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One week in Rome (travel report)

#1

I moved to Berlin in 2013. Since then I came back to Rome at least twice a year, but never got the chance to keep up with the scene. A lot of things changed, some of my favorite places have closed, moved, changed ownership. When I check here on RB I see that the image RB users have of Rome is still stuck in 2011/2012, so I will try to report about the lastest openings in town.

The best places to visit are always the same and I will try my best to pay a visit to them.

Trastevere
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà
Bir&Fud
Les Vignerons

San Lorenzo
Il Serpente
Luppolo 12

Pigneto
Birra +

In the last 5 years there have been dozen of new openings who deserve a visit, like Luppolo Station, but I think I will focus on the East of town (Centocelle and Cinecittà), where I saw a vibrating scene coming up.

About beers, people abroad think Italy = Le Baladin. This is so far away from the truth. There are a lot of good breweries like Extraomnes, Birrificio Lambrate, MC77, Brewfist and in the last couple of years a lot of amazing new breweries hit the scene like CRAK Brewery and Hammer - Italian Craft Beer. In Rome there are a couple of brewpubs (ECB, Mad Hop Brewpub and Ritual LAB: Brewing & Growing) and tons of beerfirms. There is also a trappist brewery ( Abbazia delle Tre Fontane) ! The Lazio area provides us as well with some interesting products like Hilltop Brewery and Eastside Brewing. It’s time to drink them all.

So, from the 13th to the 20th I will try to do my best and report about what’s hot in Rome nowadays. Really can’t wait to spend a week in my hometown to enjoy its amazing beer scene.

Stay tuned! :beer:

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#2

Going to Rome on the 21st, home 24th.

Mainly for my wife’s b-day, so her trip, and won’t do many beer stops, but will see if I can stop at a select few.

#3

Day #1 - 2 new places visited / 8 new beers rated

Being around the area of the metro station Gardenie (C Line - Green), I decided to pay a visit to Mad Hop, one of the new brewpubs who opened in Rome in the last 5 years.

I had an interesting Kölsch, a below average Witbier and a quite strange Pale Ale. The latter had a very complex and extravagant aroma, which I reckon is given by Endeavour hops (will contact the brewmaster later).

The place itself is nice, modern but with that “italian” touch you can only find here. From 18 to 20 each beer costs 3,50 € instead of 5, so worth trying. Otherwise, not worth the detour.

After 45 minutes and 3 beers later I walked 100 meters and went to Beer Bubbles.

What an amazing surprise! 14 taps and 2 handpumps of only italian micro craft breweries (being the German Jacob the only exception). At the time of my visit - 7 pm - my brother and I were the only guests. The guy at the bar told me it’s always like this; they start to get full around 10:30 pm.

I had a wonderful Pale Ale from Ventoforte, an amazing Rauch from Mukkeller (awarded as best italian craft brewery at the annual meeting in Rimini last month) and an interesting NEIPA with lactose and mango juice from Hop Skin, a brewery from Bergamo I never heard of before.

Clean lines, amazing selection, knowledgeable staff (we discussed a bit about the beer scene in Berlin and Copenhagen) and average prices. 5 € for a Roman Pint.

What’s a Roman Pint? It’s a format which became quite famous in the last 10 years in Rome. It’s a shaker which contains 37cl beer. You can find it everywhere now (except at Macche, I think) and it is a sign of how the Roman scene is so important in Italy. It’s practical, easy to pile and to wash, allows you to have enough beer to drink but still leaves space for a second (and a third…) one.

I strongly recommend Beer Bubbles if you are in Rome. They also have food, which I did not try.

Today I will continue my quest for the perfect beer. Stay tuned!

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#4

Day #2 - 2 new places visited / 6 new beers rated

The second day has been quite low profile, but interesting to understand how craft beer is popular in Rome. I stayed in anonymous areas of town, still I could find some top class brews to drink.

The first place I visited was RAB, a small bistrot next to Subaugusta Station (Line A). 5 taps (nice selection with Opperbacco from Abruzzi and a fresh Macnhester Bitter from Marble) and a small fridge with locals and international beers alike (Rogue, Lervig, to name a few…).

I had the CRAK NEIPA, a beer I was longing to try since a long time. Unfortunately having been canned in November was not that “tropical” and juicy. Still a very good beer. The second beer I had there was a saison from Opperbacco (this one), a nice and fresh beer which stays true to the style without adding funky notes, fruits or other “strange” things.

I then moved to a new place which opened just 2 weeks ago, The Hopfathers . They have 12 taps, nothing special at the moment (a lot of HB München), but two lines were dedicated to italian craft beers, which I decided to try. The Porta Bruciata Orifiamma is so far one of the best beers I had during my trip. A very nice discover. I then tried a double Ipa from Opera and a solid Baladin Super Baladin.


