The golden age of craft ales and beers are upon us. The UK has been swamped recently by an influx of small local brewers, all embellished with a divine specialty in modern-age alchemy – brewing. Nonetheless, as its summer it’s in our right to explore some of the best beers there are. However, our gaze shouldn’t just rest on a few local brewers, but we should also toast to overseas import.
I was recently offered the exciting opportunity of travelling to Italy to enjoy one such beer. Conversely with such short notice and the hellish hours of a 9-5 I wasn’t able to attend. I was anyhow able to offer this thrilling chance to a friend of mine. He’s a bar manager, and a damn good one. So he was the perfect choice for such an occasion.
The name might ring a bell for any of you Italian lovers, especially as you can find it in nearly every decent Italian restaurant. Regardless of its rarity within the UK, Mendrea beer in Italy is a regional beer found in almost all of the trendy bars of Milan and Florence.
Here in the UK we’re fortunate to be able to drink a wide variety of fantastic beers from a wide range of great brewers; on a regular basis. As such it’s my pleasure to welcome such a fine exquisite pale larger with its slightly sweet and malty flavour to the UK.
On arrival in Italy and the 150 year old brewery, located in the small town of Biella my friend Mike was greeted by the owner Franco to sample a taste of Italy. After a quick chat he was whisked away to explore the 18th century brewery.
The brewery located in the town of Biella, in the foothills of the Italian Alps is an impressive site. Apart from the modern equipment and pumps it feels like little has changed since its opening in 1846. The brewery omits a sentiment of heritage, passion and pure tradition where Franco and his family have spent hours on end crafting one of Italy’s finest beverages.
Franco (the owner) has benefited from five generations worth of experience, and truly knows how to brew a refreshing beer to rival that of any UK distiller.
Nevertheless, the tour progressed onto the streets of Piemonte, a truly immersing town.The authentic town is hidden away from tourists and is a wondrous site definitely worth visiting.
After having explored the magnificent brewery, museum and streets of Italy the tour ended by a scenic view of the Italian alps.
Menabrea beer uses a slow fermentation process unlike many other distillers. The fermentation process uses fresh spring water from the alps and locally sourced ingredients.
No additional water is added to standardise the alcohol content, resulting in the full bodied light colour.
Carefully selected yeasts used in the brewing process makes it a well-balanced beer with a floral and fruity aroma.
The beer has won plenty of international awards, and is currently penetrating the UK market in full force having recently been part of Taste of London.
If you’re looking for nibbles to accompany this beer, proscuitto and olives are highly recommended and pair perfectly with its malty, hoppy taste.
In any case, you don’t buy decent beer to sit in your fridge. You like it because of its beautiful taste, and because getting drunk off something tastier (as well as being additive free) is the dream of all responsible adults. Make sure you stock your fridges, or bladder depending on whether you’re at the pub or supermarket when you come across Menabrea beer.
In the interim between reading this article and waiting on your next visit to the pub/shop to purchase this fine beverage feel free to check my other men’s lifestyle articles.