Italy and the Romans (what ever did they do for us?), well Opera for a start, Pizza, Pasta, Vespa’s and Sophia Loren. Italy conjures up different things to different people, expensive sports cars, style, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sardinia and crumpling cities for me.
Beer wise it was a Pale Lager country, with the occasional Irish Red popping up in weird places; it’s beer scene now is vibrant, with some very good brewers producing some innovative beers (often at eye watering prices).
Let’s see some Stats:
Only 7 people have more than 1,000 Italian rates.
15 Italian based Ratebeerians have over 1,000 rates overall, with @daniele being top of that pile too.
An amazing 1580 different breweries on our database, @daniele is top dog again with 829 hits.
RateBeer has split Italy into 20 Regions, with a couple very hard to find unless you actually visit.
Please keep these threads going, post your stats and stories from Italy, I’m sure there’s lots to tell.
Nothing too exciting from me never having visited.
57 ratings, from 11 of 20 regions.
13th most rated country for me which is higher than I would have guessed.
Panil, Del Ducato, and Baladin seem to be the bulk of them.
Baladin Xyauyù Birra Da Divano Riserva Teo Musso is my top rated, shared at a tasting at cgarvieuk’s in Edinburgh.
Also had at that tasting was Baladin Xyauyù Fumé is possibly one of the highest gaps between my rating (3.2) and the RB score (4.14). I unfortunately do not care for smoke or scotch so it was very much not for me!
Looking at the rest of my top rated Italian beers I only remember having like two of them! Several were at Mondial festival. Not sure if Italy was the theme country that year or if they just had a bunch of Italian beers?
I know Italy underwent a bit of a craft beer revolution a few years back, but I’ve rated just 5 beers and the quality ones have passed me by - for me, it’s synonymous with pale wishy-washy lagers, and perhaps the odd pale ale that can be found in Italian chain restaurants, and that’s because my only trips there were once in the early 1980s (quick trip across the border to Aosta, just to say we’d been to Italy!) and most recently about 15 years ago on a romatic weekend to Rome with the then girlfriend - may well have had one or two nice beers that second trip, but no recolletion of them (do remember visiting a cool little, very dark, bar, with various taps on show). I know I should hunt out some more exciting beers, but it’s not a country that’s top of my list to do so - therefore my 5 rates will not increase any time soon, except for perhaps another average lager or pale at some trattoria or other!
459 ITA rates for me putting me 24th on the overall list for Italian beers rated.
My 11th most rated country sitting between Wales and Ireland.
Have done a good half dozen and maybe more trips there I’d say … largely long weekends in Roma but most recently to Sicily (2018 IIRC). At least half of my trips have been since I’ve been rating on RB so have picked up quite a few ticks over the years.
Special mention to
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà • RateBeer
Thoroughly deserves its spot as a top 10 place and then over the road to Bir & Fud for pizza.
Have done a few nice trades with Manuele over the years.
I have 13 beers rated at 4+ and these are dominated by Baladin … Xyauyu’s taking 1st, 2nd and 5th spot.
Love the food over there also and hope to get back sooner than later … the Sicily trip being my most recent visit.
55 Italian beers, which given that I am married to an Italian (and hence visit family there whenever we can) is slow going. Just 12 of the 20 regions sampled and most of those are in the North. Veneto leads the pack numerically and I would recommend both CRAK and Lucky Brew to anyone wanting to tick the region. However, for guaranteed quality, I would probably opt for Le Baladin from Piedmont. My Lombardy choice would be Brewfist and my Marche selection would be RentOn. Both my Sardinian and Sicilian ratings are adversely affected by the ready availability of the blandest lager on the nicest beaches. Ichnusa does little for Heineken’s reputation.
The common wisdom is that craft beer in Italy was initially shaped by a tendency to produce a beer that went well with food. This reflected both the fact that meals are the central institution of Italian life and that bars and restaurants were the key clientele. There is still some truth to the idea that in Italy beer like wine is something to complement a meal rather than a pursuit in itself. Conversely, one could argue that it is only relatively recently that British people went to the pub as much for the food as for the drink; and that we still see beer more as the vital accompaniment for banter and/or music rather than for food.
