Italy’s beer story is that of another wine country with an illustrious brewing tradition slowly being monopolized by the large brewcorps and forced down the road of cheap lager like Peroni or Nastro Azzuro. However it’s a story with a happy ending as Italy is experiencing one of Europe’s most vigorous microbrew revivals.
In Italy beer is historically an accompaniment to food (mainly Pizza) although due to the resurgent craft brewing scene it is becoming more and more popular with other foods and being enjoyed on its own. Our favourite Italian brewery is Birrificio Italiano producing the globally acclaimed Tipopils and Bibock which both score over 95% on almost every beer rating site - well worth a try!
Though mainly known for its wine, Italy is undergoing somewhat of a brewing renaissance. Avoid mass-produced lagers like Peroni and Moretti, and explore some of Italy's many microbreweries such as Birrifico Italiano and Loverbeer.
IPA - Due to the country's general lack of brewing history, Italian brewers have taken inspiration from all over the globe. Hoppy, American-style IPAs like Brewfist Spaceman are one of the most popular styles of Italy's beer revolution.
Experimental ingredients - A number of Italy's relatively new microbreweries use non-traditional beer ingredients in their brews. These ingredients are often locally sourced, giving their beer styles adopted from all over the globe an authentically Italian twist. Birra Baladin famously used roasted chestnuts in a brew, while Brewfist's collaboration with To Ol, Space Frontier, uses grape must - how much more Italian can you get?