X3 Italian Grape Ale
Suggested style placement: Category 29 (Fruit Beer)
Overall Impression: A sometimes refreshing, sometimes
more complex Italian ale characterized by different varieties of
Aroma: Aromatic characteristics of a particular grape have to
be noticeable but do should not overpower the other aromas.
The grape/wine character should be pleasant and should not
have defects such as oxidation. Malt character is usually
restrained while hop aroma can range from medium-low to
absent. Some examples can have a low to moderately low wild
character described as barnyard, earthy, goaty but should not
be as intense as in a lambic/fruit lambic. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Color can range from gold to dark brown.
Reddish/ruby color is usually due to the use of red grape
varieties. White to reddish head with generally a medium low
retention. Clarity is generally good but can be affected by the
use of grape.
Flavor: Many interpretations are possible. As with aroma,
grape character (must or winey like) must be present but may
range from subtle to medium intensity. Varieties of grape can
contribute differently on the flavor profile: in general
stone/tropical fruit flavors (peach, apricot, pineapple) can
come from white grapes and red fruit flavors (e.g., cherry,
strawberry) from red grape varieties. Further fruity character
of fermentative origin is also common. Different kinds of
special malts can be used but should be supportive and
balanced, not so prominent as to overshadow the base beer.
Roasted and/or strong chocolate character is inappropriate.
Some sour notes are common and may help to improve the
drinkability but should not be prominent as in Flemish
ale/Lambic. Oak flavors, along with some barnyard, earthy,
goaty notes, coming from aging in barrels can be present but
should not be predominant. Bitterness and hop flavors are
generally low. Diacetyl from very low to none.
Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation improves the
perception of aroma. Body is generally from low to medium
and some acidity can contribute to increased perception of
dryness. Strong examples can show some warming but without
being hot or solventy.
History: Produced by many Italian craft breweries during the
last years, it represents a communion between beer and wine
promoted to the large local availability of different varieties of
grapes across the country. They can be an expression of
territory, biodiversity and creativity of the brewer. Normally
seen as speciality beer in the range of products of the brewery.
Ingredients: Pils or pale base malt with some adjuncts (if
any) or special malts. Grape content can represent up 40% of
whole grist. Grape or grape must (sometimes extensively boiled
before use) can be used at different stages: boil,
primary/secondary fermentation, or aging. Ale or wine yeast
can show a neutral character (more common) or a fruity profile
(English and Belgian strains). A wide range of hop varieties can
be used in low quantities in order not to excessively
characterize the beer.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.043 – 1.090 (10,7-21,6 BLG)
IBUs: 10 – 30 FG: 1.007 – 1.015
SRM: 5 – 30 ABV: 4.8 – 10%
Commercial Examples: Montegioco Tibir, Montegioco
Open Mind, Birranova Moscata, LoverBeer BeerBera,
Loverbeer D’uvaBeer, Birra del Borgo Equilibrista, Barley
BB10, Barley BBevò, Cudera, Pasturana Filare!, Gedeone
PerBacco! Toccalmatto Jadis, Rocca dei Conti Tarì Giacchè.