Oldo: the agro-artisan brewery of Reggio Emilia


Oldo: the agro-artisan brewery of Reggio Emilia

We went to Oldo, an agro-artisan brewery in the heart of Emilia, to discover a different brewing reality in the Italian panorama.

Not far from the center of Reggio Emilia, the Oldo brewery has its production plant in the municipality of Ca ‘del Bosco . In his 7 hectares of the Po Valley, Andrea Soncini planted barley, to ensure that his brewery could be defined not only as artisanal but also agricultural , that is, with at least half of the raw materials used from its own production. The occasion of our visit was provided by an extraordinary public crush of a lambic, spontaneously fermented beer, under the supervision of Paolo Erne, one of the greatest Italian experts and in collaboration with the Madama Beershop of Bologna and Bokkereyder Brewery.

oldo

There are usually about ten beers made, to these must be added the Fab Four: “ The reference to the Beatles is clear, in reality they are seasonal beers each brewed with a typical ingredient of the production season ” explains Andrea. Among Oldo’s creations, a special mention goes to Casta and Pura beer  , a tribute to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine area: a splendid Scotch Ale with chestnuts , in this case used in mashing rather than boiling as it happens more frequently. “La Casta e Pura is the daughter of a lucky encounter with a computer engineer, passionate about chestnuts, who lives on Mount Ventasso. In the typical metati, stone houses built for this purpose, he works the chestnuts to make flour: for thirty-five days they are smoked and dried over a low heat with chestnut wood “.

farmhouse

The chat with Andrea is also an opportunity to take stock of the situation of the Italian beer scene. Last year the legislator finally established the criteria of craftsmanship, but set a very high production ceiling: ” I’m not worried about the largest craftsmen who will inevitably be able to go out at more competitive prices, but rather the Trojan horse-style operations. . I’m talking about acquisitions by multinationals, see Birra del Borgo. They do it to unhinge our world. This is the real battle to be fought in no uncertain terms ”. According to him, Unionbirrai will be able to join forces to protect the craft breweries, but also individually there is a lot of work to do: “The association must give us awareness as well as act as a political spokesperson for the category. It’s a world of first women, we should think more as entrepreneurs. We cannot overlook the fact that the hops market risks becoming a monopoly or that the kegs to be filled are bought at half price by the multinationals or that the distributors are at the mercy of these groups ”.

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Andrea also has clear ideas about the future of his brewery : ” We are renovating the properties we have on the farm, the idea is to create a farmhouse, a small village dedicated to beer, obviously with a tap-room for tastings and a hops to further increase the share of raw materials grown by us “. A very fascinating project that we hope will soon see the light. To carry it forward, in addition to Andrea, some collaborators and his wife Francesca, who has supported him since the opening in 2010. In the cooking room two young willing and already very prepared: Davide and Luca. If we have made you want to spend some time in this real beer oasis, while waiting for the hospitality offer to be made, you canvisit the brewery on Saturday mornings by appointment .


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