In the glass, it shows an intense copper color, enlivened by a fine perlage, and a light and evanescent hazy white head.
The distinctive scents of pastries and candied panettone are pleasantly refreshed by a balsamic note of beer vinegar, with gentle aromatic touches of cereals.
The first sip surprises for its clean taste and complex aromas. The acetic note emerges immediately, accompanied by sweet notes of dry pastries and malt. Finally, the experience ends with a perfectly clean touch of bitterness, with gentle hints of tannin and wood that come from the barrels where the malt vinegar has been aged for a long time.
Oxpera offers a great taste experience given by the combination of two Italian products: Baladin craft beer and malt vinegar (made from Baladin beer) aged in oak and acacia barrels at the San Giacomo vinegar works in Novellara.
Technical note: Oxpera is not bottle conditioned.
As opposed to other Baladin's bottled beers, Oxpera - for technical reasons - does not undergo a bottle refermentation, in order to avoid an excessive development of the acetic component.
The beer is mixed with the beer vinegar about two days before the end of the fermentation process at 25 °C. This ensures that the CO2 (carbon dioxide) produced during the fermentation can saturate the fermentation vat and thus inhibit the growth of the acid bacteria contained in the vinegar.
At the end of the fermentation, the beer is transferred to a maturation vat, where it is kept for three weeks at 0 °C. This period of rest - during which the beer is carefully purged - ensures the natural clarification of the beer and the elimination of residual biomass (lees).
When the beer is bottled, no additional sugars of yeasts are added. The focus is on making sure that no residual oxygen is trapped inside the bottle, as this would cause the growth of acid bacteria.
Water, barley malt, beer vinegar (of Baladin beer), hops, yeast
The long-standing friendship of two craftsmen who love to transform the products of the Italian soil is at the origin of Oxpera.
Andrea Bezzecchi makes PDO Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and other long-fermented vinegars that he genuinely loves, continuing the family passion. At his San Giacomo vinegar works, located at Corte Fragosa in Novellara (Reggio Emilia), he looks after the little barrels that hold the valuable liquid and where the natural, industrious acetic acid bacteria get to work.
Teo Musso is the father of Baladin beer. He has always enjoyed experimenting with it, setting no limits to the exploration of tastes.
Teo had long been thinking of creating his own vinegar works to make vinegar from his beers. He had even identified Cantina Baladin or the attic of Baladin Open Garden as the perfect location.
Andrea is approached because of his great knowledge and he immediately accepts the challenge to transform a Baladin beer (not just one, actually) into a vinegar - by law, it is called “malt vinegar” - with the aim of exploring scents and tastes.
Experiments follow over the next few years, with amazing and intriguing results.
In the meantime, Teo’s thoughts evolve and give shape to a truly unique and innovative idea.
He decides to create a gastronomic beer for restaurants, which have been so important for Baladin’s success. At the beginning of his project, Teo had approached them to let them understand the potential of pairing craft beer with food.
The challenge, now, is to offer a new beer made with a unique technique, with scents and tastes that can inspire the creativity of chefs and of those who suggest the perfect pairings to restaurant customers.
The idea is not to create a beer designed for one specific food or dish, but rather one that can be of inspiration and become a true gastronomic product.
Among the different vinegar variants, a particularly sweet, elegant, clean and complex one is chosen.
With Palli’s help, Teo’s historical right hand in the brewhouse, they choose the most suitable beer to create a unique blend.
The first tests are carried out on small batches and finally, on a winter day, while a snowstorm is raging, the two leave for Novellara, where Andrea is waiting for them with a barrel of Baladin beer vinegar.
That same night, the precious liquid - the result of a long barrel-aging time - is added to the fermentation tank. Over the following days, it would blend with the beer and become Oxpera, our gastronomic beer.
The name Oxpera takes inspiration from music symphonies where the combination of a multitude of notes creates one harmonious piece of music.
To read more about the San Giacomo vinegar works, its products and production techniques, visit www.acetaiasangiacomo.com.
In this article, published on Intravino, Andrea talks about the vinegar production process, the importance of the “fathers” of this agricultural product - acetic acid bacteria - and the legendary “mother of vinegar” - https://www.intravino.com/primo-piano/il-prodotto-naturale-delluva-non-e-laceto-mini-trattato-sullaceto-di-vino-spiegato-bene/