Brasserie Pietra - Pietra Amber

Brasserie Pietra - Pietra Amber

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club



Alcohol by Volume:


Brasserie Pietra - Pietra Amber

  • ABV:

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass
“From birth till death, a Corsican’s whole time is lived under the influence of the chestnut tree.”

This old saying illustrates perfectly the Corsicans’ fondness for this splendid tree. Corsica has even been called “the civilization of the chestnut tree.” The island is one of the last regions in Europe where the dried fruit of the chestnut tree is still made into flour, which is then used in many different dishes. Pietra Amber, the brewery’s first beer, is made with chestnuts picked by hand and brought down from the mountains of Corsica. Some, picked from trees located in rough terrain, are transported on the backs of donkeys. The chestnuts are crushed to make a flour which is introduced to the brewing process during the mashing and boiling of the grains, instead of later as a flavoring or sweetener. This means that the beer itself is in part derived from the chestnuts, not just supplemented by them. The result is a bouquet that is unlike any other beer on the planet. Expect rich malty notes, but don’t be surprised if the beer doesn’t smell quite like chestnuts. A consequence of using this key ingredient so early in the brewing process, the chestnut character is transformed by fermentation into the very makeup of this beer, alcohol and all. Instead, look for notes of marzipan, a slight woody zestiness, minor notes of overripened (soft) dark cherries, the faintest suggestion of bubblegum, a bit of citrus fruit, and a delicate nutty character. The beer crosses the palate with an initial earthy bitterness, leaving an impression of smoked wood, followed by notes of sweet oak, nougat, caramel, wood, and fruit. Bitterness is long lasting and assertive, but not at all abrasive as it coats the tongue with a leafy hop character. This beer is best enjoyed on the warmer side. If you taste it right after pulling it from the fridge, the coldness will inhibit the full development of flavors and sensations that this beer has to offer. Enjoy at least one on its own to fully experience this unique brew. Later, try pairing with lemon-pepper chicken, steamed mussels, or smoked BBQ beef brisket.
The island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean, located between Italy and France, has been claimed by both nations—along with quite a few others—during its constant human occupation since the Mesolithic age. Let’s put that into context. Mesolithic means the “middle stone,” wedged between the Paleolithic (old stone) and Neolithic (new stone) ages. We’re talking about an area that’s been populated for seven to ten thousand years! Not surprisingly, there’s great national pride among native Corsicans, fostered in no small part by being “claimed” by various outside nations, a relatively brief historical stint as a sovereign nation from 1755 to 1768, and the secret sale of the island to the French by the Republic of Genoa in 1764. The announcement that it was a French territory was not made until 1768, and it triggered a civil war. Imagine if you opened the paper and read that your state was owned by and made part of another, secretly, and there was nothing you could do about it. That’s a national-pride fosterer if we’ve ever heard one. Thankfully, the conflict didn’t last too long, and the compromise seems to have been strong Corsican pride regardless of which country they were formally declared a territory of. All of this history makes it a bit surprising that, until about thirteen years ago, Corsica did not have its own beer or brewery. Why? Location, location, location. Being wedged between Italy and France, the country’s people prefer wine to beer, and there’s also a relatively high proportion of sobriety. And, with no beers being made locally, coupled with reluctance on the part of a proud people to import beers from other nations, there was little drive to get a brewing outfit based on the island. It was, therefore, a bold move for Corsican natives Dominique Sialelli and his wife, Arnelle, to decide in 1992 to found a brewery that would brew distinctly Corsican beers. Research and fundraising (and with it, lots of “convincing”) took place for the next four years. Their first beer, Pietra Amber, began to flow in 1996. Their beers are now not only enjoyed in Corsica, they’re making a splash all over Europe. Feel the pride! The word “pietra” is Italian for stone. So, literally, their name translates to “The Stone Brewery.” A nod to the highly regarded microbrewery from Southern California? Despite its world renown, that’s not the story behind the name. Is it a reference to the history of a human presence there since the Stone Age, or a proclamation that this young brewery plans to be around for the long term? Perhaps that’s buried in there somewhere; but, actually, it comes from the name of Dominique’s tiny native village, Pietraserena (meaning “serene stone”). The brewery has since added a Corsican Cola to their lineup, as well as a lemonade currently in development, at least two more year-round beers, and a whisky. It would seem the dawning of a new age in Corsica’s history has begun, one full of inspiring and impressive concoctions that suit the palate, and sense of pride, in this age and beyond. Which makes us wonder . . . in 1792, famed philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in his work, The Social Contract, that Corsica would one day astonish Europe. Seven years later, Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica. Did Rousseau’s prognostication refer to Napoleon’s legacy? That’s what many think. We submit that perhaps it was the birth of Brasserie Pietra and their expansion into Europe. A beer-centric way of thinking on our part, but what did you expect? For more information about the brewery, visit their website at
Unmatched Variety by Style, Brewery & Country

Unmatched Variety by style, brewery & country

Choose from Five different Beer Clubs offering unmatched variety by brewery,
country of origin, and beer style to suit your specific tastes.