Italy's Craft Beer Scene

Italy’s craft beer scene is booming, with breweries across the country producing unique and flavorful beers. This guide explores diverse Italian beers, highlights must-visit breweries and historic pubs, and offers budget-friendly beer tasting tips.

Italy may be best known for its wine and culinary traditions, but in recent years the country has also been home to a burgeoning craft beer movement. From the north to the south, Italian craft breweries are producing unique and flavourful beers that are gaining recognition both domestically and internationally. In this guide, we will explore the diverse Italian beers on offer, showcase some must-visit craft breweries, highlight several historic pubs, and offer a few tips to enjoy Italian beer on a budget.

Exploring the Diversity of Italian Beers

Italy’s craft beer scene is renowned for its diversity and innovation. Italian brewers love to experiment with different styles and local ingredients, offering a rich array of unique and flavourful beers. This creative freedom has opened up a whole world of exciting combinations and regional specialities. As a result, the Italian craft beer scene is both unique and constantly evolving.

Regional Specialities and Unique Ingredients

Italian brewers often draw inspiration from local ingredients and regional specialities. For example, in Sicily, you might find beers flavoured with citrus fruits like blood oranges, while in Tuscany, chestnuts are a common addition. These unique ingredients add distinctive flavours and beautifully encapsulate the rich agricultural heritage of the regions.

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Beer Sicily

Italian Craft Breweries to Try

If you are embarking on an Italian beer adventure, there are several craft breweries that are worth a visit to experience the best beer in Italy.

Italian Craft Breweries

Birrificio La Granda (Saluzzo)

Birrificio La Granda, located in Saluzzo in Cuneo province (Piedmont Region), is set apart by its creative approach to brewing, putting an innovative twist on traditional methods. The brewery offers a wide range of beers, including the popular “Klòe” Helles Lager, the gluten-free “Æro” American Pale Ale, and the “Kei Os” IPA. Visitors can enjoy tastings and tours in a welcoming taproom, making it an ideal destination for beer enthusiasts.

  • Address: Via A. Saffi 12, 12037, Saluzzo, Cuneo
  • Hours: Monday–Friday: 10 am–6 pm
  • Food: The menu features high-quality hamburgers made with Piedmontese beef, piadinas, and appetizers, all crafted to pair perfectly with the beers.
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Birrificio Antoniana (Padua)

Birrificio Antoniana in Padua is celebrated for its craft beers that blend local agricultural traditions with modern brewing techniques. Notable brews include the “Marechiaro” Pale Lager and the “Pasubio” Pilsner. The brewery’s taproom is a popular spot for both locals and visitors, offering a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of beers on tap.

  • Address: Viale dell’Industria 33, 35010, Villafranca Padovana, Padua
  • Hours: Tuesday–Sunday: 4 pm–11 pm
  • Food: The menu features Italian dishes such as pasta, risotto, and grilled meats, perfectly paired with the craft beers.
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Birrificio del Ducato (Parma)

Birrificio del Ducato in Parma is a true pioneer on the Italian craft beer scene. Known for its award-winning beers like “Verdi Imperial Stout” and “Baciami Lipsia,” this brewery combines passion with expertise. The on-site pub offers a warm ambiance and a menu featuring local delicacies.

  • Address: Via La Spezia 47, 43125, Parma
  • Hours: Wednesday–Sunday: 5 pm–12 am
  • Food: The menu includes a variety of local dishes such as pasta, cured meats, and cheese platters.
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Toccalmatto (Fidenza)

Toccalmatto Brewery in Fidenza (Parma Province) is celebrated for its bold and flavourful beers, such as the “Zona Cesarini” and “Stray Dog.” The brewery is a favourite among craft beer enthusiasts and offers guided tours and tastings that showcase its brewing process.

  • Address: Via S. Michele Campagna 23, 43036, Fidenza, Parma
  • Hours: Thursday–Saturday: 3 pm–10 pm
  • Food: Offers light snacks and a selection of regional dishes.
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Birreria Pedavena (Pedavena)

Located in the picturesque town of Pedavena, this historic brewery and pub offer a charming setting and a variety of beers brewed on-site. The beer garden is perfect for enjoying a pint during the warmer months.

