Saturday 4 June 2016

100 to 1 in Italy

I was recently back in Italy for the Cerevisa 2016 beer competition. Over 100 beers were entered but fortunately 17 of them had illegal alcohol* levels so we didn't have to taste them. Now you may think this is a bad thing, and the more beer the better, but take it from me tasting beer professionally is really not like sitting in a pub with a pint. Though having said that I have had worse jobs!

The beers are anonymised before getting to the tasting panel, which makes it hard to work out which beers to note for future reference. I see from this year's results they've declared an overall champion though, which makes life easier. The beer in question is ReAle Extra from Birra del Borgo. The brewery was recently bought by ABInBev, but I guess they haven't got round to taking out all the hops and adding essence of purest evil yet.

Tasting beer all day didn't do much for my enthusiasm for evening drinking but I managed a small amount of freelance research at the Elfo Pub in Perugia.

I was delighted to see that they had a handpump serving a local beer so I had to go for that one.

Doing god's work?
Apparently the beer comes from a keg, and they really had no idea about pulling the pint, but full marks to them for trying.

This year I took advantage of being in Italy to spend the weekend in Rome, where I was able to take in some history and culture. And a few beers.

The beers I tried were in Luppolo 12. Again they had beer from a handpump, but it was a British beer and I was after Italian stuff so I gave it a miss. I can't actually remember the names of the beers I had, but they were all of the pale and taste of American hops variety, even the saison. Perfectly pleasant though. I stuck at three beers, I really was suffering from beer fatigue. You really can have too much of a good thing.

* Over 0.5% ABV difference from stated strength for beers up to 5.5% ABV, and over 1% difference for beers above that.


  1. There was a Malatesta conference? What are the chances?

  2. I was completely gobsmacked, I only knew because I spotted a poster whilst I was looking for the Luppolo 12 bar on the way back from visiting his grave! It was of course all in Italian, of which I speak very little, but I was still chuffed to see it.