My only complaint about the craft beer scene in Italy is that it can be under-ambitious–aiming to clone the fashionable beers of our time (and the same can be said of brewers in many other places who turn out identikit beer).
Nevertheless, there is good beer to be had and in metropolitan areas such as Rome, Milan and Turin, it is relatively easy to find. Buon appetito.
I kind of think I know what you mean about the ambition in the craft beer scene … not been for 3.5 years but Lots of German and Belgian style stuff and the hoppy stuff was largely on the safe side and ‘whelming’. Some decent enough sours mind.
I’ve been to Italy a few times over the years, four holidays in Lido de Jelsolo, a week on the Amalfi Coast, long weekend in Rome, RAF visits to Brindisi and Sardinia (long detachments). Drove over the Alps from Germany for the Lido de Jelsolo holidays and detoured through the Dolomites to Cortina once (never owned one). While on the Amalfi Coast we took a trip to Capri (have owned one).
Italy is my 14th highest rated country on 78 with an average of 3.04. Only two beers from White Pony have been deemed good enough to reach a 4 or above, I love their stronger Belgian style brews. https://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/white-pony-microbirrificio/16181/
I’ve managed to bag 12 of the 20 Italian regions with Lombardia out in front with 23 rates followed by Lazio on 18. Only been to Italy once since rating, so just two place reviews, both from Jan 2014 in Rome.
Walked over the Rialto Bridge in Venice and floated under the Bridge of Sighs on a Gondola, can’t recall any other interesting bridges, maybe some while driving over the Alps?
No plans to return to Italy and I’ve never had a scooter or an Italian car so far in my life.
Man, I love Italy, which is great now that I’m living in Switzerland. The mountain passes, Venice, Florence, the lakes, the food, the cars, the wine. And sometimes a decent beer; they’ve definitely improved the last five-ten years.
Beer/wise, rated 85 beers from 45 breweries in 15/20 regions. Four rated 4.0 or higher:
The first two rated a long time ago, and would maybe not get such a high rating now, but really enjoyed the Xyauyù and the “Italian” Thomas Hardy (though obviously preferred the O’Hanlon version).
Probably on the top of my list of countries to visit once Covid has calmed down a bit.
Ah, Italy, Possibly the country in continental Europe where modern days craft brewing first tool off, and also one of very few that has developed and maintained some sort of local character. Already 25 years ago there was loads of fantastic stuff there.
It is my 17th most rated country with 344 ratings and an averege score of 3.21 (the only other country with 100+ rating that has over 3.2 average is Belgium)
My favourite Italian beer memory is having a few beers at Birrificio Italiano after a long hot run in the Alps.
I have 9 beers rated 4.4 or higher:
Lombardia is my most rated region with 65 ratings. Still lacking ticks from Aosta Valley, Calabria and Molise (ISO )
Random Italian memory from 1976: 11 of us sat outside a little bar/pizzeria somewhere in rural Sardinia. None of us knew the Italian word for 11, so we used 10 (Deci) and 1 (Uno); Deci-Uno Beira got us 11 beers on the first two times. On the third occasion the young lad that we sent inside to order came back with three cold Pizzas, so we sent him back for the beers and had ate all the Pizza before he returned with the beers!
Two ciders & one mead. All pretty good. Though I have had a few pours @Eataly in NY that were brewed with the help of an Italian brewer. Trying not to resort to rating $40 Baladin bottles to up my game.
Random Italian memory from 1980: In Sardinia for a month with 92 Squadron, the Op’s Clerk was an Italian born bloke who’s parents had emigrated to Grimsby (true story) and he decided to join the RAF. He kindly printed off an A4 sheet of paper with useful Italian sayings to help us integrate better with the locals.
“How much is your Sister” and “Eleven Beers Please” came in very handy!
I remember 5+ years ago when “Italian pilsener” became a thing and people were raving about how Italy was the next big thing in beer. It feels to me like that didn’t really happen aside from a couple of the better known breweries? Maybe I’m just not aware of them?