  • Address: Viale Vittorio Veneto 76, 32034, Pedavena, Belluno
  • Hours: Daily: 10 am–10 pm
  • Food: The menu includes traditional Italian dishes such as pasta, risotto, and grilled meats.
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Birra del Borgo (Borgorose)

Birra del Borgo, located in Borgorose in Lazio Region, has earned international acclaim for its innovative beers. The “ReAle” and “Duchessa” are must-tries. The brewery offers tours and a tasting room where visitors can sample a variety of its creations.

  • Address: Via del Colle 34, 02021, Borgorose, Rieti
  • Hours: Friday–Sunday: 12 pm–8 pm
  • Food: Features local snacks and platters that complement the beer selection.
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Birrificio Agricolo Balabiòtt (Treviso)

In Treviso, Birrificio Agricolo Balabiòtt focuses on using organic ingredients and traditional brewing methods. The “Blonde Ale” and “Amber Ale” are particularly popular. The brewery offers a rustic tasting room and guided tours.

  • Address: Via Mura di Porta San Tomaso 25, 31100, Treviso
  • Hours: Saturday–Sunday: 10 am–6 pm
  • Food: Farm-to-table creations that showcase fresh, local produce.
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Guide to the Most Beautiful and Historic Pubs in Italy

Italy is home to some stunning pubs that serve great beer and offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history and culture.

Italian pub

Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà (Rome)

This legendary pub in Rome is a must-visit for any beer enthusiast. Known for its extensive selection of both Italian and international craft beers, Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà boasts a lively ambiance and knowledgeable staff.

  • Address: Via Benedetta 25, 00153, Rome
  • Hours: Daily: 12 pm–2 am
  • Food: Light meals and snacks that pair well with the beer selection.
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The Brew Milano Beershop (Milan)

The Brew Milano Beershop is a trendy spot in Milan that combines a modern beer shop with a cosy pub. It offers an impressive selection of craft beers and is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.

  • Address: Via Adelchi 7, 20131, Milan
  • Hours: Tuesday–Sunday: 3 pm–12 am
  • Food: Offers a range of light meals and snacks to accompany the beer selection.
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Fermento (Rome)

Another Roman gem, Fermento is known for its warm ambiance and excellent beer selection. The pub often hosts events and beer tastings, making it a vibrant destination for craft beer lovers.

  • Address: Via Giovanni Battista Bodoni 62, 00153, Rome
  • Hours: Daily: 5 pm–1 am
  • Food: A full menu featuring Italian dishes that complement the extensive beer list.
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Il Santo Bevitore (Venice)

Located in the heart of Venice, Il Santo Bevitore offers a wide range of craft beers in a historic setting. The pub’s cosy interior and canal-side seating make it a perfect spot to enjoy a beer after a day of sightseeing.

  • Address: Fondamenta Dei Ormesini, 30121, Venice
  • Hours: Daily: 12 pm–11 pm
  • Food: A selection of Venetian dishes and light meals.
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Harp Pub Guinness (Florence)

This Florence pub blends the traditional atmosphere of an Irish pub with Italian hospitality. Known for its selection of international beers, including many on tap, Harp Pub Guinness is a favourite among both locals and visitors.

  • Address: Piazza Santa Maria Novella 6, 50123, Florence
  • Hours: Daily: 12 pm–2 am
  • Food: Full pub menu including burgers, fish and chips, and hearty Italian dishes.
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Tips for Beer Tasting on a Budget

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy craft beer in Italy. Here are a few tips for beer tasting on a budget:

  1. Happy Hours: Many pubs and breweries offer happy hour discounts.
  2. Beer Festivals: Attend local beer festivals where you can sample a variety of beers for a reasonable price.
  3. Local Markets: Look for local markets that sell craft beer directly from the producers.
  4. Brewery Tours: Many breweries offer free or low-cost tours that include tastings.
  5. Group Deals: Check for group deals or discounts, especially if you’re travelling with friends.

Tips for Beer tasting Italy

Italy’s craft beer scene is thriving, with a multitude of flavours and styles just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or a curious traveller, the country’s breweries and pubs offer a range of unforgettable experiences. Cheers!