Sirentum, a girl of rare beauty & sweetness, was born in Sorrento during the 16th century thanks to a prayer being granted to her parents who had asked for a miracle at the temple of the mermaids "Il tempio di Minerva" which towered above the bay of Ieranto. Her life, according to legend was marked by a meeting with the Siren "Partenope" in Marina Grande - the mermaid told her that her that she was to fall in love with a wealthy prince from an important family of the time (said to be the Durazzo family) and even although she was just a poor country girl - her destiny was to become Queen. And this became the reality. The young couple married and travelled widely - and every time they came home they treated all the citizens with great generosity, befitting of a future king & queen.
On the 13th June 1558, the city gates were left open, on purpose by a slave, and the town was ransacked & looted by the Saracens - a population originally from North Africa & Asia Minor. Sorrento was reduced to ruins - and many of the population were taken prisoner, one of whom was the beautiful Sirentum. After many years she was able to return but only thanks to the Sorrentine people who willing traded all they had to get her back.
It was during her imprisonment that Sirentum picked up the most rudimentary techniques on how to make a drink, made by the fermentation of grain, just like the did inAncient Egypt thousands of years before. Upon her return Sirentum offered this as an offering to the mermaids, taking it to the temple.
The cultivation of the lands surrounding Sorrento has an ancient history. It's a known fact the the ancient Romans were already cultivating the lands to the east of here - calling it "planities" growing spelt, beans, wheat, fava beans, chick peas, alfalfa and various other vegetables. The very presence of these crops allowed the very first primitive beer to be brewed and used as a ritual offering for the Sirens.
With the rise of the Borbons, at the end of the 1700's and the cultural & economic reforms of Charles the 3rd - the grain crops were substituted with citrus crops, which too off with a boom during the 1800's meaning the production of beer was no longer a possibibilty, and over time was lost altogether in the area.
Today the Birrificio Sorrento wants to take back that tradition that was once used as an offering to the Sirens - producing a high quality artisan beer, with some variotions using the citrus fruits of Sorrento.