from the Cascade hops, this was fruity and dry. Hard to credit it was 5%, it was an immediate hit.

Zona Cesarini
Described as a “Pacific IPA” due to the nature of the hops that gave this 6.6% such a tropical feel; this was very refreshing with mango, watermelon and passion fruit. Another belter.

Stray Dog
Bruno’s 4.2% take on the classic English Bitter-Taylor Landlord was an early favourite-but given a little reboot by a sprinkling of Citra.

In a very competitive field this was, for many, the beer of the evening. A 7% Saison brewed with Australian and New Zealand hops, this again was incredibly easy-drinking with lots of tart tropical fruit that combined with the spices to give a very dry finish.

Mais Dire Bock
This is a 6.5% take on the German Maibock style but, naturally, this being Toccalmatto, there is a twist. I’m not sure our conservative Anglo-Saxon cousins would approve, but the subtle addition of New World hops really lifted this beer. Initially smooth, this amber beer soon delivered a well-balanced mix of malt and berried fruits.

Uber Pils
This 6.2% effort again broke the stereotype for German beers. No finings, so no clarity for this uber-hopped beer, but plenty of upfront flavour. Hay on the aroma leads to a crisp bite of citrus and white grape notes. Very tasty and incredibly moreish.

One of the best MTB events that PSBH has ever hosted. The beer ranged from excellent to stunning and a jolly good time was had by all. There are only 10 outlets for Toccalmatto currently in the UK, but they are worth the effort of seeking out. 


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