Italian beers have taken the world by storm, even though the country is best known for its excellent wines and olive oil. Just like the traditional beer cultures of Germany and Czechia, Italians are also indulging in the goodness of the golden brew nowadays.
With this extensive guide, our beer experts will reveal the best Italian brews you would not want to miss out on. Read on to know more!
|Italian Beer||Why It’s the Best|
|Birra Peroni||This beer works like magic when paired with classic Italian fare like pizza and pasta|
|Nastro Azzurro||It has achieved the status of being the best known Italian beer in Italy and around the world|
|Birra Moretti||Highest quality of hops ensure that the beer always tastes fresh yet simple|
|Birra Angelo Poretti||This beer acts as a palate cleanser and works well with many different dishes|
|Birra Menabrea||A product of the oldest active Italian brewery, this beer is a symbol of Italian class|
|Gran Riserva||The beer sets itself apart from its competition with its signature spicy aroma and fruity flavor|
|Cortigiana||The beer boasts of several special ingredients like ginger, orange peel, and coriander to achieve its distinct taste|
|Quarta Runa||Made with the unique Volpedo peaches that lends the beer a distinct opalescent hue, aroma, and flavor|
|Birra Bellazzi||The beer follows the American style of brewing for patrons looking for something different|
List of the Best Italian Beers
Here is a list of top Italian craft beers that you must definitely try out.
– Birra Peroni
Birra Peroni is a lager that is uniquely Italian in its identity. Free-flowing and easy going, Birra Peroni unites Italians of all denominations across the length of the country. It was first brewed in the mid-1800s, and ever since its inception, the brewing process has been dependent on using only select ingredients like 100 percent Italian Malt.
- This particular malt comes from a special breed of barley that enables the brewing of this high-quality and novel beer.
- The alcohol content of Birra Pironi is 4.7 percent.
- It has a moderately bitter taste with a well-balanced pairing of malt and hops.
- It pairs well with most Italian dishes like pizza and pasta.
For close to two centuries, Birra Peroni has established itself as not just a beer but a symbol of the history, culture, and traditional values of Il Bel Paese. Its history is steeped in visions of innovation, sustainability, and uncompromising quality. The brewery found its ground in the northern Italian town of Vigevano, and today, it has spread its roots across Italy with three different plants located in Padua, Bari, and the eternal city.
The usage of select materials since the very beginning has come to define the unique experience Birra Peroni generates among its admirers. Staying true to its innovative roots, Peroni launched its own 100 percent Italian malt’s blockchain traceability project in 2021. With this, the brand aims to promote the values of sustainability and quality, the region, and the people that define the product. Thanks to blockchain technology, these values can be traced, ensured, and showcased across the world today.
– Nastro Azzurro
The high-quality ingredients and the balanced aroma of Nastro Azzurro have helped preserve its status as a product that symbolizes Italy and everything it stands for. The beer boasts of an exotic ingredient, the Mais Nostrano – a prestigious Italian corn variety that is grown exclusively to brew Nastro Azzurro. This ingredient lends the beer a “not-too-sweet” feeling on the palate that accompanies a refreshing and dry taste.
The brewing process expertly and harmoniously balances the fragrance of spices and flowers with the slightly bitter notes of the hops that possess a subtle aroma. From the very first sip, you feel the distinct freshness, light, and fragrant vibe owing to a high degree of attenuation. The premium lager has a straw yellow body and uses hops, Mais Nostrano corn, and barley malt for brewing.
It pairs well with fresh cheese, grilled seafood, fried and finger food, and of course, pizza. Ever since its inception in 1963, it has achieved its primary objective of becoming the most adored premium Italian beer not just in Italy but across the world. Nastro Azzurro stands tall as a hallmark of Italian style and bravado across 70 nations around the world today.
– Birra Moretti
Birra Moretti was first brewed over one and a half centuries ago in 1859. Since then, the traditional production process of this quality brew has largely remained unchanged. The artist behind Birra Moretti was Luigi Moretti, who envisioned infusing quality and craftsmanship into the brewing process. The beer was to stand out among the crowd in its simplicity, and Luigi wanted Birra Moretti to represent the simple pleasures of life and something that can be enjoyed with great food and great company.
As one of the favorite beer brands of Italy, it sports a perfectly balanced bitter taste. The unique taste and fragrance of Birra Moretti are enhanced by the usage of a special blend incorporating hops of the highest quality.
Birra Moretti is as authentically Italian as pasta. The beer is brewed with the uniquely Italian traits of passion and style. As such, it pairs splendidly well with most Italian fare like a sumptuous plate of pasta. The fresh and simple notes of Birra Moretti transport anyone drinking it to the valleys and rolling hills of Tuscany.
