It all started at last year’s beer fest, when Arioli and Brynildson hatched their plan to brew a dark saison that would be made with debittered black malt, then soured via secondary fermentation and aged in barrels—and also spiced up with an unlikely twist.
“Like many Italians, Agostino is a true gourmet, and he takes a chef’s approach to brewing,” Brynildson said. “He’s really into exotic spices and he wanted to play around with these Sichuan peppercorns, which are really weird and unique. We had to contact a spice hunter in Italy to get our hands on them.”
After Brynildson brewed his base version of La Piccola, he sent it down to barrelmeisters Jeffers Richardson and Jim Crooks at Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks wild ale facility, where they initiated secondary fermentation and maturation for 12 months in French oak barrels.
In the end, they decided to create one version with the peppercorns (La Piccola Pepe Di Sichuan) and one without (La Piccola Virtuosa). Show Less