As regular readers will know, when I started this blog, I was a fairly regular visitor to Italy, giving me a unique opportunity to get som glimpses into the developments of the Italian craft beer scene. Since then, I have observed more from the outside, particularly noting the great things happening in Rome.
From the first craft brewery in Italy in the early Nineties, there is now 420 of them, and an estimate of 4000 restaurants with proper beer menus. These impressive facts come from a Meet the Brewer tasting with Teo Musso of the Baladin brewery, the true pioneer of Italian micro brewing, who visited Oslo last night on a whirlwind tour of Norway, invited by his Norwegian importers Beer Enthusiast.
We were introduced to five of his beers, what they have in common is a dedication to finding an Italian identity and unique flavours. The barley is, whenever possible, sourced locally or at least in Italy. The Birra NazionAle makes a particular point of this, having 100% Italian ingredients.
While all the beers have a high standard and are well suited both as refreshments and as food companions, the star of the show was the Riserva version of the Lune beer. This beer has been aged for one year in premium white wine casks, and, using a solera method known from fortified wines has a controlled oxidation that gives a Madeira.like color and flavour, well blended with okay overtones. Lots of fruit, deceiving light, you would not think this has 11.5 per cent alcohol.