The Romans drank wine, the pope drinks wine, everybody in Italy drinks wine, wine, wine, said Marialisa Calta in Saveur. Yet a new generation of Italians is also enthusiastically discovering craft beers. Microbrewers in Italy are boldly experimenting, often by flavoring unusual brews with ginger, anise, black pepper, or paprika. Most of these beers are unpasteurized and unfiltered to create “a rich, bready quality.” Here are four available in the U.S.
Cassissona, Birrificio Italiano ($16.20/750 ml)
A “tart, bright-tasting” beer from a brewery-restaurant 10 miles from Lake Como. Black currant liqueur is added during fermentation.
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Super Baladin, Birreria Baladin ($16.99/750 ml)
Very fruity and earthy. Faint peach aromas. “Tangy finish.”
Nora, Birreria Baladin ($18.99/750 ml)
A full-bodied beer made in an ancient Egyptian style, with Egyptian Kamut grain, ginger, and myrrh. “Remarkably thirst-quenching.”
Xyauyù, Birreria Baladin ($49.99/500 ml)
Sold in an elegant bottle and boxed like Cognac, this is an intense, Port-like beer modeled on English barley wine. Flavors of burnt sugar and tamari. “Potent and complex.”
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