There is no doubt about the Italian reputation when it comes to good food and drinks. Italian cuisine is among the finest and most varied in the world, but while they are famous for producing their wine, the Italian craft beer scene is less well known. This is an unfortunate oversight, and Barley in Sardinia is a great example demonstrating some of the unique features in Italian craft beer.
The Barley Craft Brewery was founded in 2006 thanks to the passion for high quality beer of the two proprietors, Nicola Perra and Isidoro Mascia. Located a few kilometers from Cagliari in the region of Sardinia, Barley Craft Brewery has produced more than 20 different labels that are all unpasteurized, unfiltered and refermented in the bottle.
Italian Grape Ale - Pioneering Italian Craft Beer
One of the specialties of Barley is their unique fruity beer. Since 2006, Barley Craft Brewery has experienced with making beer using grape must deriving from 8 native Sardinian wines. Using both cooked and fresh must, Barley is widely considered to be the founder of what is known as Italian Grape Ale and has received multiples rewards for their styles. Italian Grape Ale is a kind of fruit beer. Nevertheless, it is particular in having a neutral base without a wine-like character known from certain sour beer, Flanders red etc.
“The processing is actually very complex, and this is also the reason, I choose the BeerFoss to help me simplify the quality control work of all the products of both plants.” –Nicola Perra, Owner of Barley
Speaking with the owner of Barley Craft Brewery Nicola Perra, he explains how he uses the BeerFoss™ FT Go to create a style that has very little data except from the recipes he creates on his own. For this purpose, analyzing the beer throughout the beermaking process is essential. “Until recently, I made use of traditional analytical instruments and periodically had the analyzes carried out by external laboratories.” Nicola Perra says, “With this device, I have the possibility to analyze the wort, the fermenting beer, the finished beer, and the beer after refermentation. Considering that many bottles in my range also need a long refinement in the bottle before being released in the market, I also need to monitor the progress of the alcohol content, during the refermentation and at the end of the refermentation, and same thing regards some very important parameters such as the pH, which gives us an indication of the progress of the beer over time,” he says.
“In case of wort, for example, the analysis is rather simple, and in a couple of minutes it gives us the value of 4 essential parameters, including pH and initial density.” Nicola continues “In case of beer, it takes exactly 3,5 minutes to have eight parameters, including the initial and final density, the pH, the alcohol content. And we also have the possibility of having the value of calories in the beer, which is, in times today, not bad at all!”
Speaking with Nicola, it becomes clear that controlling fermentation throughout the beermaking process is essential when producing Italian Grape Ale and fast and easy analysis is one of his secrets when creating his award-winning beers.