Italy? Beer? Yes, they make it there. This will not be news to anyone familiar with the hop forward offerings of Brewfist or Toccalmatto, but might cause the less informed to spit out their limoncello and think of all the wasted years.
Continuing our pattern of Tasty Beers from Far-Flung Places we got our grubby mitts on some sweet Italian beers, drank them, and wrote the words below.
Birrificio Menaresta - 2 Di Picche
We have a soft spot for the Black IPA, it combines so many things that are great about stouts with so many great things about hoppy pale ales.
This ‘two of spades’ BIPA made a real impression for such an unassuming little bottle, blasting you in the nose with tropical fruit and rich molasses.
The beer is deeply juicy but with just enough of that burnt, almost smoky, stout character to remind you aren’t just knocking back another IPA. It’s got a boozy finish with just enough bitterness to leave you thirsty.
Birra Nursia - Blonde
This top-fermented Italian blonde had a thick sudsy head and, aside from a lick of booze, didn’t smell of much at all. Tasting revealed very slight hop character and a bit of lingering maltiness, with a slight suggestion of something herbal and savoury. Not the most exciting beer, but quite drinkable and not at all bad. It reminded us a bit of Carakale’s Blonde or maybe even a posher version of Oranjeboom.
Birrificio del Ducato Verdi - Imperial Stout
This is an imperial stout in an interesting bottle. Typical of the style, the beer is big, bold and treacly with a spritzy dark head threatening to escape from the glass. We liked it well enough, but agreed it’s nothing to write home to ‘le nostre madri’ about.
Melchiori - La Weizen Trentina
Italy is famous for making lots of delicious food out of wheat, but it isn’t known for it’s wheat beer. We were very keen to give this Hefewiezen a thorough tasting.
A beautiful cloudy golden colour, it developed a thick head that fizzled away quickly. The aroma was complex and very interesting, running the whole gamut of fresh tropical fruitiness from citrus to strawberry to lychee. So far so good. We poured some in our faces, and strong wheaty flavour quickly gave way to fruity bubblegum notes with a whiff of booziness. The aftertaste was slightly tangy with a hint of bitterness.
Agreement was unanimous: a very refreshing and excellently delicious brew. In fact, it was the best of the bunch.