The depth of brewing in Italy is still relatively shallow by reputation, dwarfed by the overbearing Wine industry and exports for which Italy is most famous. However, upon forming in 2010, Brewfist has been making inroads and some rather interesting beers. There is already some momentum spreading in the homeland and certainly, from the anecdotal evidence, in Italy’s capital with a fairly buoyant export market and growing thirst in consumers on both sides of the Atlantic for beers with a little more character. They brew in a ratio of 65:35 keg versus bottles, mostly due to shipping the kegs over to the Roman market.
Brewfist’s vehicle is some rather interesting named beers twinned with eye-catching artwork and imagery for marketing material. The name in English to provide some additional punch to pierce the UK and US markets, was as suggested, to provide some dynamic edge to the Brewery. The opening combination from Brewfist was an excellent first round in the form of 5 beers that have proven popular for them in other markets. Two of the beers were unveilings, the Heimdall – first batch anywhere (truly honoured) and secondly the Terminal Pale Ale, which was a first batch brought to the UK.
1. Terminal Pale Ale
A proper session strength beer, belying the flavour punch it can deliver, much akin to the Wild Swan from Thornbridge. Coming in at only 3.7% and using pilsner malts, 80% citra hops and Australian sourced Summer hops, this beer is exceptionally citrussy and very dry to boot. Brilliant night out beer, perfect for a late session on a Summer’s evening. There are some grassy aromas with a tart and sharp finish, much akin to a good new world Sauvignon Blanc, keeping the palate very clear. Takes a few mouthfuls to get into the right gear for this beer, but once there; it is very, very drinkable.
2. Czech Norris
The Brewfist Imperial Pilsner, coming in at 6.7% and using typical hops for pilsners in Saaz and Munich Pils hops. Most of the flavour comes from the dry hopping of the brew, especially with some hops added in the last 10 mins of the mash. This beer was meant to be a one off brew, but its popularity from its ease of drinking and the cheeky moniker have meant demand for this beer is continuing to gain momentum.
An experimental Brewfist offering made in collaboration with a German brewery, using Pilsner, Oat and Rye malt in a farmhouse saison style brew along with an abundance of Galaxy and Hellertau Saphir hops. This weighs in at 7.6% with an incredible length of flavour, some spicy notes and the usual farmhouse fruit driven sour flavours, the brew has had no additional spices used in the brewing process which is testament to the craft and care with which it has been handled.
4. Spaceman IPA
First brewed in 2011 for a specific beer festival, this exceptionally dry IPA comes in at 7% in the style of a West Coast Pale ale. The alcohol levels are exceptionally well hidden under the flavours of this very rich pale offering. The hops used are Colombus, Citra and Simcoe, explaining the derived pine dryness. A complex, rich and delicious pale ale with some grapefruit citrus and white stone fruit character.
One of the first four regular beers produced by Brewfist, this is a milk chocolate stout which is farirly sweet with some coffee notes but not overly heavy in body. There is a rather thin mouth feel to what could be judged on looks as being very chewy. Magnum hops over a multilayered spectrum of malts (including chocolate and maris otter), the inclusion of Oats and lactose give an ABV strength of 5.2% and pleasant residual sweetness. The lack of smokiness and a week of infusion with cacao beans rounds off what is a very interesting and deceptively delicate stout.
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