While beer would certainly form the foundation, if The Wet Hop was a house instead of a blog, the support beams would take the shape of community. After all, that’s what makes the craft beer community (hey, there’s that word again!) so great: togetherness. This week’s Beer of the Week exemplifies what can happen when beer lovers and great minds coalesce in the same space. Today, we’re looking at Birrificio Italiano and Freigeist Bierkultur’s, Mamma Mia Rhubarb Pie Beer.
When it comes to rattling off the top beer producing countries, Germany typically finds itself as one of the first to come to mind. Italy on the other hand? Not so much, as Italians have a much deeper connection to wine, than to ales and lagers. That’s one of the reasons why we love this beer so much: it brings together two breweries from regions with completely different beer reputations. It also brings together two breweries that want to break the popular conceptions surrounding their respective country’s craft beer industries.
Freigeist Bierkultur originally started as a spin-off of German beer giant, Braustelle. Brewing at a smaller capacity, Freigeist’s mission from the very beginning has been to rejuvenate the German beer scene and make sure that it keeps stride with the rest of the craft beer world. While they by no means are short on creativity, Freigeist still strives to maintain the signature German drinkability in all of its brews.
Their collaborator, Birrificio Italiano, has been in the craft beer game for over 20 years now. During that time, they’ve built a reputation that proves that wine isn’t the only delicious adult beverage you can whet your whistle with, in Italy. While they have leaned heavily on inspiration from other, more traditional, beer producing countries, Birrificio has managed to impart their own unique twist on these Old World favourites.
Combining their trend-busting mentalities and distilling their ambition into a singular beer, Birrificio and Freigeist give us, Mamma Mia Rhubarb Pie Beer. From the moment I saw this brew hit shelves, I knew I had to try it. Rhubarb is one of my favourite flavours and I had until this point, failed to find a beer that utilized this ingredient to its fullest. Labelled as a sour ale, Mamma Mia pours a syrupy copper colour. The nose leaves no doubt as to the flavour: it is a full on punch of rhubarb-pie filling. But, the true mark of a great beer is in the flavour and boy does this beer deliver. Where others have failed to use rhubarb’s tartness to its full effect, this beer embraces it and kicks it into overdrive. Tart, tangy, and sweet, it is a rhubarb lover’s dream. This is no one note concoction, though; each sip brings different aspects to the table. After all, this is not strictly a rhubarb sour, it is a rhubarb pie beer. Notes of caramel and bread crust also come through, bringing the “pie” element to the party and adding a layer of complexity that often eludes such potent sours.
Despite its tart-forward character, this is a remarkably drinkable beer. If you’re ever in need of a more carb-friendly dessert replacement for pie, this is an excellent choice. If you’re not worrying about diets, pair this beer with your favourite vanilla ice cream and enjoy it, à la mode!
À Votre Santé!
[Featured Picture Credit: Pie’s Recipe]