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Beers of Italy 2017: the top 10 to buy according to Slow Food
Beers of Italy 2017: the top 10 to buy according to Slow Food

Beers of Italy 2017, fifth work of Slow Food, has increasingly taken on the role of sole guide on quality Italian craft beers. Also, because choosing 512 breweries and 2,708 beers is not the kind of thing that one comes across.

Yesterday we were at Saluzzo (CN) for the presentation of the guide with related discussion and tasting.

The first aimed to establish how foreign is an opportunity for Italian breweries, especially after the Birrificio del Ducato di Parma succeeded in opening a pub in London - The Italian Job - where it offers the best Italian brands.

Among others intercepted: a large number of people with spread lobes, an alarming amount of beards with the so-called "pubic" shape, an unspecified number of eccentric t-shirts.

The other foresaw tasting of 140 craft beers, too many even for us. So we asked Eugenio Signoroni, curator of the guide together with Luca Giaccone, to do the dirty work for us, pointing out the 10 most unmissable beers of the record tasting.

10. Colonial (6.9%)

Batzen - South Tyrol


Awarded for the first time to a South Tyrolean brewery, the curator declares that the beer "is of absolute organoleptic value, not to be missed". The German elegance infused by the brewer Christian Pichler, who studied in Munich, is all felt in this slightly cloudy IPA, aroma of exotic fruit with final caramelization that touches the same strings as comfort food (food that warms, consoles, gratifies).

They tried to explain to me that the water was burtonized, that is, corrected, to be in line with the traditional style. I ran away and went further.

9. Frambueza (6, 5%)

'In Magara - Calabria

Frambueza, in magara
Frambueza, in magara

Better nose than mouth, those who have attended many courses would say with a certain arrogance.

Fresh raspberry from Sila feels right (one kilo per ten liters of finished beer): it refreshes and invites you to drink. There is also Senator Cappelli wheat but this is not, it is not recognized, but it served to enhance the agricultural resources of the area by convincing Slow Food to assign the Slow Beer snail.

At the end, a bitter bitter not understandable, don't be fooled by the degrees, it doesn't have who knows what body.

8. Pils (5%)

Elvo - Piedmont

elvo beer
elvo beer

You finish the sentence: Very high, very pure..? Elvissima. The first two letters are not reversed, but Josef Vezzoli interprets the territory of origin starting from the water (same as the source of the Laureatana), one of the lightest in Europe.

The snail of this Slow Beer reminds us, for all the times we have enhanced hops, that the first ingredient is still water.

7. Montestella (5%)

Lambrate - Lombardy


Birra Quotidiana ("its main characteristics are balance, simplicity and pleasantness") par excellence, usually described as the one with which the Lambrate Brewery taught the Milanese to approach craft beer, no less.

However, drinking it at the end of the day, while sprawled on the sofa watching the game does not authorize us to overlook the differences with the other Pils: honey, pleasant contrast with the bitterness of the hops and that hint of orange peel on the finish.

If Harry Potter Butterbeer existed it would have a foam hat like this.

6. Blonde (6%)

Aspide Brewery - Campania

blode asp
blode asp

Slow Food neo-spiral brewery to be awarded for beers with a high recognition rate. You have to be very distracted to not enjoy the Saison style beer with quince made by Vincenzo Serra.

If you don't like to win easy, you should try to recognize the nuances in Blonde, identified by Slow Food tasters as an everyday beer due to the final dryness, probably the reason for an "easy drink" (what did I write? Just me!).

5. Fleur Sofronia (5%)

Mc77 - Marche

fleur sofronia, mc 77
fleur sofronia, mc 77

One could say: sweet base, acid note, a veil of bitter pleasure in the finish. But this interpretation of the Blanche style does not deserve clichés.

A beer that is not predictable, with a disarming balance and a brusque, resolute touch, that thrill of pleasure that is never forgotten. The color, so intense, is given by the hibiscus flower.

Call it Slow, I say it's sexy.

4. Bb7 (7%)

Barley - Sardinia

bb7, barley
bb7, barley

The latest invention by Nicola Perra, pioneer of the Italian Grape Ale style (yes, we Italians also have a style, obtained from the processing of grapes).

The Bb7 is made with the must of the Muscat of Sardinia, less famous than the Muscat of Terracina, much less famous than that of Asti. Obviously Slow.

If you know the taste of this grape, sweet in a personal way, you know that there is no risk of jamming: it is a dry beer. Of the 7 alcoholic degrees present, perhaps four are perceived. Here, this should scare you a little: drink in moderation.

3. Okie Matilde (6%)

Toccalmatto - Emilia Romagna

touch it
touch it

The cheese likes it rotten, "man has a stink" and even the smell of the barn can be loved about beer (I checked the Slow Food guide, they are more elegant and write "rustic"). If this happens it is thanks to the Brettanomyces yeast strain, the one for you who know a lot, which made Orval exceptional (to the point that we talk about Goût Orval).

The same used by this spiral brewery to produce Okie Matilde, admittedly an interpretation of the most famous Trappist.

The hops change (they are American and not German) and the citrus fruits come out, in a really complex combination, for connoisseurs.

2. Winters (8%)

Ebers - Puglia

Winters Ebers
Winters Ebers

An incredible beer: five different malts plus an exemplary use of whole cane sugar to give a hint of molasses effect immediately mitigated by the strong roasting. With a final touch of licorice.

It may not perform at its best on a very hot afternoon in early July, but if you watch Game of Thones too, you will certainly know that winter is coming. Here is the right way to prepare.

1. Super Tramp 3 (7%)

Decimoprimo - Puglia

Super Tramp
Super Tramp

Michele Cognetti and his wife invented the Super Tramp, Sour-style beers aged in oak barrels, and numbered them like Chanel perfumes.

The third of four is a Slow Beer soaked in percoca, a variety of peach with (not always) yellow pulp that is well worth a syrup.

The fermentation is double: the first simple, the other with the juice obtained from the infusion of percoca juice with 3% sugar for 15 hours.

After ten months of passage in barrique, number 3 is ready.

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