What is Italian Grape Ale?

With so much wine in Italy it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that the grapes eventually ended up in their beer. Italian grape ales or IGAs were officially recognized as a style of fruit ale in 2015.

IGAs are made when grapes or grape must (the freshly pressed juice of grapes with stems, skin, and seeds included) is used in the beer-making process. The ale can also be made with wine yeasts or wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels.

A must or winey like flavor and aroma should be present in the ale, but it can be subtle. The result is a unique and often complex, terroir-driven product with a funky, earthy, fruity, sour and acidic taste.

Loverbeer in northern Italy make some delicious examples, including the BeerBera made with Barbera grapes pictured above. With some googling, I found at least one online store selling it in the United States. The La Mummia by Montegioco on the same page and aged in oak barrels is also a personal favorite.

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