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Italian craft beer exists. Alleluia
Italian craft beer exists. Alleluia

Alleluia! From today also in Italy there is the craft beer.

Not that it was missing before, mind you, but the law on production and trade, dating back to 1962, classified the beer according to the level of Plato degree (sugar level of the wort before fermentation): reason why we had non-alcoholic beer, light beer and so on up to double-malt beer.

A law that did not distinguish between beers based on the identity of the content: dear consumer, I, the legislator, will not tell you if the beer you drink is artisanal, industrial or even worse industrial passed off as artisanal. And that no one is allowed to do it for me.

It is no coincidence that in 2011 the micro-brewery of Pescara Almond 22 receives a fine from the Ministry of Agriculture for the wording "Craft Beer" affixed to the label of its products.

Ultimately: half of Italy drinks craft beer, but by law it does not exist and nobody knows exactly what it is. Absurd.

After the go-ahead in the Senate, on January 13th Giuseppe Collesi, president of the Collesi estates of Apecchio, together with the Municipality of the village in the province of Pesaro and the National Association of the City of Beer, presents to the Chamber of Deputies in the Agriculture Commission a bill that has recently been approved by renewing the law of 1962 and finally introducing the long-awaited definition of craft beer.

Here she is:

“Craft beer is defined as beer produced by small independent breweries and not subjected, during the production phase, to pasteurization and microfiltration processes. For the purposes of this paragraph, a small independent brewery means a brewery that is legally and economically independent from any other brewery, which uses plants physically distinct from those of any other brewery, which does not operate under license and whose annual production does not exceed 200,000 hectoliters, including in this quantity the quantities of product for third parties ", to quote the approved amendment".


Meanwhile, the traditionally ugly and bad industry, often guilty of saving on quality ingredients (cutting barley malt with cereals that cost less like corn, for one thing) and forced to give stability to products to subject them to pasteurization or micro-filtration, processes that objectively lower the quality level, cannot define their own craft beers.

Although the limit of 200,000 liters of annual production indicated by the law ends up protecting more medium-sized craft breweries than microbreweries.

But not only good news comes from the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

From 1 January 2016, after a series of repeated increases that had forced many craft beer producers to revise their prices, which were not exactly popular, causing a small drop in consumption with consequent destruction of jobs, excise duties have risen to 45 cents for every euro of beer.

A blunder, given that taxation makes no difference between microbreweries and large industries or between production volumes.

Well, the law passed by the House does not reduce excise duties for micro breweries, even if Chiara Gagnarli, spokeswoman for the M5stelle who proposed the law, argues that tax relief for small breweries is the next goal.

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