– Birra Angelo Poretti
The journey of Birra Angelo Poretti begins with Angelo Poretti and is a quest toward great taste, discovery, and curiosity that began in 1877.
The beer is a remarkable lager that fashions a sublime harmony between the scent of hops and the fragrance of malt.
The smooth and generously hoppy body of Birra Angelo Poretti features an alcohol content of 5.0 percent.
It pairs well with white fish, vegetables, cereal-based dishes, medium-aged cheese, or any full-flavored starter.
The beer is designed to cleanse your palate and go well with food to enhance your entire dining experience.
The choice of select hops from around the world, the freshest mountain waters from the rolling Italian mountains, and the finest ingredients make it a perfect beverage of choice that complements food in multiple ways.
The story of Birra Angelo Poretti is quite a fascinating one. The story begins with the visionary Angelo Poretti, who wanted to imbibe the secrets of brewing a master brew from the Germanic lands of Bavaria, Bohemia, and Austria. He was able to connect with master brewers who helped unlock the secrets of brewing a master brew.
Upon returning to his motherland, Angelo Poretti realized his lifelong dream by opening his first brewery in Valganna in 1877. The venue selection was crucial as Valganna is amply supplied by multiple sources of pristine mountain water that forms the crux of elegant beer brewing.
Fast forward to today, Birra Angelo Poretti has continued to fly the flag of discovery and innovation with modern pouring systems featuring PET casks that are recyclable without any added CO2. This is a move toward the greater values of sustainability which lies in respect of people and their environment. In the 2015 EXPO Milan, Birra Angelo Pirotti was adjudged as the official beer of Italy, a definitive statement of its quality, visionary origins, and uniquely Italian identity.
– Birra Menabrea
If you happen to drop in on the stylish bars across Turin or Milan, your quest for a classic Italian Birra will most likely introduce you to Menabrea. As the oldest active Italian brewery, Birra Menabrea hosts the blend of three key elements of brewing – an inherent beer culture, high-quality raw materials, and a recipe that is unique and original.
The bottom-fermented blonde beer is characterized by its unfiltered and cloudy appearance.
The presence of a suspension of yeasts is ensured by immediate canning post brewing.
The intact organoleptic character lends it a full-bodied flavor and a bitter aftertaste.
The end product has a distinct pale-yellow hue and sports an alcohol volume of 5.20 percent.
The beer pairs well with tempura, grilled food, aged cheese, and a mixed grill and acts as a perfect accompaniment during communal dinners.
The recommended serving temperature of the beer is between 42 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
The refined and consistent flavor profile of the pale ale is well balanced between fruity, floral undertones, bitter tones, and citrusy notes.
The excellent ingredients paired with a unique maturation process unlock superb head retention, a hoppy taste, and a complex malty profile.
The brewmaster is tasked with the upkeep of the traditional recipe that blends in malt from Vitry-le- François, at the heart of the Champagne region, the noble hops from Hallertau, Bavaria, pristine organoleptic waters from the Biella Alps, and the yeast strain.
The secret behind the winning brew is steeped in its simplistic quest to obtain the best possible ingredients. With time, the brewery has modernized itself to sustain production at the original location with the unmatched passion and knowledge of everyone involved in the process of brewing Birra Menabrea.
– Gran Riserva
Birra Gran Riserva is an award-winning creation from the house of Peroni that sports a fruity and delicately balanced aftertaste.
The flavor is bolstered with the intense aroma of spices, toasty Italian malt, and wholesome cereal flavor.
All the high-quality ingredients are enhanced with the further addition of special caramel malts.
These specialized caramel malts, when added through extensive low-temperature mashing, lend the beer its characteristic and signature spicy aroma.
The Weizen beer has a cloudy yet elegant blonde body and drinks pleasantly due to its fresh yet fruity and aromatic notes.
Choicest hops, malt, barley, and wheat malt create Gran Riserva that pairs excellently with desserts, salads, and products made with pork.
Gran Riserva has an alcoholic content of 6.6 percent vol. making it the perfect choice for the most special moments.
The Peroni Gran Riserva was first conceptualized in 1994 following a recipe created by Giovanni Peroni. The recipe calls for using 100 percent Italian bronze malt without any unmalted cereals processed through high fermentation yeast, barley, and wheat malt. This gives the beer its unique yet elegant cloudy body, fruity yet intense taste, and subtle yet fragrant aroma.
– Birra Cortigiana
Cortigiana is a simple yet intriguing Blanche beer brought by the house of Birra del Borgo. The beer is known for its energetic yet smooth sip centered around fresh and delicate aromas.
The main ingredients involved in the brewing process are barley malt, oat flakes, einkorn spelled, and alternative cereals like buckwheat.
