ITALIAN PALE ALE 7.5% ABV
Honorary Belgian Brewer
Suitable for Cellaring
Here is what The 2011 Slow Food Italy writes about Contessa:
“Golden and clear in appearance, (Contessa) exhibits a nose of citrus hops and honey malt. In the mouth, it is very soft, with great body and structure, while the final hop is quite pronounced, gradual and harmonious. This beer is complex, long, very balanced, with a pleasant citrus finish. ***** Five Star (highest rating).”
“I’ve worked with so many of your selections now and it’s apparent that balance is a common factor to everything you offer. Contessa is wonderfully so. Hops do not dominate, nor do the typical, predictable citrus flavors that accompany so many IPAs. Peach and mango are more prominent, herbs and hay are evident, and everything just blends together in such harmony… I look forward to more selections from Amiata in the future!”
– Chris Reilmann, Farmhouse Tavern
Case, 6 x 75 cl (25.4 fl oz), cork finished Keg, 30 liter key keg
Contessa is an “Italian Pale Ale” evoking “summer in Tuscany under a full moon.” It features herbal, floral and citrus aromas of tangerine and grapefruit. The sugary caramel notes yield to sweet bitter American hops. There is a subtle lilt of chestnut and the finish is attenuated. It is made with water from the aqueduct of the Fiora, which springs from volcanic origins and passes through porous rock.
The lovely Contessa on the label is The Countess of Prato, a tragic figure in the history of Tuscany and legends of love. Prato (translation: the lawn of the Countess) sits on a large plateau on the slopes of Mount Amiata, for which the brewery is named. Prato is surrounded by majestic beech woods, heirloom chestnut groves, and fragrant pine forests.
In the Middle Ages Count Aldobrandeschi fell in love with the Contessa. As with Romeo and Juliet, their romance was star crossed. Forbidden to wed, the two young lovers would secretly meet in her meadow, embraced by the boughs of beech trees, and shielded from prying eyes. But the boughs could not protect them forever, and the countess was forced to marry against her will. The heartbroken count joined the Crusades, roaming lands far and wide in an attempt to forget his beloved. But each night, until his death on the battlefield, he dreamed of her. When the countess learned of her lover’s death, she took refuge in a convent until the end of her days. Although their story ends unhappily, their love was so strong that some claim on warm summer evenings, you can see the ghosts of the two lovers traversing the “Lawn of the Countess.”
Great with Food
We love Contessa with spit roasted lamb and chicken, rustic soups, artisan cheeses like Taleggio and Pecorino, and citrus sorbets.