There is a new way to experience Rome and its people—the craft beer pub. Throughout history the pub has been the gathering place of the local people. But to us Americans the image of a pub seems more British. When we think of Italy we don’t picture a pub, of drinking beer; it goes against our image of Italy. The truth is Italians drink more beer outside of the home than they do wine. Regardless of whether it is Italian or Irish, the pub is where you get the feel of the people.
It is difficult to find the Romans, well, doing what Roman’s do. It is easy to be swept away in Rome’s tourist nets, easy to become entangled in the mediocre or commercialized tourist machinery. Rome can often feel like a giant tourist trap; a museum where one inch equals one inch. Where you can feel the Roman Empire, hear Mussolini speak. But it is also where craft beer is experienced. The pub is where the real Roman, the teachers, engineers, lawyers and plumbers take a load off and kick back to have a beer.
With over 100 craft beer bars in Rome, no matter what tourist site you are visiting, there’s an incredible pub nearby serving its locals the finest of Italian craft beer. These publicans have become the bearers of a new torch. It isn’t good enough to have high-end beer without quality food. Some of the finest chefs in Rome cook, bake or sell to Italian craft beer pubs. Street food of another time, fresh and seasonal dishes long lost to tourist cesspools and twists to the old are thriving in Italian craft beer pubs. No place will give you a better feel of the Roma that the Romans live than in Rome’s craft beer pubs. Places like Brasserie 4:20 who’s Smoke Ring BBQ next door feeds the hungry college kids and businessmen alike. No, not the Roma you imagined, but done with a Roman hand. Or Bir e Fud whose pizzas are not your run-of-the-mill pies. These are pizzas made by Gabriele Bonci, Italy’s finest pizza maker.
And should there be a soccer game, and there is always a soccer game, you won’t get a better feel or electric charge than hanging out at one of Rome’s most popular football bars, which happens to be Italy’s most important craft beer bar, Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa`.
This won’t be on your tourist maps, or on your web searches. And though you will find quality beer, Italian artisanal beer in many bars throughout Rome, it’s what isn’t in the program that truly smacks of Roma—its craft beer pubs.
Starting mid-May, Italy Beer Tours will take you to Rome’s and Italy’s finest craft beer pubs led by the authors who wrote the book about Italy’s avant-garde and burgeoning beer scene. Join us and discover the Italy you never knew existed.