Birrificio Antoniano - Birra Antoniana Vienna Style
- ABV: 5.4%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 20
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass or Stange
Pouring a golden amber hue with good clarity and a cap of off-white foam, this Italian version of Vienna Lager certainly looks the part. In the aroma, look for prominent undertones of caramel and fresh biscuit overlaid with a grassy and earthy European noble hop impression. Flavorwise, the caramelized malts are pretty rich, accompanied by biscuit and light bread crust character. There's a decent dollop of residual sweetness here too, which really underscores the caramel notes, while hops add a mildly bitter counterbalance. We picked up some fruity touches, as well, akin to apple and dried fruits, while hops bring some herbal, grassy notes along with a hint of citrus rind. Medium-bodied, balanced, and refreshing, this lager is a friendly pairing to hearty and spicy dishes. Try matching with spicy chicken enchiladas, chile relleno, or roasted fowl or pork. The brewery also recommends risotto with red chicory. Cheers!
Italian craft beer? Why, yes indeed! Years ago, the notion of Italy having a brewing renaissance would have seemed exotic and far-fetched. But, even though the country still has a long way to go before its beer industry achieves the same recognition as its wine industry among consumers (both Italian and foreign), there has in recent years been a groundswell of new Italian craft brewers determined to grow their industry while gaining respect at home and abroad. Breweries like Brùton, Baladin, del Borgo, and Panil, to name just a few, are steadily increasing Italy's stature in the craft beer world. Birrificio Antoniano is another such enterprise and we're very excited to bring our members a taste of their beers, which have just started coming to our shores in limited amounts.
Birrificio Antoniano was founded in 2011 by two brothers, Sandro and Michele Vecchiato. The duo was not new to the beer industry; in fact, for years they have owned Interbrau, one of the most important specialty beer distribution companies in Italy. Regarding their new brewing endeavor, the brothers explained their over-arching philosophy: "Italy has a long, proud history of fine craftsmanship. In keeping with our Italian roots, we wanted to create a beer that represented the best of Italian agribusiness, and communicated Italian culture and values to the rest of the world."
In order to ensure their Birra Antoniana brand reflects the unique local terroir, the brothers have adopted a sort of "farm to table" model for the production of their beer. They grow their own barley and hops locally on approximately 250 acres of Padovan farmland, and they source renewable energy to power the brewery. Antoniano currently produces about a dozen beers across three different lines: Classic, Panorama, and Heritage. The Classic line features brews inspired by traditional styles such as witbier, pale ale, and Vienna lager. The Panorama beers are crafted creatively, inspired by the local culture and environment. The Heritage line features heirloom grain varieties local to Padua, and is produced in collaboration with Slow Food Presidia, an organization dedicated to preserving "our world’s heritage of agricultural biodiversity and gastronomic traditions."
At this year's World Beer Challenge competition in Portugal, Birrificio Antoniano took home 10 medals, including Gold and Bronze for this month's featured Marechiaro and Vienna Style, respectively. We're excited to be at the vanguard of the brewery's introduction to America's craft beer lovers and are excited to watch where Sandro and Michele go from here. We hope you enjoy these Italian brews as much as we did. Salute!
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