How do you like your beer?

Brewery” is a word that usually goes with the Germans or the Belgian abbeys, where the most famous artisanal beers were born. And it’s quite funny to think that they used it as a replacement for food, in their meditation and fasting periods!

All beers are delicious, and we all know that almost every country has its special golden nectar: from the delicate Blanche beers in Belgium to the Weizen beers in Germany, you will find plenty of flavors while travelling around: especially nowadays, beer is experiencing quite a renaissance: beer fairs, beer experts, beer lovers are popping out like mushrooms.

But… what about Italy? Italy is the land of wine, ain’t it? Why would we care about beer when we have this wonderfully rich acres of land?

We are probably known for our ‘pizza&birra’ dinners, possibly to consume while watching a soccer match: our beers, in the common thought, are light and sparkling, perfect to be drank in a warm summer night… “Una birra ghiacciata è proprio quello che ci vuole!”, you will hear that quite often when you walk around in town as soon as the sun starts to heat. And when the sun goes down, what’s better than a cool beer to drink with your friends?

Chair-Magazine-Birra-artigianaleAnd yet, during the last five years more or less, we assisted to a ‘beer rebirth’: in stores, just next to the most common brands – the big brown 66cl bottle, anyone? – it’s more and more easy to see some fancier package, to try some interesting taste. Italians re-discovered beer!

You don’t need anymore to dig deep to find a nice beer: stores are filled with strange bottles, but you can find also pretty cute ‘Birrerie” in town, who will let you try their own product.

These beers come usually from “microbirrifici”: if the subject was music here, I probably would have said that these breweries are indie, lo-fi, underground colorful experiences… And they’re experiences to be tried.

So, how are these new ‘indie’ beers? The styles are just the same as in all over the world, with a touch of creativity that makes perfectly understandable the idea of a beer with some typical Italian meal – yes, the one that you usually would pair with wine.

Let’s have a quick overview!

1) IPA

Screen-shot-2010-01-10-at-21.38.45-590x393Short for “India Pale Ale”, it comes from England, and it was originally meant to be exported in India: the long trip this beer had to take is the reason of its peculiar characteristics – like a higher alcohol graduation than the normal Ale, and the bitter-ish flavor of hops that comes right at the tongue.

Being not a delicate taste, goes very good with rich entrees and sauces: English like to drink it with red meat or strong cheeses, so why do not try it while enjoying a semi-old cow cheese (but pecorino will do as well) or some Parma? The bitterness and the slightly salty flavours will truly pop in your mouth!

2) SPICES AND CEREALS BEERS

Tired of the ‘normal’ beer flavors? What did these five girls say… Spice up your life beer! There’s a whole world out there where you can taste pepper-beers, ginger-beers, herbs-beer… brewers love to dare, and try interesting combinations.

Most of these beers are suitable for winter: imagine yourself walking on the cold stoney streets of our cities, desiring nothing more that somewhere cozy to go – then you’ll find a pub where they will hand you a nice pint of cinnamon beer and a warm hamburger sandwich. Suddenly it’s home!

3) LAGER BEERS

Yes, we do have our Lager: light alcoholic, golden and sparkling beer that goes perfectly with… pasta! Its moderate alcohol degree makes it good for a refreshing lunch with friend, a pic-nic, or a warm night on the beach.

It’s the most common beer in the world, that’s why it is so versatile. Have it cold, make a toast and enjoy summer!

pizza_birra…Wait! There’s something missing here, a very important question: after all this, what will happen to our beloved Pizza&birra?

Fear not, this is a pairing that will never disappear. To enhance the flavor of pizza, though, the common light and sparkling beer is not our best choice: pizza is still made of wheat, and its strong flavors may overwhelm the beer, and if the drink it’s too bitter it will ruin the dish.

Better will be try a stronger (in taste, not in alcohol, unless you don’t have to drive!) one: bocks or weizen will do their job. And, of course, we do produce them.

Thirsty after reading? Try some good beer with our Florence Beer Tasting, at the Beer House Club in Corso Tintori.. and discover which one best suits you!

 

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