Ciao birra! East Yorkshire Brewery's Italian job boosts exports
Wold Top Brewery at Wold Newton
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 2 Sep 2017
An East Yorkshire brewery has formed a collaboration with a European ally.
The managers at Wold Newton based Wold Top Brewery and Birrificio Bionoc Brewery, from Mezzano, a commune in Northern Italy, have worked together on a brew in a first for the UK team.
They have now released the pale ale, with an ABV of 5.2 per cent, which will be distributed to bars and restaurants throughout Italy, including outlets in Milan, Rome and Venice.
Alex and Kate Balchin, the brewery and bottling manager and export manager respectively, welcomed the Birrificio Bionoc to the brewery in April when they developed the unique beer.
Mr Balchin, who last week won a coveted award for a porter, said: "That's Easy makes an excellent first collaboration beer for Wold Top and it all came about because our Italian importer Cuzziol SPA, located in Santa Lucia di Piave in the province of Treviso, recommended we get together to work with their local craft brewery.
"It was a pleasure to work with Nicola and his colleague as it's clear they share the same ethos as us in terms of sourcing as many ingredients locally as possible and working sustainably.
"I'm really looking forward to the reciprocal visit we have planned for next year and we feel this collaboration will inspire lots of exciting projects between our breweries."
The brewery now sees 76 per cent of international exports being sold in Italy. The beer is packaged into 30-litre kegs.
Nicola Simion, of Birrificio Bionoc, said they got inspiration for the beer's name from Alex Balchin himself.
He said: "Every time we asked Alex if something was possible when we were brewing the beer, his cheery response was, ‘Yes, that's easy', and it just stuck.
"Unfortunately, customs would not permit us to use the hops that we had brought with us, but we were able to create a great beer using our recipe and Wold Top Brewery's equipment and ingredients.
"We were made to feel very welcome and it was a very enjoyable experience - we learned a lot from the initiative. The fact that three members of the Mellor and Balchin family have gone out of their way to learn Italian makes us feel very special."