Fans of a foamy drink can easily name the countries that are primarily associated with it. This is the UK, Czech Republic, Germany or Belgium. But the number of those who prefer Italian beer is growing.
In 2017, more than 156 million decalitres of the hop drink were produced in Italy. In the same year, every Italian drank 31.8 liters of beer. This is almost the same as in France, twice as much as in Israel and 2.5 times more than in Turkey.
A Brief History of Italian Beer
In Italy, beer appeared more than 27 centuries ago. He was brought to the islands of Sardinia and Sicily by the Phoenicians, who actively traded in these parts. In a small amount, the Romans produced beer before the invasion of the barbarian tribes. In Milan and Florence of the late Middle Ages — at the end of the 15th century — barley wine was known. So in these cities they called beer.
Home brewing began to spread in the northern regions of Italy from the 16th century. The fateful year was 1840. Then in Chiavenna, a small town in Lombardy, the first Italian brewery with the unusual name Spluga opened, which can be translated as a “cave”. However, the championship was disputed by the Austrian master brewer F. S. Wührer. Much earlier, in 1829, he opened a small brewery in Brescia – a town also located in Lombardy.
By the end of the 19th century, there were approximately 140 small breweries in Italy. Foam production steadily increased until 1927. Then a beer tax was passed. This has led to a sharp reduction in consumption and production.
The 1970s marked the beginning of the distribution of beer in various institutions of the country (before it was drunk only in pizzerias). 1996 and subsequent years are marked by a marked increase in the number of microbreweries. In 2017, there were 850 of them. More than 80% of this number are craft breweries, which produce original craft beer according to their own recipes.
What are the features of Italian beer
Regulars of restaurants and pizzerias note a slight bitterness of Italian beer and unusual pleasant aromas. It is produced by the alcohol fermentation method well known in brewing. Malt is most often barley or wheat, less often – from other cereals. The ingredients for beer are a variety of natural raw materials:
Malt and Hop Beer
In the production of foam Italian masters use the brewing traditions of Germany, Britain, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the USA. They boldly experiment with the dosage and combination of ingredients. All this allows them to produce beer that cannot be confused with German, Czech or any other.
One of the important features of local beer is the lack of preservatives. It is often bottled in 0.75 liter bottles.
Varieties of Italian beer
The legislation of the republic has developed a special classification that takes into account not only the strength of the alcohol contained in the hop drink, but also the level of Plato (° P) – the percentage of sugar dissolved in the wort. Beer in Italy has the following categories:
non-alcoholic – 1.2% (strength); 3.0-8.0 ° P (birra analcolica);
light – 1.2-3.5%; 5.0-10.5 ° P (birra leggera o light);
beer – more than 3.5%; over 10.5 ° P (birra);
special – from 4.8%; over 12.5 ° P (birra special);
two-stage malting beer – from 5.2%; more than 14.5 ° P (birra doppiomalto).
The style of a particular beer depends on the technology of which country is used in the production. Therefore, the names of varieties in Italy coincide with those adopted in countries with long-established traditions of brewing. There are several main varieties:
lager –3.5-5.8% (lager);
Italian Pale Ale – 5.2% (IPA);
light or wheat – from 5.0% (La Bianca or Weizen);
Viennese style – 5.2% (Vienna Style);
premium lager – 4.7-5.2% (premium lager);
Italian side – 6.6-7.0% (La Rossa);
Radler – 2% (lemonade and beer cocktail);
ale – 7.0-8.0% (ale).
It is interesting that Italian beer snacks are very different from those that are usually served in Europe. In Italy, this is primarily pizza. Depending on the type and strength of the beer, cheeses, white meat, steak, risotto, roast beef, vegetable salads, stewed beans, baked potatoes or eggplant caviar can also be served with it.
Beer with appetizer
TOP 3 Italian beer brands
Foam drink lovers in the country always have a wide selection. Beer in Italy, whose brands are represented both in the domestic market and abroad, is distinguished by its taste variety. Of particular note are the brands Peroni, Moretti and Forst.
728 * 90
Peroni has been known since 1846 when the brand’s founder, F. Peroni, opened his own brewery. In 2018, under this name in Italy, there are three large plants in Rome, Bari and Padua.
Peroni Fortress – from 3.5% to 8.0%. The color of the beer is golden yellow. The production uses water purified in a special way, corn and only high-quality varieties of barley. On the palate, the presence of citrus bitterness and a pleasant refreshing aroma is pronounced.