Other than this, special ingredients such as ginger, orange peel, and coriander are added to Birra Cortigiana during the boiling phase, giving it a distinct aromatic olfactory profile.
In Birra Cortigiana, the fresh ingredients combine through top fermentation to create a fresh flavor and moderate bitterness that goes well with almost all palates.
Birra Cortigiana fashions a creamy white foam on a light and opalescent yellow body that gives out subtle notes of spicy sweetness, orange peel, juicy citrus fruits, and fresh floral scents.
The beer pairs well with delicately flavored dishes such as light fries, white meats, and different fish courses. It also features an excellent fresh aperitif.
The story began in 2005 in the small town of Borgoreose situated in the central Italian province of Italy. Since then, the Collerosso brewery has churned out world-famous brews such as the Duchessa, the DucAle, and the ReAle. The processes and workings of the brewery have been heavily influenced by the spirited inhabitants and the exquisite local ingredients the town of Borgoreose offers.
– Quarta Runa
Birra Quarta Runa is the flagship brew of the Brewery Montegioco. The distinguishing ingredient used for brewing Quarta Runa is Volpedo peaches that lend it an opalescent orange hue. The defining character of the brew is in its hints of pear, peach, and apricot that form a fruity trifecta. This is complemented by subtle bread crust, orange blossom, peach stone, bitter almond and floral rosy notes, all culminating together in a golden limpid body.
The best way to describe the flavor would be with a uniquely refined feminine feeling.
The brew is initially soft and shapes into a medium structured body. You are hit with hints of fruitiness with a herbaceous and hoppy feeling that is distinctly clean.
The slight hopping, characterization of the peach, slight acidity, and a very long finish forms the base of the experience.
The considerable length of the after-aroma and the pleasing dryness blend to make a unique, novel and easy drinking experience.
The beer is a connoisseur’s delight and pairs like a charm with tomato sauce-based pasta, cured Tortonese meats, and fried foods, especially fried fish.
Birra Quarta Runa is procured by the house of Montegioco nestled in the village of Val Grue between the ancient land that borders the provinces of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Liguria, and Piedmont. The brew was heralded by Riccardo Franzosi, whose passion for brewing helped him kick off his career as a homebrewer. By 2005, he was able to transition from a passion-based effort into a full-fledged business and transformed his old warehouse into a swanky microbrewery.
The essence of Montegioco and its magical orange brew lies in the Tortona hills that oversee the production of signature Volpedo peaches. Montegioco ales such as the Quarta Runa are aged inside traditional oak barrels as per the legacy process — the Method Cadrega. It involves a century-old natural and slow maturation process that forms the basis of the beer’s unique flavor profile and body.
– Birra Bellazzi
This golden and refreshing brew is a craft beer inspired by the American style of beer. With the choicest German barley malt and hops from the US, Australia, and New Zealand, this beer has an alcohol content of 5.5 percent.
The flavor profile features several aromatic elements, including a slight spicy zing combined with characteristic New Zealand style hoppy taste, notes of citrus, and tropical goodness, all culminating in a thirst-quenching impact on a medium-toned body.
The key differentiator that sets Birra Bellazzi apart is the unique process of production that enables the separation of gluten from the brew without compromising on the wholesome, refreshing taste.
The story of Birra Bellazzi begins with an engineer and chemist who followed their passion and revamped their career into an artisan of beer. The concept of sharing a glass of the divine golden brew with close friends and acquaintances formed the bedrock of the conception — one that led them towards Birra Bellazzi.
The quest was to combine and associate every moment of life with a specific taste; a beer for every moment, to be precise. Whether one is celebrating raucously or partaking in general chit-chat, the idea was to find the perfect brew that helped make each moment even more perfect. This is how the project saw the light of day.
Italy is a land of wonders, of fast cars and sumptuous cuisines, and now of delicious beers. Along with adjacent countries Germany and Austria, Italian beers have also started to gain popularity worldwide.
- Famous Italian brews like the Birra Peroni, Nastro Azzurro, Birra Moretti, Birra Angelo Poretti, and others have put Italy as one of the finest beer producers.
- However, if you want to pin down one, Nastro Azzurro would indeed be your best choice.
- What sets this beer apart is the special Italian corn used in the brewing process that is not genetically engineered and imparts a unique flavor.
- Of course, its distinct freshness, light, and fragrant vibe all add up to a fantastic brew that can be enjoyed with multiple food choices.
- Birra Peroni used a particular type of Italian malt that comes from a special breed of barley that enables the brewing of this high-quality and novel beer.
As a beer connoisseur, it becomes imperative to sample all of the magical Italian brews and extend your horizons in the quest for the best beers available.