Italian Grape Ale (sour and white grape)
A fully Italian style and method for a popular ale offering a wide range of different characteristics and great variety, which has already become very popular worldwide and frequently uses and promotes local grape varieties.
Characteristics (visual, on the nose, in the mouth): as an especially vast and variegated type, the range of aromas and flavours is equally vast and frequently closely bound to the type of grape variety used. This may account for up to 40% and be the beer’s dominant feature, although never intrusively in the best beers. Its colour varies from straw yellow to dark amber, with anything from a very limited to a medium head of foam. Its aromas also present a great variety, ranging from citrus and tropical fruit to white-fleshed fruit such as peach and apricot. They also feature certain notes reminiscent of leather, animal, and mild spices in the sour versions, often deriving from micro-organisms present on the grape skins. These are beers which generally feature considerable freshness and are dry and markedly acidic, especially in the sour versions. They are generally medium-bodied and carbonated, although this is not always the case. These beers are easy to drink even in the higher alcohol variants. Some producers age their beers in wooden barrels which impart their characteristics to the beer.
- Storage: high fermentation yeasts are generally used which do not normally need to be refrigerated. However,temperatures must be kept under 18-20°C as beyond this threshold refermentation can occur in the bottle with undesirable effects.
- Serving temperature: 10-16°C in a goblet with a wide bowl or a tulip glass. Tilt the glass 45° initially and then straighten it up to favour the formation of a good head of foam. Lees may form at the bottom of the bottle so remember to pour the beer carefully.
- Alcohol by volume: 4-10% Vol.
A wide range of beers which has been chosen in any case to pair with Grana Padano aged up to 16 months due to its aromas and flavours, the freshness and acidity derived from the grapes and the production method used, a perfect match for the mild hay nuances of the cheese, contrasting its initial sweetness. This pairing is recommended for a pre-dinner drink.
Curious factsItaly's wine heritage provides fertile ground for experimenting with new products which have fostered fresh interest in otherwise little known grape varieties. A sort of celebration of Italy’s many attractions which is gaining great momentum, even abroad and has contributed to raising awareness of the Italian craft movement.