2017 Beer Travel Series - Venice, Italy
After enjoying some unforgettable sunsets on the islands of Crete and Santorini we hopped on a flight to visit Venice, Italy. Now, we didn't have too much time, but just enough to walk along the canals and indulge in amazing food and stumbled upon some tasty beers.
There's just something special about Italy. We have seen some amazing places this year, but being in Italy gave a similar sense of home, being that we grew up in an Italian dominated area of Northern, NJ. The menus were all in Italian however, each dish listed was something that we all have had at least a hundred times growing up. The food was phenomenal and I couldn't stuff my face enough. Each restaurant we went to I had to order at least two dishes. Wine was in absurd abundance and I really did enjoy the glasses that I had, but there's nothing like a cold refreshing beer to help wash down the massive amounts of pasta I was force feeding myself.
It was a Sunday and a day in which fell on an Italian heat wave. IT WAS HOT. I was in search of something cold, refreshing and light. As we walked into an Italian super market, there was a wall of bottles (next to the fresh prosciutto and cheese obviously). I came across an attractive bottle of light lager from a brewery called M'anis.
After researching the story around the brewery I found similarities in their philosophy compared to the ideals behind the Terra Costa brand. They were keen on using homegrown Italian malts/rice from the Northern Italy territories. Their beer was a story teller reflecting on their culture and land. The beer, "Es, Io, Super-Io - Experior" (hell of a name...) was a crisp/refreshing lager crafted with Italian Carnaroli rice (traditional risotto rice, YUM). The beers of M'anis are crafted with water from Schievenin, precious source of Belluno’s Pre-Alps which feeds the Po Valley, rich German and Italian Malts and accompanied by with German and Czech hops.
It was the perfect beer to sip on while standing on our balcony which consisted of a vast view of laundry lines blanketed with bed sheets, blouses and slacks. Being that it was Sunday and being that I was in Italy, it was only necessary that I face timed the Italian side of my family back in Jersey while they were at weekly Sunday Dinner at my Grandma's house.
We were early risers the next day as it was to be our only full day in Venice. We had a laundry list of places we wanted to see. The day consisted of miles of walking along the canals, taking in the atmosphere of the Piazza San Marco and a boat ride to see the glass factory of Murano and strolls through picturesque Burrano. While waiting to board a boat to the islands of Murano and Burrano I stopped at a beer stand near the dock to knock back a cold Birra Moretti, an Italian pale lager. As you can sense the trend here...more light beers to quench my thirst on a hot afternoon in Italy.
The beer was nothing too special, just a regional crushable pale lager. Birra Moretti opened it's doors in 1859 and was purchased by Heineken in 1996. Birra Moretti was in abundance and when we would stop to rest our feet at quaint cafe's I was sure the hydrate accordingly with this beer.
After a few hours on a boat to Murrano and Burano and drooling over the beauty of the water taxis it was time the mange. We were all pretty hungry at this point and were day dreaming of pizza and pasta. We settled on this nice restaurant tucked inside a narrow street. There was a table available right outside which allowed us to indulge in more Italian cuisine while we people watch. First things first.....need beer. I went ahead and ordered a beer from G. Meabrea & Figli, a 170 year old brewery located in Biella, Italy.
Menabrea Bionda was the name of the beer and it was a classy pale lager which was aged for 30 days. It was crisp and slightly sweet, a perfect beverage to prepare me for the amount of food I was about to consume. The waitress came back to the table to see how I was liking the beer she suggested. I approved of her choice and proceeded to place my food order. I went with a meat loaded fresh pizza, as she jotted down the pizza order she began to walk away....."excuse me", I said..."We're not done with our order". We then continued to order 3 more pizzas along with some pesto pasta.
The waitress' reaction was quite funny...It was a combination of surprise and disgust. The food runners also shared similar reactions as they loaded up our table with delicious food. Needless to say we housed all of it. The waitress came back to our table and seemed to be proud of our accomplishment.
After walking off the feast, it was time to bid farewell to Italy and head back to Germany. It's safe to say that a return trip to Italy is high up on our list. I got a taste of just a few beers in my short visit, but I know there is a lot to explore in this beautiful country.
Stay tuned for more beer stories from Germany!