Five friends from Ciutadella have recently embarked on a new venture - to produce the island’s first beer which they have named ‘Illa’ and which will be on the market at the end of the month.
The idea was first suggested at a Christmas get together of beer-drinking friends, five of whom formed the company Cervesera Tramuntana SL. which went on to turn the idea into a reality.
‘Illa’ is a lager that is made in a warehouse on the Ciutadella industrial estate. The name was the unanimous choice of all the partners as was the selection of Mediterranean blue as the colour for the brand.
The brewers explained that ‘Illa’ is a “live beer”, i.e. it ferments and evolves with time. It is made from natural products, without filtering or pasteurisation and with no additives or preservatives, in contrast to industrially-produced beers. The result is a Pilsner-style lager, light but with body, with a fresh aroma and taste and a fruity hint of hops and yeast.
“We want to reflect the Menorcan identity: a calm beer, light, but with character”, explained Pau Marquès Seguí, the founding member of the company, adding that the beer had been developed to suit the Menorcan market.
Production started a month ago, using imported cereals. However,the aim is to use locally-grown products from September. The head of the company, Antoni Mercadal Sarris, described the brewing process which starts with the grinding and mixing of different malts and hops which are then soaked in large vats at different temperatures before being brought up to 1000C. After passing through the fermentation vats where the yeast transforms the sugar into alcohol and carbon, the beer is bottled and labelled and left to mature in the ‘bodega’ prior to distribution to bars and supermarkets.