What a strange sight to be sitting at a restaurant in Italy with the same wooden tables, flimsy straw chairs and everybody of all ages drinking beer...with no pizza or wine to be had.
As you may know, if you’re reading this blog, Paul and I just returned from Italy from a ten day tour of Italian craft breweries. We met and interviewed several brewers including Agostino Arioli of Birrificio Italiano, one of the founders of the beer movement in Italy, Giovanni Campari from Del Ducato who’s the most awarded brewer in Italy, the Lambrate crew, also one of the first and Leonardo Di Vincenzo from Del Borgo, perhaps one of the most innovative Italian brewers and certainly a major cog in the gears keeping the Italian craft beer movement alive. We spoke with Bruno Carillo from Toccalmatto, whose imagination brings to life some of the most interesting brews and whose push across Europe is spreading the Italian suds well beyond the Alps and obscurity.
We had an opportunity to meet Teo Musso from Baladin, another founding father whose influence is felt throughout the Italian craft beer community, as well as Fabio and Emmanuelle, owners of Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fa` and Bir e Fud. There’s no doubt that these two innovative pub owners set the pace that is now off and running. Without their entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm for beer, things in the Italian craft beer world might look a little different. Without a doubt, this book wouldn’t be in the works.
Of course, there are many, many other pubs and breweries, but we only had ten days, so we touched upon the most important within our reach. We will be returning for more interviews, but this trip has rooted our cause in firm, fertile soil.
We learned two essential things about the Italian craft beer movement: One, that the people behind these locations are basically nuts for even thinking about brewing Italian craft beer and two, they are most definitely passionate. In short, they love craft beer and wanted to drink it, so they made it. Their innovation in crafting fine beers is limitless. They set their bar very high whether it be in craft or taste.