Just get yourself a Peroni, you’ll love it… New region & new style for you at a cheap price (and economical flavour to match!).
A poor showing from me I’m afraid… just 9 rates from 6 regions. And thanks to many of them being gopping macro lager, my average score is a paltry 2.51. It’d be even lower if it wasn’t for these (slightly) better brews propping it up:
No place rates, although I did go to Italy 4 times in my pre-RB days. I travelled pretty widely while I was inter-railing there - Lake Maggiore, Genoa, Verona, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Naples, Taranto & Brindisi. Also took the opportunity to visit the Vatican & San Marino while I was there.
Rome was my favourite city in Italy - and possibly anywhere. There’s just so much interesting stuff to see there (historical sites are so commonplace that we saw one rather impressive Roman site being used as a cattery!). There’s probably no better city in which to just wander and see what you find. The best things we discovered in our wanderings were the three levels of history at Basilica di San Clemente; the astonishing ceiling of Sant’Ignazio (beats the Sistine Chapel in my opinion); and the creepy Crypt of the Cappuchin Monks (surreally located in one of the posher shopping streets).
A few humorous memories:
- Getting bored of carrying our tent whilst inter-railing, and deciding to ditch it - we set it up on a village green in a village somewhere near the French border, with some other bits we didn’t want arranged neatly inside. I always think of the local policeman knocking politely & then wondering what had happened to the occupants - I wonder how long it stayed there for?!
- On our visit Mount Vesuvius was smoking for the first time in many years (it’s stil due an eruption I believe). On reaching the summit there was a huge rumble and a flicker of light - we genuinely thought it was erupting and, terrified, sprinted down as fast as we could. Then the rain started, and we realised it had actually been thunder and lightning!
- I left San Marino with a small imitation ceremonial axe. When the Italian customs guards saw it they looked extremely worried, and searched the rest of my rucksack with some vigour. They looked even more concerned at my explanation that it was a gift for a friend!
I love Italy as a place - and that’s before I even get on to the amazing food and the fun, welcoming people. I definitely want to go back at some point - my wife & I have said we want to do a Gastronomic tour of it once my daughter’s grown up & left home, so hopefully I’ll pick up some more beers and regions then. Can’t see me getting too many more Italian rates in the near future though (although I may possibly go back to Baladin in Camden at some point to grab some more of their beers & fab food).
My 8th highest country with 56 ratings and from 10/20 regions. I visited 3 times with beer never being the focus. We had a house booked for a week in Sicily in in Taormina for the spring of 2020 but then the good old pandemic started and it never came to fruition. I remember being intrigued by concept of an Italian Grape Ale at the time and was planning on seeking one out but alas.
Favorite beer memory was a day spent with couple of guys on your top raters list @Mortlach and @ippopotamo36 . It was one of my final days in Rome and had prearranged a trade for some Faro (cuz I’m a style ticker through and through) for some American items. We ended up doing a tasting at ippoptamos place where he made lovely pasta carbonara and shared many a brew, then we went out to So Good!, Ma Che, and Bir & Fud.
Have 30 rates from Italy, top at 3.8 is shared by Hammer Wave Runner and CRAK New World
Visited Italy afew times, all enjoyable trips - inter-railing well before ratebeer days to Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, and more recently for wife’s cousins wedding in Sorrento.
In terms of cider, there are 21 active cideries and the one with most entries is Live Barrels with 15. I have 6 Italy cider rates but only have the 1 from an Italian cidery Cidrerie Maley
The top 5 lists for Italy cider and cidery raters are:
Also shout out to @labeerinthum from Milan who is one of my fellow sake raters on site. Never met or spoke to but when checking sake style rating leaderboards he/she shows up.
Ticked beers and traded a couple of times with @Mortlach at Ma Che … always plays down his English … shits on my non existent Italian of course!
Ha same here. Prior to my last trip that got cancelled I spent few months practicing on Duolingo partly due to their ribbing. It was worse for me since my family name is of obvious Italian origin. There is even a historical theatre in center of Rome with my name on it.