We want to start describing our beers and the history behind that. We are keen to show you the passion, the traditions and the knowledge behind the products you guys buy.
We love what we do and hope you will read with passion and interest this first series of articles focused on our craft beers from Italy.
First protagonist is our BB9 from Birrificio (brewery) Barley. This Italian brewery is based in Sardinia
The original experiment in the use of boiled wort of Sardinian grape juice, has been able to reach the point of absolute taste and finesse with the BB9, characterized by the Malvasia grape. Rich in hues of wine, citrus and exotic fruit, primarily passion fruit bestowed from the grape and sage-like mènage of German, American and New Zealand hops which provide a unique bouquet, the BB9 treats the palate to a notable and fruity experience which is a prelude to a delicately dry and slightly bitter aftertaste interspersed with spicy peppery flavours.
(Source Wikipedia) Most ampelographers believe that the Malvasia family of grapes are of ancient origin, most likely originating in Greece. The name "Malvasia" is generally thought to derive from Monemvasia, a Venetian fortress of the coast of Laconia, known in Italian as "Malvasia"; this port would have acted as a trading center for wine produced in the eastern Peloponnese and perhaps in some of the Cyclades. During the Middle Ages, the Venetians became so prolific in the trading of "Malvasia wine" that merchant wine shops in Venice were known as malvasie. A competing theory holds that the name is derived from the district of Malevizi, near the city of Heraklion (known to the Venetians as Candia) on Crete. In any case, Malmsey was one of the three major wines exported from Greece in medieval times. (For other examples, see Rumney wine and Cretan wine). It is alleged that when Edward IV of England convicted his brother, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence of high treason, his private execution consisted of being "drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine," which is dramatized in Shakespeare'sRichard III (play).
- Malvasia Istriana
In Italy this wine is grown in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Collio DOC and Isonzo DOC. The name comes from the Istria peninsula spanning over Croatia, Slovenia and Italy (see also Croatian and Slovene varieties). The vine was introduced to the area by Venetian merchants who brought cuttings from Greece. Malvasia Istriana is also found in the Colli Piacentini region of Emilia where it is used to make sparkling wine known locally as champagnino or "little Champagne".
- Malvasia di Grottaferrata, Malvasia di Bosa, Malvasia di Planurgia
In the 19th century and early 20th century, sweet passito style dessert wines made from the Malvasia grape were held in high esteem and considered among Italy's finest wines. Following World War II, lack of interest in the consumer market lead to a sharp decline in plantings with many varieties on the verge of extinction. Today only a few dedicated producers are still making these Malvasia dessert wines from local varieties including the Malvasia di Grottaferrata in Lazio, Malvasia di Bosa and Malvasia di Planurgia in Sardinia.
Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes going through the drying process to produce Vin Santo
- Malvasia delle Lipari
Since the 1980s, dessert wines made from the Malvasia delle Lipari variety has seen a resurgence in interest on the volcanic Aeolian Islands off the north east coast of Sicily. With distinctive orange notes, this Sicilian wine saw its peak of popularity just before the phylloxera epidemic when the more than 2.6 million gallons (100,000 hectoliters) was produced annually.
- Malvasia nera
While most varieties of Malvasia produce white wine, Malvasia nera is a red wine variety that is used primarily as a blending grape in Italy, being valued for the dark color and aromatic qualities it can add to a wine. The Piedmont region is the only significant produce to make varietal Malvasia nera with two DOC zones covering less than 250 acres (100 hectares)-Malvasia di Casorzo and Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco. In the Puglia regions of Brindisi and Lecce it is blended with Negroamaro while in the 1970s & 1980s, it was a frequent blending partner of Sangiovese in Tuscany. In recent times, Cabernet Sauvignon has been supplanting Malvasia nera in Tuscany in both planting and in use as a blending partner with Sangiovese. Other regions growing Malvasia nera include the Bolzano region of Alto Adige, Sardinia, Basilicata and Calabria. Malvasia nerawines are often noted for their rich chocolate notes with black plums and floral aromas.
- Malvasia di Candia, Malvasia Puntinata, Malvasia di Lazio
The Lazio region of Frascati is the source of the majority of plantings of Malvasia di Candia, a distinct sub-variety of Malvasia that is not part of the Malvasia bianca branch of the grape family. It is most often used for blending with the related Malvasia Puntinata and Malvasia di Lazio being more highly prized due to their higher acidity and tendency to produce less flabby wines.