Wednesday, April 20, 2011
ITALIAN CRAFT BEER SCENE REPORT
I found myself at the conveniently-named BIR & FUD, one of two raucous microbeer bars located right across the street from each other in Rome's cobblestoned Trastavere neighborhood. I wanted to try both, but instead parked my kiester on a stool at Bir & Fud for an evening and proceeded to wildly choose Italian beers I'd never heard of, or certainly ones I could never get back home. Did they hit "Belgian" or even "San Franciscan" quality levels? Let's break them down one by one:
BIFFIFICIO RURALE SETA - Well what about this one then? Yeah, this hits the spot. A blonde ale that clocks in at a mere 4.9% alcohol. Carbonated pretty heavily, really fresh and something that probably would wash down a plate of cacio e pepe most fantastically. I was going gang busters on it before remembered to snap the photo you see above. 7/10.
LOVERBEER MADAMIN - I had to stop after this one (what, you think I'm a drunkard or something?), and unfortunately, this one night was my only foray into the dark heart of Italian beer. So why not make the last one a "Loverbeer", right? This is a Flanders red ale, sour and foamy and (again) really fresh-tasting - and yet a far cry from Belgium. It's like - the Italians just arrived at good beer after decades of producing swill. Rather than build slowly, they leapt right into the tough stuff - Flanders red ales, highly-hopped American IPAs, dubbels and whatnot. So comparing their wares to those of the Masters, with their hundreds-of-years head start, is certainly not "fair". At the end of the day, you've still got to assign a score - and with an extra .5 thrown in for gumption, I give this a 6.5/10.
Would be very interested if anyone in the reading audience has any Italian ales they'd like to give a shout-out to. I'm new at this game, the Italian good beer game - just like they are.