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Friday, June 12, 2015

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Italy, and More

Photo by Giulio Marini
Last week, Birrificio Italiano's Agostino Arioli arrived with three friends and co-workers on a fact-finding mission to the West Coast. I hosted them for a couple of days, showing them pubs, breweries, and leading a trip down to Gayle Goschie's hop farm in Silverton. (Big fun, natch.) It reminded me how much I love Italian beer (the new stuff, not Peroni or Moretti, though Peroni in particular is a fine mass market lager). So this week became a spontaneous Italy week. First came an overview for All About Beer.
The best Italian beer is not only world-class, but some of the best beer I’ve ever tasted. But more than that, Italians have, in just 19 short years, developed their own brewing traditions so that it’s possible to talk about “Italian-style” beer. It’s one thing when a country’s breweries develop the skill and knowledge to reproduce quality examples of existing styles. It’s another, far rarer thing when they develop their own styles. So how did they get here, and what are the markers of “Italian-ness?” Here’s a primer.
Then Patrick and I did a podcast about Italian beer, hinged to a tasting of five of Italiano's products, hand delivered by the generous Arioli. It departs slightly from our regular format, but I think it's our best ever.

Please give it a listen. And I mean that seriously. I love doing this podcast and I think folks will find it interesting. I won't be able to justify the time (nor will Patrick) as a vanity project, though, so we're really looking for an audience. You will vote with your ears, and I hope you encourage us with your interest. Your comments about what works/doesn't work and what we could do to improve it are always invited--nay, solicited. Tell us what you think.


  1. I haven't listened to your podcast yet, but definitely plan on doing so when I have a moment. Ordering beers at Nostrana and Cheese Bar sparked our interest in Italian beers. Based on something Steve from Cheese Bar told us a couple years ago, my husband and I have planned a trip to Bra, Italy for this September to include a visit to a well known cheese festival that also includes an Italian beer festival. The fest hasn't quite posted information for this year's event, but they had 21 Italian beers at the last festival two years ago:

  2. Try reading "Italy Beer Country: A story of Italian craft beer by Bryan Jansing and Paul Vismara. The book is really good and I don't usually read non-fiction. It really gives you a view of the trials and tribulations of the Italian brewers.