No rest for the wicked, but all in the name of great beer! The pleasure of visiting Toccalmatto in Fidenza was all mine, as Bruno Carilli is one of the happiest, warmest, and friendliest guy in the brewing scene. And really excited about collaborations! In fact, he’s so excited about them, he’s doing four in the space of a month… and we kicked things off on Wednesday, 30th July. Plans are in motion for the brewery to move to a bigger site close by, with a bigger brewhouse and thus increase the output — especially to keep up with orders for the ever popular Zona Cesarini. There will also be more room for barrels, but Bruno is not in a rush to resume the aging programme, most importantly, the team will focus on settling in to working with the new brewhouse and bottling line.
This transitional period is therefore a great opportunity to work with other brewers, including home brewers. Bruno loves collaborations because, “I always learn something new, of course I enjoy visiting other brewers and breweries, and then coming up with a new beer, playing with flavours, aroma. There are so many great brewers out there and together, we can make something really special.” Truer words were never spoken.
With that philosophy in mind, we brewed an Imperial Red Ale, with six different hops, and the wonderful guys at Toccalmatto will continue to dry hop this beautiful liquid, and then it will be unveiled at IMBC! Opening the FV ever so briefly the next morning, the aromas were fruity, hoppy, resinous. So much promise and potential!
What a privilege to taste amazing beers like Bedda Matri (barley wine aged in Marsala barrels for two years) and so many other treasures that Bruno and his close-knit team have been patiently waiting on to develop in the barrel cellar. For the love of hops and all good beer, Toccalmatto exemplify what is exciting about the brewing scene today! Thanks to Bruno, head brewer Matteo, assistant brewers Marco and Davide, resident food pairing expert Massimo, brewery assistant Antonio, and administrative captain, Fabiana, for their hospitality and generosity!