Dogfish Head Birra Etrusca - Bronze (750ml Bottle)
This beer is based on a beverage that may have been enjoyed by the Etruscans of Ancient Italy around 800 BC. For this one Sam traveled to Italy with Dr. Pat McGovern where they met up with Teo and Leo (Sam’s buddies from Baladin Brewery and Birra Del Borgo respectively) and researched ingredients from various Etruscan dig sites. The result of their research is a strong ale containing an Italian heirloom grain called Cappelli Senatore, along with pomegranate juice, raisins, and hazelnut flour, together with 3 types of honey: chestnut, wildflower, and clover. The brew was then spiced with several hop flowers, Gentian root and tree resin (think Myrrh) in the kettle. To simulate fermentation in a bronze vessel (which possibly would have been what the Etruscans used), we actually tied a bronze plate inside our modern stainless fermenter which was suspended in the wort as it fermented. The aroma is dominated by pomegranate and spice from the yeast. The flavor is an intriguing interplay between the tangy pomegranate fruit and nuttiness from the hazelnut flower. One can definitely envision sipping this unique brew while relaxing on the Mediterranean coast. Versions of this brew will also be made at Baladin and Birra Del Borgo with the same ingredients but varying processes.
A catch-all category that we use to classify all of those ancient or resurrected styles of antiquity that are appearing more and more in brewing today. From sahti to heather ale to sorghum beer to gruit, and beers like Adam and Midas Touch, these ales will vary tremendously in character from one another. Many are unhopped, strength can vary, but all are a glimpse into brewings past.