Last Updated on April 15, 2021 by Helga Dosa
A very successful spot and of strong impact for Ichnusa, a beer from Sardinia. The Ichnusa is one of the most popular beers in Italy, especially in the northern regions. Learn with this post a bit of the Italian Ichnusa beer, where to find Ichnusa, story and more!
The Italian Ichnusa beer
The Ichnusa Beer became the symbol of Sardinia. The island is itself a charming place to visit in Italy, with stunning landscapes, crystal clear blue sea, and great food!
Birra Ichnusa, or simply called Ichnusa is brewed in Assemini, a town near the Sardinian capital city, Cagliari. Ichnusa beer was founded in 1912, and it’s now owned by Heineken International. In Sardinia, every bar, restaurant, pizzeria, and supermarket stocks Ichnusa beer. This is the most popular go-to beer in Sardinia, and now it’s gaining much more interest on the mainlands of Italy as well. For over 100 years Ichnusa beer has been the symbol of the island of Sardinia, a pride for many of its inhabitants.
The 4 types of Ichnusa beer
Currently, there are four different beers brewed by Ichnusa in Assimini. The original Ichnusa, the Unfiltered Ichnusa (Ichnusa Non-Filtrata), Ichnusa Cruda (Raw Ichnusa) and the light Birra Limone (Lemon Beer).
The Story Of Ichnusa
The first brewery on the island of Sardinia was opened in Cagliari by Amsicora Capra. He specialized in the production and export of fine Italian wines first. Then, following a crisis affecting the wine production in Sardinia in the year of 1911, he decided to enter into the brewing sector.
Since Italy entered into WW1 a few years after the departure of Ichnusa, the beer didn’t become popular for a long while. Later, the production had to be suspended completely during WW2. The Ichnusa beer became successful after the year of 1945, by building a strong bond with the people of Sardinia.
Since after WW2 the Ichnusa started to get popular, in 1963 they have expanded the brewery, by opening this current one in Assimini near Cagliari. The success of Ichnusa was booming in the 80s, which then attracted the attention of THE Heineken Group. The sardinian beer was bought by Heineken in 1986, whichafter they started to expand further more and to modernize the brewery process. Heineken managed to put the beer in almost every restaurant and bar in Sardinia after a short period.
However it took a lot of time, and in some parts of Italy (or Europe) the Ichnusa is still not that famous and popular, in the northern regions of Italy, such as Lombardy and Emilia Romagna, the Ichnusa is one of the most preferred beers between locals.
The Sardinian Brand
The branding of Ichnusa beer incorporates the flag of Sardinia, which’s known as I Quattro Mori (the four Moors). These four represent the Morrish kings defeated in combat by the Crown of Aragon and the cross of Saint George. The beer is intertwined with the identity of the people in Sardinia, as you can see in the picture above too that’s saying “Anima Sarda” which means Sardinian soul. Then continuing with “La nostra anima” our souls and “I nostri vernissage” that can be translated as our point of view.
Ichnusa – The story of the name
The name itself, Ichnusa comes from the Greek word Ichnussa, which possibly has its roots in the word Ichnos, which means the footprint of a human foot. This has a simple explanation, why this is the name of the Sardinian beer? If you have a look at a map at Sardinia, it looks quite similar to a large footprint.
Ichnusa and the Sardinian sun
You might not know, but Sardinians drink twice as much beer as people on the mainland of Italy. People in Sardinia consume about 60 liters of beer/person/year. When you’re traveling in Sardinia, you can see people socializing at local bars before lunchtime. Elders meet to play cards and talk about current affairs. They all get an Ichnusa for these social gatherings. Ichnusa is part of Sardinian life, the logo of the beer will face you on every corner together with the red and white color of the label.
If you’re eating a pizza in Sardinia, that must be followed by a cold bottle of Ichnusa beer. If you’re asking me, for a non-Italian might be hard to consume pizza with beer, but that’s the tradition, in the whole country. And if you’re trying to pick which Ichnusa beer to drink, well many prefer the non-filtrata. I personally like the clear blond beers, so that’s my personal pick, always. Being based in Emilia-Romagna, I have access to Ichnusa in every bar and restaurant, so if I choose beer over wine, either a clear blonde or a non-filtrata Ichnusa will be my pick.
Can you buy Ichnusa outside of Sardinia and Italy?
Yes, you can! It’s not as popular in Europe and not as easy to find like a Peroni, Poretti, or Morretti for example, but Ichnusa is present on the international market as well! You can find Ichnusa beer in Europe and the United Kingdom, but you can also get it on Amazon if there’s no other way to try it! I know how is to return home from a trip and miss the taste of great food, wine, or beer. If you’re back from a trip from Sardinia, make sure to check the local supermarkets, Italian bars, and restaurants as well as Amazon for Ichnusa finds!
The Ichnusa beer has been brewed on the Italian island since 1912.
Watch the Ichnusa marketing material right here
Written by Helga Dosa