(Porta Bruciata Orifiamma)

Day #3 - one new place visited / one re-visit / 9 new beers rated

So far the most interesting day, beerwise. No doubts when you go in Trastevere to visit some of the best places in town. I started my journey in Luppolo Station, one of the new openings of the last years I missed. 15 taps, fixed price (5 euros) for a variable format (0,3 or 0,4). I had a Birra Elvo Rauch (one of the newcomer in the italian beerscene) and the MC77 BowTie, awarded as best italian NEIPA during the recent Beer Attraction in Rimini.

I walked 15 minutes to reach my all time fav place in Rome: Les Vignerons. It’s a beershop and wine store where you can find a lots of gems, from a different range of prices. From Witzgall Landbier for 4 euros to a super-rare lambic worth 200 euros. This is the place that back then helped me to develop my love and taste for craft beer. I used to buy my Franconian beers and my lambics there in 2010/2013. Now I went there to try italian beers.

So I had the MC77 Velvet Suit (awarded as second best in style at Beer Attraction) , which was on my to-drink list. I discovered some nice beer thanks to the suggestions of Antonio (the owner of the shop), like Altotevere Joy, Hammer Riverside and the amazing Croce di Malto Temporis, the best beer I had so far in this trip. I also found the Birra Perugia Chocolate Porter, which was on my to-drink-list.

This is a must if you are considering a trip to Rome. There is no better beershop in town, really.

Now I am getting ready for lunch. Heading to Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà in the afternoon. The European Beertemple will not disappoint me, for sure. Let’s see if there will be room for a visit to Bir&Fud and Open Baladin as well. But I strongly doubt it

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#5

I’m very jealous - I love Rome. Great pics, keep them coming & enjoy your trip.

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#6

Day #4 - 3 places visited / 10 new beers rated

Finally, after 6 years I managed to visit again Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà. As always, lovely selection, very good prices and perfect service. I decided to go there quite early in order to have a sit at the bar and enjoy the place at its best.

I had the Hilltop Gallagher Stout (on my to-drink-list, picture below), a Hilltop Barry’s Bitter, a sample of Extraomnes Blond and an amazing Ritual LAB Holy Haze.

After that, being still quite early, I decided to have a pizza break at La Renella, a traditional pizza baker 3 minutes walking from there. It used to be my fav pizza place in Trastevere when I worked in a beershop there in the area. I was not disappointed. Amazing pizzas.

I moved to Bir&Fud to have some other Italian beer. Having enjoyed so much the Gallagher Stout I had 3 other beers from Hilltop: Hilltop Christmas Morning Mild, Hilltop Smoked Hops,
Hilltop Wot Hop?
. The Smoked Hops being one of the top of these days. Try to imagine a perfect mix of a Spezial Lager and a fruity, session pale ale. Well balanced, perfect mix of smoked malts and fruity hops. This one alone is worth a trip to Rome!

I closed the session at Bir&Fud with a saison: Rebel’s Suburban (picture below). Nice and fruity, not too dry, not too funky. Belgian style, fresh and enjoyable.

Being on the way to the tram stop, I decided to pay another visit at Les Vignorons, where I had a Ritual LAB / Eastside Mango Split and a Hop Skin Crazy Paul.

On a side note, Manuele (one of the owners of Macche and Bir&Fud) is known to be a great Franconia connoisseur, that’s why you can always find amazing Franconian beers when visiting the two bars. I had the chance to try and compare the U from Knoblach and Witzgall Landbier. I know I am probably the only one in Europe not to appreciate Knoblach. I cannot complain about their beers, but still I do not get their hype. I had it in perfect conditions several times in Berlin, in Bamberg and now in Rome, but I do not think Knoblach is the best Franconian brewer nowadays. I find Witzgall way, way better.

Today I will relax a bit. I have some beer in the fridge to drink home (Hilltop Americano Stout, MC77 Bastogne and Lieberth Pils) and in the evening I will celebrate St.Paddy’s at The Bridge Gastropub, a new place (restopub) which has some Italian craft, a lot of Belgian traditional beer and some German big name like Augustiner and Schlenkerla.

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#7

Love the travel report format, keep it up!

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#8

Living through you. Thanks for posting.

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#9

Thanks for posting, more please.

<*))))))><

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#10

Thanks for your comments! :beers:

Day #5 - one new place visited / 3 “new” beers rated

Paddy’s Day, a very low profile one. After the amazing drinking session in Trastevere of the previous day, I decided to take a small break. In the evening I went to try The Bridge - Gastropub, which is managed by two close friends of mine. They used to be the minds behind Pourquoi Brasserie in San Lorenzo, which was a pub serving Belgian and Italian food with a nice selection of beer. The new local they have now in front of Saint Paul’s Basilica has not a huge menu when it comes to beers, but has a bigger and more traditional food offer. So you can have a good carbonara, amatriciana, cacio&pepe or the lesser known pinsa romana, a flat oven-baked bread similar in style and texture to pizza dough which is produced in Rome. Otherwise you can always try the amazing homemade fusilli with sausage, zucchini, saffron and a La Trappe Dubble reduction.

