Valentina Ardemagni and Antonio Terzi began to ride their youthful wave of passion for beer, taking over in 2000 the ownership of the ‘Cocktower Pub’ at Treviglio, in the province of Bergamo. However, at the beginning of the new millennium, the artisan product, unpasteurized, live, characterized by a strong personality, was already arousing a growing interest. This trend became soon clear to the two young people, so that it motivated them to open a second place, ‘Osteria della Birra di Bergamo Alta’, and start themselves a small production facility. Valentina remembers: «For our customers, who already attended our places, some tastes were enough to make us understand that our idea would work, and the first beer was followed by another and then still another one, for what we now consider our first set of labels related to musical styles».
Towards 5 thousand hectolitres
This continuous encouragement motivated Valentina and Antonio to establish in 2010 the independent brewery Elav, with which they supply from Comun Nuovo (Bg) many Italian and foreign places, thanks to the interest expressed by some importers.
Valentina, for friends ‘Vale’, that in the mirror would be read ‘Elav’, is understandably proud of the success met by such beers as Grunge Indian pale ale, Techno Double Ipa, Barley Wine Progressive, and Ale Indie, to name only a few of them. Valentina explains: «We see a strong interest abroad for Italian beers. This has allowed us to establish business relations in the United States, France, Finland, and China, with a growing demand we have been able to better meet for a couple of months, thanks to the new production facility with which we expect to close 2015 with 5 thousand hectolitres, fifty-fifty between bottles and not returnable beer kegs, the most suitable just for foreign market».
Art and labels?
Yes, it is not surprising, for such a brewmaster as Antonio, who feels the beers as his, so that he imagines their ‘dress’ while producing them. He himself designs the graphics of their labels entrusting the completion to the internal graphics studio with which he works. Their agreement allows making each label an element of strong appeal.
This appeal will increase with the project related to the re-discovery and enhancing of the agricultural products of the land, from organic hops, for which an experimental cultivation has been started on the territory of the ‘Monastero di Val d'Astimo’. Antonio generously uses the essential ingredient for giving its beer a distinctive bitter note, even resorting to the technique of dry hopping, which enhances the scented notes. Elav beers are all high fermentation ones. The first lager beer, Lanìk, is going to add.
Punks do it better (4.3% alcohol): its look is characterized by a golden colour tending to amber, with perceivable veiling. Its scent allows distinguishing the presence of such aromatic hops as Palisade, Cascade, Columbus, and Mosaic, with citrusy and floral notes thanks to the generous dry hopping. Its flavour allows perceiving the raisins added to candy sugar, orange peel, and ginger. Among the used malts, ‘clear Monaco’ stands out. It is bitter on average, respecting the ‘best bitter’ style.
Indie Ale (5.5% alcohol): its look is slightly amber-coloured. In its scent, an aroma which reminds citrus and tropical fruit dominates. Among the hops, Citra, Willamette emerge. Its flavour is delicately bitter, with caramelized end, in amber-coloured ale style. Among the malts, Pils and Crystal emerge.
Grunge (6.3% alcohol): its look is decidedly amber-coloured, almost red. In its scent, caramel of Pale and Crystal malts emerges, as well as aromatic quality of ‘Centennial’ and ‘Cascade’ hops, inserted in dry hopping. In its flavour the presence of malts distinguishes itself. It is followed by citrus hint and at the end by the pervasive bitter note typical of American pale ale style.
‘Regina d’Inverno’ (7% alcohol): its look is characterized by a very dark colour, almost black, as the porter style to which it is inspired imposes. In its scent the toasting note is intense, thanks to ‘Chocolate’ malt used with ‘Dark Crystal’. A light fruity and spicy note follows. In its flavour, the raisins added to candy sugar, orange peel, and ginger used in the production process are perceivable. Nevertheless, its body remains light, so facilitating drinkability.
Techno (9.5% alcohol): its look is characterized by amber colour, with a nice hat of persistent foam. As for its scent, ‘Chinook’ and ‘Simcoe’ hops give fruity and caramel notes. In its flavour, the alcohol content does not go unnoticed. On the contrary, it even multiplies the sensory perceptions, with a bitter note which dominates, respecting the imperial pale ale style pushed to ‘Ibu 95’.
Progressive (11% alcohol): its look is characterized by orange colour. In its scent, the sweetness of ‘Pils’ and ‘Pale’ malts emerge, with notes of caramel and tropical fruit. In its flavour, the alcohol and sweetness in barley wine style emerge, despite the abundant hopping with ‘Sarachi’ variety.