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Italian Grape Ales: Why Grapes Aren't Just for Wine Anymore

There has been a resurgence in grape-based beers in recent years. It seems that plenty of brewers are aiming to bring the gods Bacchus and Ceres together in harmonious union. However, the origins of grape-based, wine-style beers are murky. Moreover, the definition, or at least the beer style description of what a grape ale is, is certainly open for debate.

First, let us have a glance at the history of the style, starting in the 19th century. Indeed, before that, studies (e.g. ‘The history of beer additives in Europe - a review’ by Karl-Ernst Behre) have shown there are books about brewing mentioning different types of fruit, but grapes are not listed. Whether that is an omission or whether grapes indeed were not used is still open to debate.


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