While Italy is best known for its outstanding wines, the nation has recently seen major growth in the microbrewery craft beer scene. The reputation for Italian beer was traditionally built on large brands such as Peroni, Nastro Azzurro and Moretti, and although these are quality beverages the microbrewery craft beer sector has a wider selection and diversity of delicious beers to try.
Microbreweries have far more scope to experiment with unusual ingredients than major brands do. This allows microbreweries to really excel in unique areas of the beer market. As well as growing their own hops and malts, Italian microbreweries use local ingredients such as farro, spelt, wild honey, seasonal fruits, chestnuts and ancient varieties of grains. They also add unique combinations of Italian spices to give their beers an interesting twist.
Microbrewery And Craft Beer.
A microbrewery is a small-scale brewery that makes no more than 15,000 barrels of beer per year. Microbreweries produce specialty beers that use local or seasonally sourced ingredients and often create unique beers for special events and occasions.
Microbreweries tend to be independently owned although they still have to follow strict health and safety rules in the brewing process. Many microbreweries experiment with new techniques and recipes and have a loyal customer base that values the unique craft beers that they produce.
While there is no clear definition, craft beer is usually made in breweries that produce much smaller amounts of beer than larger commercial breweries. Craft beers are generally made in microbreweries that are independently owned and are much more experimental in nature than the beers produced by the major manufacturers. Craft beer is considered to be of much better quality than the beers made in large breweries and is consequently in high demand among beer lovers everywhere.
The Best Italian Microbreweries.
The following are some of the best and most popular microbreweries in Italy:
This popular Tuscan microbrewery is famous for its American and English-style beers that are made with hops and barley that are harvested on-site. The brewery uses local spring water in all its fermentations which gives the beer a beautifully refreshing taste.
First opening its doors in 2016, the Brasseria Della Fonte also has an on-site restaurant, rental apartments and is surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Val D’Orcia. The farm’s restaurant serves carefully sourced Tuscan cuisine and has a fantastic wine list that naturally includes its own homemade craft beers.
Producing top-quality barrel-aged beers, the Ca’del Brado microbrewery uses unconventional wild yeasts in its brewing process. This allows the master brewers to create new recipes while utilizing all the classic Italian flare for exciting innovation.
The magnificent Italian craft beers are sold in the company’s friendly tap room beside the brewery as well as in Ca’del Brado’s on-site store and its online shop. You can also join a guided tour of the brewery every Saturday which includes a beer tasting session. Undoubtedly one of the leading pioneers in the region’s microbrewery scene, Ca’del Brado is one of the finest producers of world-class beers in the country.
This Italian microbrewery and tap room produces a remarkable range of beers including European, Belgian and American-style beers as well as English stouts and beers. Marco Valeriani founded the brewery in 2012 and was named Brewer of the Year in 2016 and 2018, cementing his place at the forefront of the Italian microbrewery scene.
The Alder Beer Co. has a lovely taproom where you can savor the company’s fantastic range of beers, buy merchandise or pick up a unique gift pack. The taproom is only open for limited hours and because it’s not a bar it only sells beer that is made by the Alder Beer Co.
Cantina Errante is a Tuscan microbrewery that produces a delicious selection of beers, hybrid beers and ciders using biodynamically grown organic ingredients. The ingredients used in the beer-making process include foraged herbs, fresh fruits and traditional varieties of cereals. Using spontaneous fermentation techniques, Cantina Errante avoids using yeast, sour pitches or bacteria in the fermenting process which gives the brewery’s beers and ciders an earthy flavor profile.
Cantina Errante has a great online store that delivers for free on orders over 24 bottles. There are also souvenirs in the store such as badges and great flasks that you can keep your beer cool in. Certainly one of Tuscany’s top microbreweries, it’s definitely worth checking into the Cantina Errante store to find unforgettable beers at hard-to-beat prices.
‘Seiman’ means ‘six hands’ in the Veneto dialect and refers to the 3 brothers that run this microbrewery and winery. Marco, Andrea and Daniele Filippini operate the brewery on a farm in the Berici hills, near Venice, and create fantastic craft beers that are fermented with yeasts from the brothers’ vineyard. The beers are aged for several months in traditional oak barrels which gives them a deep flavor that you won’t find in major brand beers.
Grapes and other local ingredients are added to the fermentations to create a delightful range of flavored beers. The Sieman microbrewery also produces a good selection of wines that are made from hand-picked grapes and are made without using any additives which significantly reduces the sulfur content of the finished wine.
The Ritual Lab was founded in 2012 and has gone from strength to strength, winning the prestigious Brewer of the Year award in 2020, impressing their fast-growing customer base. All of the beers are barrel-aged and fermented in carefully controlled temperatures and humidity to ensure the high quality of the craft beer.
One of the Ritual Lab’s finest offerings is the Papanero, a stout-inspired beer, although every beverage the brewery produces has a lot to offer the connoisseur of craft beers. Ritual Lab has recently opened a taproom that’s adjacent to the main brewing facilities where you can taste the latest craft beers and purchase discounted beers to take home with you.
This independent farm and microbrewery create a wide range of craft beers using locally sourced ingredients. The CRAK Brewery operates at a fairly large scale for a microbrewery and delivers canned and bottled beers to customers and bars all through Italy.
The brewery has a laidback on-site taproom where you can enjoy the craft beers or buy cans and bottles to take away with you. CRAK Brewery also runs a range of social events and meetups throughout the year giving you the chance to try their latest creations and meet fellow craft beer lovers.
Klanbarrique has a funky design style and is famous for its experimental techniques and constant innovations in the field of craft beers. The microbrewery produces an outstanding selection of hybrid beers that are made using grapes and other local ingredients that are barrel-aged to create malts and champenoise-style brews.
With a unique range of offerings including grape ales, sour imperial stouts with cherries and barrel-aged wine, Klanbarrique is one of Italy’s most unusual microbreweries. There are also blonde, dark and stout ales to choose from in the company’s online store.
Birrificio Stradaregina produces carefully researched beers using secret recipes that give the microbrewery’s craft beers a super distinctive flavor profile. The brewery ages the beers in oak barrels and makes two main types of craft beers – Lambic beers and top-fermented style beers.
Lambic-style beers are spontaneously fermented and aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels using seasonal fruits that are blended with flowers and other herbs. The brewery also produces a delightful range of single brew craft beers that really are true one-offs and make the perfect gift for any beer lover in your life.
The brewery was founded in 2005 when an old warehouse was transformed into a brewery, with the first batch of beers hitting the market in 2006. The brewery takes its name from the nearby village of Montegioco in Val Grue and primarily sources its ingredients from local producers in Piedmont, Liguria and Lombardy. Birrificio Montegioco produces beers under 20 distinct labels that include blonde, Weinzen, white, bitter and stout beers that are made using a huge range of ingredients.
The brewery has partnered with regional artisans who prepare cured meats and cheeses to pair with the microbrewery’s beers. Birrificio Montegioco has a great online store where you can buy special gift cases and all of the various beers under the brand’s 20 labels.
Italy Has Very Good Microbreweries.
While top-quality craft beers made by local microbreweries might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Italy, the nation’s microbreweries are fast gaining a reputation for excellence. Making use of carefully sourced ingredients and applying innovation, quality craftsmanship and modern techniques, Italian microbrewers are producing some of the best craft beers in Europe.
All this makes Italy’s microbreweries one of the country’s best-kept secrets! So if you enjoy tasting unique beers, then visit the breweries’ online stores or, better yet, the microbreweries themselves to sample their offerings for yourself.