Basque brewer Mala Gissona is based in San Sebastian. Inspired by the local seafarers, they are particually drawn to the Basque whalers who have ventured around Iceland since, at least, 1412.
These links extended to the Basque sailors and Icelanders developing a common ‘pidgin’ language.
“For ju Mala Gissona” is believed to be the commonly used expression in Iceland to refer to the Basque whalers. It translates as “You’re a bad man” but is an Icelandic slang term given to rough types, even rogues, at first impression, but who then prove to be honest, determined and loyal to their friends.
Mala Gissona beers are far from rough and definitely are honest, intrepid and adventurous – true to craft brewing principles.
Their beers are ‘bottle conditioned’, unfiltered and unpasteurised. The brewery has adapted the technique of secondary fermentation; after priming yeast has been added to a mixing vessel, the beer is then bottled or kegged and left to condition for 10 days at 20°C. The temperature is then reduced to less than 5°C to suspend any further yeast activity.
In keeping with the nautical influence, seaweed is used as a fining agent. And true to the fabulous cuisine of the region these beers are a fine match with seafood; with a range of Pale Ales and a Wheat Beer which is named after the great Belgium jazz guitarist Django Reinhart.