Where to get beer I like in Italy?
May 15, 2015 9:53 AM   Subscribe

So what are some good beer makers for me to look out for in Italy, and what particular bars or restaurants have good beer selections in Rome and Venice? My preferred styles are IPA, Belgian ales, stout; but anything that has some depth of flavor is good, especially if it is rooted in local/regional brewing traditions. Just not flavorless lager!

I'm a beer aficionado who's traveling to Italy (mainly Rome and Venice) this summer. My experience with European travel is that it's not very friendly to a guy with my taste in beer; I'm not a fan of lagers, especially uninteresting ones, and (uninteresting) lager seems to be mostly what's available Over There.
posted by Mechitar to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Saw this the other day on reddit for rome:

In the us i have had some awesome italian beers from LoverBeer, Birrificio Del Ducato, BrewFist, Birra Toccalmatto & Birra del Borgo

There seems to have been a huge upswing in italian craft beers in the last several years, amazing lambics, sours, ipas, and many other styles.
posted by TheAdamist at 10:16 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have never been to Italy, but I was just at La Trappe Cafe in SF which had a bunch of Italian beers on tap last week, all micros and no lagers. I had an Almond 22 Pink IPA that was not bad. They also had beers from Birrificio Italiano, Brewfist, and Birra del Borgo; can't speak to the quality of those but they at least looked interesting.
posted by clavicle at 10:18 AM on May 15, 2015

Baladin is an amazing Italian craft brewery, and they have a restaurant/bar in Rome called Open Baladin that has an enormous menu of Italian microbrews, both their own and others from smaller breweries. I recently spent a week in Rome and wound up going three times.

It's also not too hard to find Baladin beers in the states, at least in NY, but they don't have nearly the range available in Italy (plus Open Baladin in particular tends to have a lot of one-offs and special variations).
posted by Itaxpica at 10:25 AM on May 15, 2015

Italy's had a rapid rise in small-scale brewing , starting in the north with the German-speaking Tyrolian regions and the bits bordering France, but now extending more broadly. Because many of those brewers were essentially starting from scratch, you'll see US and Belgian styles. I've liked everything I've tried from Birra del Borgo.
posted by holgate at 10:47 AM on May 15, 2015

Italian beers that I've liked:

* Birrificio Del Ducato Machete (double IPA)
* Birra Toccalmatto Maciste (double IPA)
* Birrificio del Golfo Chocolate Stout
* Birrificio Indipendente Elav Humulus (black IPA)
* Birrificio La Petrognola Sandy Rossa Forte al Farro (dark ale)
* Birrificio La Petrognola Bianca al Farro (white beer)
* Brewfist Spaceman (IPA)
* Mastri Birrai Umbri Cotta 37 (red ale)

My two favorites from that list are the Machete and the Spaceman. I live in the Netherlands, and I've noticed that Spaceman has started showing up on lots of bar menus here.

You should avoid Peroni Original and Birra Moretti, which are lagers. Also, you might not be interested in Theresianer Premium Pils, which is a standard pilsner.
posted by neushoorn at 10:48 AM on May 15, 2015

I have friend who recently completed a Slow Food Masters Thesis on artisanal Italian beer and I know whenever she is in town, she frequents Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa' in Trastevere. And on the other side of the dinky cobblestone street there's Bir&Food and another larger birreria who might have hopped on the craft beer bandwagon as well.
posted by romakimmy at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2015

When I was in Venice last November, Birraria la Corte was recommended by a local, both for the quality of its beer and the quality of its pizza. The setting is nice also, at the edge of Campo San Polo (10 minute-ish walk from Rialto). The pizza was good, and although I believe we just had water with our meal, as we had been doing miles and miles of walking, the current beer menu has some flavorful looking stuff on it. You might also try any of the bars near Bancogiro (here's the beer menu from one) -- the food there is excellent, and highly recommended if you want to sample real Venetian food (various cichetti in this case).
posted by tempestuoso at 1:48 PM on May 15, 2015

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