I’m a wine drinker to the core. I hadn’t been romanced by Italy’s booming craft beer movement until this year’s unrelenting summer-long heat wave started in June. My interest in craft beer inched higher alongside soaring temperatures. The last time I hosted a beer tasting, a group of enthusiasts challenged what I knew about beer given my wine bias. As a perfectionist, I stubbornly hit the books and the pubs.
Despite Italy’s ingrained wine making culture, you’d be missing an aspect of Italy’s food and beverage scene if you didn’t indulge in craft beer. The striking rise in popularity is driven by renewed interest in beer making and drinking.The renaissance of the malty hoppy beverage started in the mid-90s in Northern Italy when a handful of home beer makers got brewing. Today the number stands at about 600 producers sprinkled across diverse regions. From home-brewers to microbreweries and styles inspired by classic Germany, Belgium, UK and U.S. brewers to Italian born brews, there’s been an explosion from the top to the bottom of the boot and let’s not forget the islands.
For more of my beer musings and a list of my favorite beers check out “Veering to Beer“…
Photo credit Andrea Di Lorenzo