When you think of drinking in Italy, craft beer doesn’t normally spring to mind but over the past few years Rome has seen an explosion of bars selling birra artigianale (“artisanal beer”).
So you’ve spent the day walking under the sweltering summer sun and you all want is a cold beer to sip on while you cool down. You could settle for a mass-market Peroni or Nastro Azzurro – or you could grab a stool at one of Rome’s many craft beer bars for a little taste of something special.
Located in the Bohemian Pignetto neighborhood, a busy nightspot that’s well off the tourist track, you’ll find Birra+, a longtime haven for Rome’s beer lovers stacked floor to ceiling with Italian and international craft brews. Tell the bar staff what style of beer you like and let them take you on a brew journey through their ample selection. They also have a great whiskey shelf to boot.
Ma che siete venuti a fà
This narrow, Roman beer dive –whose name translates loosely to, “What have you come for?”– serves the best in local and imported craft beers from 12 different taps, with a fridge full of bottles to boot. You’ll have to squeeze through crowds of students to get there, but once you do, the bartenders are patient and well-versed. It’s especially fun during AS Roma soccer matches, as long as you don’t mind watching it through a forest of heads and beer mugs.
Bir & Fud
Just across the street from “Ma che siete venuti a fà”, is Bir & Fud which, as the name suggests, has more on the menu that beer. The ultra modern bar couples a vast selection of 36 tap beers from all over the world with some delicious, Roman cuisine that will make you wonder why more don’t people don’t drink beer with Italian food. Try the pizza, made using their own natural yeast.
This aptly named drinking hole located just south of Trastevere serves the delicious concoctions of its own brewery, Revelation Cat, as well as plenty of others. You’ll find over 47 beers on tap in the downstairs area, of which 12 are pumped by hand. When the weather turns war, patrons head up to the roof garden which has another six beers on tap. If you’re hungry, try out the hopburger which has a pinch of hops inside the ground beef patty.
Located smack, dab in the middle of Rome’s historic centre, this chic bar and eatery touts over 40 different beers on tap, all of them strictly local. You would be silly not to try more than one, ideally with a hamburger and potato wedges good enough to convince you both had been invented in Italy. It’s popular with the after work crowd so get there before 7pm to guarantee a seat.
This article was written by Andrew Holgate, who founded the initiative to support live jazz in Rome: ROMA JAZZ.