Article by Simonmattia Riva, Biersommelier
“Rock 'n' Roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them”, said Pete Townshend, leader and guitarist of legendary rock band The Who. From a different, yet complementary perspective, Billy Idol maintains that rock music is not art, but rather the language of common people. Maybe not the most elegant, but it’s certainly straightforward, unapologetic and understandable to all.
Since the start, Baladin beers have always sounded like unusual, sophisticated music: medieval symphonies or Baroque rhythms at times, Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern melodies at other times. In 2009, with the launch of the Open project, the sound of rock’n roll started to echo among the fermenters in Piozzo.
The open-recipe beer - which stood out at a memorable edition of the Una birra per l'estate homebrewing contest - was Teo Musso’s first “liquid daughter” to have a distinctive hoppy character, developed for pub patrons, rather than for restaurants.
Open was the starting point for several evolutions, including Rolling Stones. It was created to celebrate the 100th issue of the famous Italian edition of the magazine by the same name and later became Baladin Rock’n’Roll.
The label is black - just like most of the clothes in the closets of rockers everywhere in the world. The metal crown cap - which does not require the elaborate ritual of removing the shellac and uncorking the bottle and is the most common way of sealing beer bottles in the world - immediately signals that Rock’n’Roll speaks a different language than its Baladin sisters.
As the inspiration for this beer comes from the world of music, sound has an important role too. When you remove the cap of a Baladin Rock’n’Roll, you hear a distinctive hiss that reveals a greater carbonation than you would normally expect from a Baladin beer.
Poured into an America pint - the typical glass for American Pale Ales since they appeared, at the dawn of the American craft beer revolution - it has a deep golden color with orange hues and a natural cloudiness, typical of non-pasteurized beers. The rich head is white, thick, fine and persistent: the essential oils contained in hops help develop it.
The aromas released by this beer take us straight to the world of citrus fruits, oranges in particular. At first, we smell sweet oranges and their soft skin. A few seconds in the glass bring out more muscular red and blood oranges. The scents that develop later and the first sips become warmer and more seductive, with a distinctive presence of candied zest. More pungent and earthy flavors of grapefruit and medicinal roots complete and enrich the aromatic profile.
The lively carbonation and a distinctive savory, almost salty note support an interesting interaction between the malts and the hops. The result is reminiscent of orange marmalade on a nice slice of rustic bread. On the mid palate, the malty sweetness becomes less intense and leaves room for a more straightforward note of sweet orange flesh, with o touch of fresh ginger. The orange zest emerges just before the finish, characterized by the typical bitterness of the American Pale Ale style. In the case of Rock'n'Roll, the bitter note is very graceful, with no extremes. The finish is citrusy, but is more similar to the feminine smoothness of orange zest rather than the masculine roughness of hop pellets. The aftersmell evokes scents of tangerines and, once again, sweet oranges.
Baladin Rock’n’Roll has a rather strong body, thanks to its high residual sugars - a common trait of many Baladin products. Another distinctive feature is the silky, almost juicy texture, which envelops and caresses the tongue and the palate, and, together with the body, significantly mitigates the perception of bitterness.
A rock beer with American roots and a sunny, Mediterranean character, whose scents and tastes evoke a summer landscape amidst orange trees.