Barga has had a history of connections with Scotland for over 100 years – clicking on the Scotland category here on barganews will bring up many, many articles illustrating stories concerning this steady stream of Barghigiani living and working in Scotland. Then the tide started to change direction and stories have started to appear about Scots coming to Barga. John Bellany the painter who moved here almost a decade ago. The Scottish small pipers maker Hamish Moore who set up a pipe making studio here in the city last year and also the couple Ron and Susie Gauld who started the very successful Bed and Breakfast Casa Fontana here in Barga Vecchia.
There was a small snippet of information that leaked out this week concerning Ron Gauld that somehow managed to pass under the radar but which once again marks a dramatic change in this century old coming and going and movement of people, cultures and habits.
During the birthday celebrations for the Mayor of Barga Umberto Sereni held in the Teatro dei Differenti a couple of days ago, the first bottle of the Barga Beer was presented to the Mayor as a gift. Most people in the audience had no or little idea that there even existed an article called “Barga Beer” …after all, this is a wine drinking area … since when has there been a beer culture here ?
The answer to that is – ever since Ron Gauld decided that here would be a perfect place to start a micro-micro brewery. He has been working quietly on the project for the past 18 months gradually perfecting his techniques and equipment and shortly, within the next couple of months will open the doors to the public so they they can share in his joy of making a real artisan beer right here in Barga.
How many people actually knew that there were hops, vital for the beer making process, ready to be harvested in Barga for instance ? As you can see from the images above taken during the autumn of last year, there are hops in abundance in the area plus Ron has been experimenting with growing his own hops in the gardens of Casa Fontana.
Click on the link below to listen to an interview with Ron Gauld recorded inside the micro brewery this morning.