«...it wipes out old age, does not weigh on a weak stomach, flows in the veins, bolsters energy, increases wellbeing, invigorates the blood… » this is what the Salernitana School wrote about it many centuries ago.
Italy has been enjoying beer since the VII century B.C.E. when the Phoenicians traded and enjoyed this beverage in Sicily. In Piedmont, at Pombia, archaeological digs brought to light a well-tomb dating to 560 B.C.E. in which traces of beer were found.
The Romans also knew of beer, and although we lose track of it for a while after the Barbaric invasions, Italy today is one of Europe’s most important beer exporters. In 1996 it became legal for private individuals to make beer and so a large number of micro-breweries cropped up and, thanks to an array of unusual ingredients, a wide variety of beer was produced. Have you ever sampled chestnut, emmer or ginger beer? You can if you try an Italian artisanal brew.
When was the first brewery founded? In 1829, it seems, when an Austrian brewer opened shop in Brescia.
It was the start of the proliferation of breweries and popularity of beer, and Italian expertise soon conquered European markets, even those where beer consumption figures are far higher than they are in Italy.
Artisanal beer production is a further example of the success of the Made in Italy brand: there are now more than 600 microbreweries in the country, a clear contrast to the economic crisis the country is currently battling.