Birra Ichnusa comes from Sardinia. It’s brewed in Assemini, a town near the Sardinian capital of Cagliari. It takes its name from Hyknusa, the Latinized ancient name for Sardinia. Founded in 1912, Heineken International now own Birra Icnusa – and many other beers for that matter.
The Ichnusa story
According to Total Sardinian.Com, an entrepreneurial pioneer by the name of Amsicora Capra opened Sardinia’s first brewery, in Cagliari. Capra specialized in producing and exporting fine wines. But, after a wine-producing crisis in Sardinia back in 1911, he decided to go into brewing. A couple of years after founding his brewery WWI began. Thus, Ichnusa couldn’t become well-known for some years.
WWII forced suspension of production again and it took until 1945 for Ichnusa to form a bond with the Sardinian people.
1963 saw the business expand and open a new brewery in Assimini, not far from Cagliari. Their success continued and boomed in the 80s, attracting the attention of the Heineken Group. They acquired the business in 1986.
The branding of Ichnusa Non-Filtrata
The beer’s branding incorporates the flag of Sardinia known as I Quattro Mori. The Sardinian flag bears four Moors’ heads representing the Moorish kings defeated in combat by the Crown of Aragon. It shows too the cross of St George. The identity of the Sardinian people and this beer are intertwined. That symbiotic relationship goes a long way to explain the beer’s success and dominance.
What’s in a name? The origins of the beer’s name
The name Ichnusa hails from the Greek word Ichnussa (Ιχνουσσα) – and that in turn may well have roots in the Greek word Ichnos. Ichnos originally meant a human footprint. And the main logic behind that being that the map of Sardinia resembles a large footprint.
This unfiltered version of Birra Ichnusa has a more intense taste of barley malt and corn, softened by scents of fine herbs and notes of yellow fruits and apricot. The aroma recalls bread crust.
A low fermentation, 100% pure barley malt full-bodied lager beer with an incomparable aroma. Perfect for an Italian Aperitivo together with a cheese & charcuterie board. Yet you’ll find it equally good on its own as a refreshing cool-down drink.
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