They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Ticinese Bad Attitude Two Penny Porter

ABV: 8.15%
Origin: Stabio, Ticino, Switzerland


Birrificio Two Penny

Yes, another brewer with a bad attitude, this time explicity proclaimed, and hailing from well-behaved Switzerland, though from the Italian speaking region, within a stone’s throw of the Italian border. Brewer Roberto Bianchi creates the beers at the Ticinese brewery, which also produces the San Marino brands, though I’m not clear about the relationship between them — contract, brewery share or just separate families of beers [Since writing this, Swiss-based beer writer Laurent Mousson has clarified the situation — see his comment below]. Lavishly illustrated labels and publicity materials feature appropriate grafitti and collage artwork with ransom note lettering — strange how today’s bad boys are still borrowing from the rebellious imagery of 35 years ago.

Bad Attitude hit the news last year as the first European brewery to produce craft beer in cans, following US models like Oskar Blues and Maui, but this sample was bottled, and bottle conditioned too. The beer is inspired by British porter — the union flag on the label isn’t just for punk cred — and refers in its name to 18th century  beer prices, but I wouldn’t rely too much on the historical credentials. The roasted malt may be British but the hops — Amarillo, Chinook and Willamette — are decidedly transatlantic.

It’s a very dark brown beer, near black, with a nice foamy beige head and a slightly chocolatey, malty aroma with a light hint of exotic spice. The palate is dark with chocolate and pencil lead flavours, very slightly acidic and tangy but also very creamy with notably burry, coffeeish hops lending a definite bitterness. Tangy fruit starts a long finish which develops hints of mint before ending with plenty of burnt, ashy roasted malt character. Overall a stylish, flavourful and imaginative twist on the style.

This was one of the beers featured at the Live Beer Blogging session at the Beer Bloggers Conference — but I confess I forewent my laptop for my old fashioned notebook and pencil.

Read more about this brewerys’ beers at

2 comments to Ticinese Bad Attitude Two Penny Porter

  • If I can shed some light on the structure of the operation: It all started with Birrificio Ticinese, at la Birraria in Mendrisio, started by Nicola Beltraminelli, which established the San Marino range.
    Then two years or so ago, Lorenzo Bottoni, who was running the Piccolo Birrificio in Apricale (near Imperia) with its Birra Nuda range, moved to Ticino with his family, as his wife had found work there. Lorenzo told me he wasn’t too keen on Switzerland, but found out that it wasn’t that bad after all, in that given orders are usually followed, and duty authorities are a lot less of a hassle than in Italy.
    Lorenzo and Nicola struck a deal, and started work together. They moved the brewing plant from la Birraria in Mendrisio to a hangar in Stabio (indeed very close to the border), Birrificio Ticinese became the Ticino Brewing Company, and they started a joint beer range christened Bad Attitude, on top of their respective ranges, which are also produced at Stabio.
    The San Martino range is mostly sold in Ticino, and broadly aimed at tourists looking for a local produce. the Birra Nuda range is exported to Italy (and the USA, notably the excellent chinotto-laced Seson), and indeed so is the bad attitude range so far, mostly exported to Italy.
    Yet those beers have sales potential, and they could indeed easily find customers in Western Switzerland, and possibly larger Swiss-German cities, i.e. the lesser conservative parts of the country beerwise…

    So now you know ! :o)

    (PS: my own write-up on their newer beers, if you want to brush up your french :

  • Des

    Merci bien pour ces renseignements, Laurent! That clarifies things very well. I couldn’t find any explanation on their website, not even in Italian.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>