About Italian Beer

About Italian Beer
While beer is still far behind wine in terms of popularity in Italy, things are slowly changing. For years, beer in Italy meant good, if unexciting products from large breweries; that is still the case at most pizzerie or large restaurants throughout the country.

However, high quality microbrews have been making quite an impact over the past decade. Menabrea, a high quality lager from Piedmont, is served in many of the finest hotels and restaurants in Italy and is now exported to more than twenty countries. Buoyed by that success, dozens of microbrew pubs have opened in various areas throughout Italy; most are in the north, but you can now find one on the island of Sardinia as well.

These artisan brewers craft all type of beers, from lagers to amber ales to Belgian-style dubbels. These brews work pair well with the tremendous array of local foods in Italy, so that combined with a trend of younger Italians slowly moving away from wine and toward other beverages, should provide a healthy future for beer - from large and small breweries - throughout the country.

Top Picks for Italy

Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl Collesi "Triplo Malto"
93 points
Bright light gold color. Lively, toasty, fruity aromas of panettone and candied yams and mango with a bright, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long banana bread pudding, toasted pretzel bread, and sweet and peppery spices finish. A delightful and engaging spicy malty golden ale.
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl "Malto"
93 points
Minutely hazy gold color. Bright, inviting aromas of pineapple soufflé, toasted baguette, corn pudding, and orange pepper with a soft, bright, finely carbonated, off-dry medium body and a tingling, charming, snappy stone fruit compote, watercress, and delicate peppery spices finish. A delicious and complex Belgian style ale that screams for rich foods.
Birra Moretti Doppio Malto
93 points
Gold color. Bright aromas and flavors of honeyed toast, fruit pastry, and delicate herbs and spices with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with overtones of cream, greens, and minerals. A delicious malty lager with an evocative Belgian character.
Birra Moretti La Rossa Doppelbock
92 points
Clear reddish mahogany color. Roasted aromas of roasted nuts, cocoa-dusted dried fruits, and salted rye cracker with a satiny, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-long roasted carrot and parsnip, chocolate fudge cake, and hint of lemon pepper finish. A very tasty and appetizing bock that is sure to please.
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl Collesi Imper Ale "Nera"
92 points
Hazy dark mahogany color. Complex aromas and flavors of circus peanut, chocolate toffee, mocha gelato, and cedar with a satiny, tangy, frothy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, involved, medium-length finish revealing notes of fruit tart, delicate spice, and honey. Not really a dry stout, but quite delicious; this is more of a Belgian stout.
Birra Moretti Baffo DOro
92 points
Gold color. Delicate aromas and flavors of toast and salty plantain chips with a supple, crisp, frothy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a appealing, medium-length finish that exhibits shades of pepper, watercress, nougat, and earth. A finely tuned lager that will be a Swiss army knife at the table.
Peroni Gran Riserva Doppio Malto
91 points
Brilliant gold color. Aromas and flavors of egg sandwich, dried stone fruits, roasted nuts and grains, and peach blossoms with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, captivating, long mixed lettuces and greens, lemon pepper, and buttered raisin rye bread finish. A zesty, flavorful bock with nice depth, balance and warm.
Peroni Gran Riserva Rossa
91 points
Clear copper color. Toasty aromas and flavors of honeyed toast, butter roasted nuts, and rose hips with a supple, lively, effervescent, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length frisee, pepper, dried citrus, and clay and wax finish. A rock solid, dry earthy Vienna lager that will cover a lot of bases.
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl Collesi "Nera"
91 points
Bright medium brown color. Delicate, dusty, curious exotic savory aromas and flavors of dark rye raisin bread, fruit cake, and sarsaparilla with a soft, vibrant, bubbly, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-long honeyed nuts and yams, arugula, and delicate spices finish. A rich malty, creamy Belgian ale with great fruit and spice.
Tenute Collesi Rossa Belgian-Style Amber Ale
90 points
Cloudy mahogany color. Attractive, toasty, spicy aromas and flavors of honeyed spiced chestnuts and pine nuts, carob bar, and figs and dried fruits with a satiny, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length cola, rhubarb jam on toast, spice cake, and rubber leaf and sap finish. A solid Belgian amber ale with nice drinkability.