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Archive for May 4th, 2008

The notes from my last stop in Bologna have been lying around – I never got around to typing them out. What I had hoped to be the highlight of my visit turned out to be quite a disappointment.

It was a warm day, but it was getting chillier, even if a visiting Northerner could be fooled to believe ti was spring, despite the calendar only showing February. I took the bus from my hotel down to the historical centre, but getting a decent beer in the afternoon was not easy – Italy can be worse than Britain used to be, with beer bars only opening sometime around eight.

20 minutes walk from the touristy stuff, in a rather anonymous area, I reach my destination – the Bibo brewpub. It was easy to find – a big sign on the wall of a modern shopping and entertainment complex.

A rather young and trendy crowd. The menu was printed on a torn “handmade” paper, offering a number of small dishes. The Italian kitchen actually has a good range of food that is splendid with beer. On offer here were a number of pasta dishes with various fillings and sauces. I picked a bruscetta.

A look at the beer sdisplay showed four beers on tap, and samples in shot glasses were kindly provided. There were four beers, a lager and a helles bock from the German Ahornberger and two from the White Dog brewery, a micro in the area run by an English expat.

The beers were fine, with the porter from White Dog being especially fine. But I am curious. This was supposed to be a brew pub. One guest beer would be fine, but all four of them? The brewing vessels were clearly visible in the next room, but there were no visible displays of activity as there usually are.

The first of the staff I asked was embarrassed by the question of why they did not offer any of their own brews. She mumbled something about the people downstairs.

The other barman explained that this was due to financial problems, and my understanding was they were in the process of closing down the establishment.

There are lots of micro breweries being established in Northern Italy. Some go for a local market, some have regional ambition, some go for the international market. It is a pity that some do not manage to stay in business. Hopefully there are someone willing to give Bibo a new try.

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