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
214542
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl
Collesi "Triplo Malto"
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210306
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl
"Malto"
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208489
Birra Moretti
Doppio Malto
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221236
Birra Moretti
La Rossa Doppelbock
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
206448
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl
Collesi Imper Ale "Nera"
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208491
Birra Moretti
Baffo D'Oro
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204766
MANIS
8.6
Dark copper brown color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate mousse, tamari, dried fruit, and dark German bread with a rich dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long roasted nut and grain, fig jam, peppercorn, and arugula accented finish. Excellent savory complexity and depth. This pushes the boundary of the style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221375
Peroni
Gran Riserva Rossa
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
221373
Peroni
Gran Riserva Doppio Malto
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214541
Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi Srl
Collesi "Nera"
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab