Birra in Villa – Beer festival!

Now most of us perhaps think of beer as being more of a Northern European thing… after all, the Southerners have wine. We in the North aren’t that great at making wine… so they won’t be great at making beer. Stands to reason, right? Um, wrong. Dratted Southerners…

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Birra in Villa in Castel San Giorgio took place at Villa Calvanese in the old town. It was a real beer festival, and when I say real beer I mean proper microbrewery stuff – no industrial chemical swill here, no sir (I am actually rather partial to a cold Peroni on a hot day, but shh, don’t tell anyone). All delicious… dark and chocolatey, pale and bitter, red and foamy, sweet and golden… something for every taste. Heck, they even had Scottish inspired beers and the Aspide and the Il Chiostro stalls! Yes, of course I tried them. I had to ensure that they weren’t taking my country’s name in vain, after all. Yes, they were good. Were they anything like Scottish beers… what does that even mean anyway?!?

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The building was quite pretty, with a lovely internal courtyard and lots of space for stalls. Entrance was €8 including 5 beer tastings and a complementary glass. We thought that was pretty good. Then we realised that when they said “taste” they meant “full glass”, and we thought that was even better.

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All in all this was a great way of getting people to visit a town which doesn’t see that many visitors and it was fabulous advertising for the microbreweries which seem to have suddenly taken off hugely in Italy. Real ales were practically unheard of when I first came here, but now every other pub has a guest ale weekly, and many small businesses like those represented at the beer festival have begun cropping up everywhere. I would like to think my presence had a hand in all of this, but sadly I am no where near that influential. Or that much of an alcoholic. Well, maybe the second one, but I still mostly drink wine anyway…

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Apparently they do a wine tasting festival in February. Sounds chilly. Worth it though…

With love, from Italy

 

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