From 18:30 to 20:30ish they offer aperitivo, a self service buffet full of finger food (potato gateau, omelettes, fried potato, cold barley salad, cous cous, several vegetables, pasta with pesto, etc etc) which costs around 8 EUR when paired with a beer or a glass of wine.



The beer selection is not what a beer geek is looking for, still when you can find Orval, Founders All Day Ipa, Rochefort 8/10, Chimay Bleue/Rouge/White/Dorée, some Brewdogs, Porterhouse Oyster Stout, La Trappe Dubbel, Schlenkerla Märzen, Schneider Weisse, you cannot complain. This is a place where you go to eat good food, having the chance to pair it with good beers is a plus. And they are open no-stop from 11:30 am to 2:00 am.

Day #6 - one place visited / 9 new beers rated

I planned to visit the Trappist Abbey of Tre Fontane and to buy the two trappist beers from Italy, but I changed plans last minute. After a delicious Liberth Pils for lunch, I came back to Hop & Pork in Cinecittà, a place always full from 5 pm to 10 pm. Thanks to the students of the nearby University of Tor Vergata who assault the place every day the 10 taps rotate very quickly, so it is easy to find good and fresh beers. On top of that, being the customers on the “low budget” segment, prices are very popular: 10 EUR/liter.

There are two formats for the serving: 0.2 and 0,3. The one and only problem is that beer is served in plastic glass only. This is to avoid problems with local police (it is forbidden to stand in the streets with a glass, don’t ask me why) and it is also impossible to provide clean glasses with that flood of customers. If it were open 15 years ago when I was studying there, it would have been my daily stop on the way home for sure.

Last year when I went there I remember I saw Mahr’s U, some can from Cr/Ak and Mr.B, a brand new brewery from (northern?) Italy. Yesterday I found a new product from Vento Forte (kegged 6 days ago), the amazing Croce di Malto Triplexxx (on my to-drink-list) and some unknown product I could not find elsewhere like Bonavena Hook, Birrone Heaven and Rebel’s Light Regular Bold Moka.

They also had some cans from Lambrate, Hop Hooligans and Dry&Bitter in the fridge, plus several Cantillon bottles in the back of the bar (I did not mind asking the price, though).

Last 36 hours in Rome, no big plans for today yet. Let’s see what will happen later…

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#11

I’ve been waiting for your update. Your friend’s gastropub sounds amazing! What I’ll never get with places like this though is: why not focus the beer menu around locals? Either way, their selection is still bang on, sound’s like a good place to kick back, have good food, good beer and relax.

#12

I think in their very case it’s just because they love Belgian beers and they have just one distributor for beers (I am trying to guess). There are anyway a couple of italian beers available, but not as much as in the previous bar they run.

There are other places in Rome (like the two I have visited Bir&Fud and Beer Bubbles) which focus their lines mainly on local beers. They also have food, but it’s more pizza/hamburger/fried finger food.

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#13

Day #7 - 2 new places visited / 11 new beers rated

A very active day, to be the last full day in Rome. I went to Johnny’s Off License, the very first beershop of Rome. This is the place where all the beershoppers of the second generation (Les Vignerons, Fermento, etc…) made their “training” before going independent. When living in Rome I never visited it thinking it was old-fashioned. Transportation was not convenient neither. Now that the new station of the Metro C Line stops right outside its doors, I decided to go and see what Johnny has to offer.

And it was a very nice discover. Italian, Belgian, Franconian, German, Danish, British, Irish and American beers with a balanced mix between hype and tradition. You can drink “on site”, but please remember the plastic glass only policy.

I had a session ipa ( Opperbacco Violent Shared) and tried again Nursia Bionda, the abbey beer brewed (by?) for the Abbey of San Benedetto in Norcia, which went destroyed during the last earthquake in 2016 (https://youtu.be/Gy8wYEmiNU8).

I then made some shopping of German beers (yes, I know…) to bring home for dinner. I highly recommend Johnny: awesome selection and very good prices if compared to other beershop in town.

Having some spare time left, I moved to Birstrò, a brewpub in the Pigneto district. When I entered the place, taps were not running yet and I was the only customer. I had the four beers available and left. Quality is just below average and so the price/quality ratio is low: five euros for a 0,4. They also offer food and I think it is worth to go there only if you want to try local food prepared with natural local products.

Day #8 - 1 new places visited / 2 new beers rated

On the day of departure I just enjoyed the last bottle in the fridge (Hilltop Un Americano) and had a pricey Tipopils at the airport (7 euros for a 33cl, please don’t get scammed in Fiumicino!)

Now I will take some day of water and coffee only, even if in my cellar I still have some nice Dutch product from the last Euro Swap. I need to take a break, seriously :grinning:

Hope you enjoyed the report. In case you have questions or need recommendation for Rome, let me know!

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#14

Thanks for the travel report - it has been great to follow your Rome updates!

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#15

Thank you for sharing your Rome adventure with us!
Cheers!

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#16

Thanks a lot for sharing, great read!

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#18

Excellent read, thanks for sharing.

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#19

Very cool!

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#20

Thank you all for taking time to read and comment it!

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