Castellana - Istrian Craft Beer
In the very heart of Kaštelir, you can enjoy original Kaštelir beers! Castellana craft brewery is a testament to the enthusiasm of a young married couple Tina Kovač and Gabriel de Faveri who joined the growing craft brewing industry in Istria. The advantage of this brewery is that a good part of the ingredients is made on the family farm itself, such as barley. Both Tina and Gabriele are proud of their agricultural work, but also of the renovation of a former tavern full of wine and olive oil, which now houses barrels of beer. The people of Kaštelir have recognized this and are proud of this offer in their place.
Gabriele, whose mother is from Kaštelir, father from Slovenia, and was born and lived in Italy. Although he is still getting used to the Croatian language, he proudly took over the rural house of his relatives in Kaštelir and dedicated himself to the country. "We had the idea to make these beers because we had lands planted with barley for animals. The idea developed slowly, we learned to make beer ourselves, mostly using internet sources ", Gabriele tells us about their beginnings. The technology comes from Italy, and part of the funds also came from the European Union grants.
Each beer has part of their own barley that grows on half a hectare of the field in the immediate vicinity of the town. So far, the brewery produces 2,500 litres of beer a month, and Tina tells us that there probably won't be more than that because they are based primarily on the quality and attracting guests to Kaštelir. "For now, and certainly for a long time, you can taste our beer exclusively in Castellana," says Tina, and Gabriele explains that Castellana means the wife of the castellan, the lord of Kaštelir.
Four types of beer can be tasted in Castellana. Pale Ale "Školar" is an amber beer with caramelized malt and spring wheat, citrus and intense aromas with vegetable bitterness. In Castellana, it reminds them of the smell of pine needles along the Adriatic coast, and they recommend drinking it with a slice of orange or with fatty and spicy dishes. Saison beer "Školarka" is an amber beer that has its own peculiarity because it tries to recreate the drink that farmers once prepared and drank in the summer to quench their thirst in the field. It is produced with ancient yeast that enhances the fruity taste of hops in a variety of caramelized malts that balance the bitterness. They recommend it with barbecue, sausages (of course, Istrian ones!), With a little ground black pepper, with fish and lemon juice or with shrimp tartare.
Blonde Ale "Bjonda" is a light beer, very pleasant and with a beautiful colour. Malt slightly predominates over hops, and the smell is reminiscent of bread. White Ipa "Kaštelirka" is an aromatic and spicy beer with intense hop flavours. Malt obtained from spring wheat gives a sweet taste and perfect foam and is recommended with desserts and sweets, as well as with cheeses and fish. Sitting in Castellana is a great experience, with smiling hosts, so we have no doubt that all beer lovers must come to Kaštelir:
Kaštelir 71, Kaštelir
Photos: Taste of Adriatic & Castellana Brewery