Well, I’m back. For those of you who have waited patiently during my 3 week hiatus, you have my thanks. Thankfully, my time away gave me lots of opportunity to go to new places, try wonderful food meet amazing people and of course sample many new beers.
When one thinks of Rome one gravitates to things like history (the Coliseum, Forum, etc), the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican, shopping, food, wine and of course the traffic with roads full of cars, tour buses and thousands of buzzing scooters. Pasta, fine leather, beautiful fountains, great art…. one goes to Rome for these things.
No one goes to Rome for beer. One assumes it’s there in the same way one assumes there will be flush toilets, but one would never make plans based around it. And let’s face it, ubiquitous Euro-trash pils like Peroni or Moretti aren’t worth crossing the street for, let alone the Atlantic.
Thankfully, even in the Eternal City, things change. As many geeks are already aware, Italians are making some of the best beer on the planet.
Over the last decade the Birre Artigianale (craft beer) scene has exploded. Starting with notables like Baladin and Del Borgo new breweries are opening at a staggering rate.
Now, while the breweries may be popping up from Piedemonte in the northwest to the island of Sardinia when it comes to appreciation and consumption of the stuff one can safely say that all roads still… well you know. Little wine shops, groceries and even bakeries are starting to carry craft beer. There are a number of really fine beer focused shops and of course some great bars.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing stories and pics that try to encapsulate something of my time away. Let me leave you with this. Out of the dozens of beers I tried one of the real standouts was Opperbacco TriplIPA. It is not as a 3x IPA as the name might imply but instead a hybrid of a Triple and IPA.
I found it at a little deli tucked back on a side street off a side street (know as a viccolo) that boasted 150 kinds of craft beer on the chalkboard sign outside. Although the staff spoke only a little English (which thankfully was more than my pitiful amount of Italian) I managed to explain that I was looking for their recommendation for Italian beers. Once we established this point TriplIpa was the first beer they handed me. I was intrigued since IPA’s seemed to dominate the Italian produced beers I had seen thus far. Having never heard of this beer or it’s brewery, Opperbacco, before, this was exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for.
Once I got it home I poured it out and was pleased by the orange color and fluffy head. There was lots of nice bitterness in the nose but it was on the palate that the hybrid style emerged. If you concentrated one could taste both styles individually but if it were a blind tasting I think one would tend to get the harmony that I felt made this beer truly special. I made a point of buying several more bottles over the week and continued to be impressed.
Once home I looked it up to find that it was well rated with a score of 96. I still don’t know if you can get it stateside but if you ever come across it give TriplIpa a try.
Until next time.