The craft beer movement is on the rise in Italy
It’s no question that Italy is a country run on wine. Since the ancient times, wine has always been a part of everyday life, with gods and festivals devoted to the drink. When the Greeks came to Italy, they called the region they were in Oenotria, the land of wine, which then became a name to describe Southern Italy. This beautiful country has attracted people from all over the globe to visit its many wineries.
But with that, I’d be remiss to not talk about the excellent beer that can be had in the country as well.
While Italy has never been short on good beer, craft beer has been a movement that, much like in a lot of the world, has been rising over the years. As a result, we’ve been seeing some truly unique offerings, with breweries taking influences from America, England, Germany and Belgium. Some have even developed an exquisite, distinctly Italian twist with their beers taking into account the tastes of the residents of the Land of Wine.
In Piozzo, for instance, you’ll find one of the many locations of Le Baladin, a cozy brewpub that has been brewing since 1996. Of note is the complex nine-spiced Wayan Saison, the beautifully sour cherry richness of the Mama Kriek, and the Nazionale, a beer made with 100 percent Italian ingredients, including bergamot and coriander, that is at once captivating to the imagination and beautifully simple.
Another brewery based out of Turin in the Marentino area is Loverbeer. Their Madamin sour amber ale, which was fermented and matured in oak vats, is a harmonious dance between tart berries and rich malts, with the oak dryness coming through very well throughout.
But for the traveller in a rush who wants to try as many Italian and International beers as possible, one need look no further than the city of Rome.
Not too long ago I was staying a 30-second walk away from Campo di Fiori, a bustling historical square in Ancient Rome with a monument to philosopher Giordano Bruno in the centre. While it is a rather touristy area, the square is full of lively activity day and night and worth seeing. From there, a quick nine-minute walk across the Tiber River will take you to a small side street where you’ll find the only two bars you’ll ever need to visit.
Bir & Fud is a building with the longest bar of local and international beers on tap you’ve seen and a lovely dining space in the back. Directly across the street from there is Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà, the only tiny craft beer gem worth going to, with a staggeringly good tap selection and rare bottle collection. For the ultimate Roman experience, do yourself a favour and order a pint of something tasty in the small bar and join the rest of the customers out front to people watch in the dark, tiny, always busy road. Saluti!