Birra Italiana

That’s right, Italian Beer, you translated that correctly.

While Italy is certainly more well-known for its wines, beer culture is growing.  It started up north, where the Austrian influence is very heavy – some local dialects sound more German than Italian.  The first big proponent of good beers in Italy (not to discredit Peroni or Morretti, but…kinda…) was a man named Teo Musso who opened Birreria Baladin in 1986 in the Piedmont, south of Turin, in an area most famous for producing wine.

He wanted to pair good beer with good music.  And, at first, those beers were all imported.  Until he got the idea to start brewing his own beer, which he now does to great success and has taken his brand around the world.  He’s rumored to be helping with the opening of the Birreria at Eataly in New York.

His bar in Rome, Open Baladin, has been open since November of 2009 and is routinely packed with people in search of their next favorite beer, and with over 35 to choose from on tap, plus many more in bottles, it’s not an easy to task to pick (I know, I tried).

This weekend Rome is playing host to the Italia Beer Festival, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon and into the early hours of the morning.  Baladin is not listed among the vendors, but plenty of their competitors are.  In particular don’t miss Birra del Borgo, whose brews range from the Re Ale, a crisp India Pale Ale inspired amber ale, to their My Antonia, a rich pilsner thought up with the help of Sam Calagione, brewmaster from DogFish Head brewing company.


Villa Piccolomini, Via Aurelia Antica 164

Friday: 5pm – 2am

Saturday: noon – 2am

Sunday: noon – midnight


1 day: 8 euro

2 day pass: 12 euro

3 day pass: 16 euro

The ticket gets you your first beer, a stamped glass and glass carrier.  After that you can buy chips that are worth .10 cl for 1 euro (essentially 5 euros for a pint).

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