Italy’s traditions are fascinating and surprising. Its myths and its legends, its rituals and its folklore. But it produces even more astonishing products when the richness of the land is combined with a spirit of innovation. That is exactly what happened in a small relaxed and sun-kissed medieval village in southern Italy where Mario Cipriano, a talented and young brewer, rapidly made his way into the craft beer market with Karma.
Karma is a homemade beer based in Alvignano, Caserta. It all started with a simple act: typing How to make homemade beer in a search engine. First there were experiments in the garage then, in less than a few years, came word of mouth among friends and, finally, Mario’s first two innovative beers – Cubulteria and LemonAle. Since then the line has been known as Karma, a combination of Mario’s name with his wife’s, Carmela.
What makes it so appetizing? Karma is not just a beer. It’s a blend of taste and territory, food and gastronomy, tradition and innovation. In addition to the basic ingredients – barley, hops, yeast and water – this beer stands out because it’s unfiltered. It also combines new flavors, like lemons from Sorrento, honey from local producers, “mela annurca” apple jam, or Pallagrello grape must.
Mario’s basic philosophy is that craft beer shouldn’t fall prey to the standardization and leveling of taste common in the food and beverage industry. It’s a great challenge for an area still very rooted in its habits and it drove Mario to the Karma experiment. This idea is exactly why he was listed in Slow Food’s top Italian beer guide and it is also how he arrived twice at the international Beer Festival – Mondial de la bière – held in Montreal, Canada, then Strasbourg, France. “La Tazzulella” [cup] was the winning beer in the 2010 contest and introduced Karma to the Canadian and French beverage market. The secret of “La tazzulella” is in the coffee bean flavored taste.
Each beer is based on Italy’s unique ingredients and has its own character: Marilyn, LemoAle, Cubulteria (the name of an ancient town), Radica, Carminia, CentesimAle, Nigeria, Plenzick, and Roxy, which is a very feminine beer created with pink pepper and rosebud as a tribute to Mario’s daughter Rossella. He started by producing 25000 bottles his first year, then reached 50000 bottles last year. Coming soon is an experimental limited edition series (200 bottles) of a special beer similar to wine, matured for one year in wooden casks and flavored with pomegranate juice.
What kind of beer are you?