My introduction to Italian craft beers came by way of the birreria Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa (aka the “football pub”), which was located at the end of street where we spent our first week in Rome, in that ex-pat and tourist favourite neighbourhood Trastevere, along with Open Baladin bar, which we discovered soon after, and this brewery – Mastri Birrai Umbri.
Mastri Birrai Umbri is currently Italy’s biggest craft brewer, and I’ll be writing more about it, and a visit to their brewery, in a month or so to accompany an entry by Jeremey Cherfas of Eat This Podcast. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of life a casa Bread, Cakes and Ale. It’s Sunday night, it’s 3o-ish degrees (that’s mid-80s in that weird old currency some people insist on using), thunder is rumbling, the cats are demanding their dinner, and me and the missus are both on our laptops trying to sort stuff. To accompany our activities, we’ve opened a bottle of Mastri Birrai Umbri’s Cotta 74. Partly cos it’s delicious but also partly because we might need the bottle, with its fancy cap, as we’re making some spicey plum ketchup in the kitchen as we speak, thanks to a large consignment of fruit from a neighbour.
I talked about Cotta 74 a bit over here, when I used it to as an ingredient in a chocolate cake. No chocolate is involved tonight, just plain old supping. The beer, a 6% ABV double-malted dark brew in an Abbey Dubbel style is tasting good – tangy, malty, light on the hops, with hints of charcoal.