A little secret that the city of Rome is gestating is that craft beer is big here. Pubs selling quality brews and good food are popping up everywhere, and craft beer breweries are springing out of every corner to create beers which maintain the integrity of Italy’s reputation for good food and drink.
Below is a brief list of Italian brewers as well as best bars for craft beer and food in Rome. Because my expertise in limited, this post has been written in collaboration with Flavio “Tank” Spaducci, beer lover and strength trainer extraordinaire.
Italian Craft Beer Breweries:
Birra del Borgo – Try My Antonia, an Imperial Pilsner created in collaboration with Dogfish Head.
Birrificio del Ducato – Machete, a double IPA, comes complete with a picture of Machete himself on the bottle.
Birrificio Menaresta – The 2 di Picche is a Black IPA strong enough to merit its name, a slang term meaning to be rejected by a potential mate.
Operbacco – 10 e Lode is a Belgian Strong Ale with a chocolate-y flavor.
Olmaia – La 9 is an amber double malt with citrus notes, which is unpasteurized, meaning that it retains the original flavor of the beer.
Best Craft Beer Pubs in Rome:
Via della Magliana Nuova, 362 (Magliana)
La Tana is off the beaten path, but by far the best of the craft beer bars in Rome. The five or six beers on tap are exclusively Italian, which are generally rotated on a daily basis. While some come from the larger brewers listed above, many originate from lesser-known micro-breweries, whose beers can be found at few to none other locations. The menu also changes based upon the season and the availability of fresh products. If you’re a meat eater, try the arrosticini. For vegetarians, there is always an assortment of cheeses and vegetarian pasta. To get to La Tana, you can grab a train towards Fiumicino and get off at Villa Bonelli. The pub is just around the corner from the station.
Via dei Marrucini 12 (San Lorenzo)
Luppolo 12 runs an American-style happy hour special where beers cost 3.50 instead of the usual 5 until 9.30 PM. On Tuesdays, this special runs all night long. There are 18 beers on tap from all over the world. The bar also does a special with one beer and a mini-tagliere for 5euros. This gets you a small platter with a mix of cheese, bread and meats along with a beer of your choice. Also notable for food is the foccaccia, a thick pizza which you can eat covered with cheese, ‘nduja, or lardo di colonata. If you’re feeling in the mood for something a bit stronger than beer, Luppolo 12 also has an excellent selection of whiskey.
Bir & Fud
Via Benedetta 23 (Trastevere)
Bir & Fud is a restaurant located just behind Piazza Trilussa. They stock both Italian and other European beers, and are famous for their thick chewy pizza crust made with natural yeast. Their buffalo mozzarella is also exceptional. They also have around 10 beers on tap, many Italian, as well as from other European brewers. The main drawback of Bir & Fud is that being a restaurant, and a very small one at that, you need a reservation, and these are often hard to get.
Honorable Mention: (also known as places we don’t frequent but have excellent selections of beer)
Buskers (San Paolo) – Owned by one of Rome’s craft beer pioneers, who often brings back strange and exciting unknown brews from his travels in Europe.
Open Baladin (Campo dei Fiori) – Pub created by Baladin Brewery, which is packed most of the time especially weekends.
Ma Che Siete Venuti a fa’ (Trastevere) – Roman slang for “why did you bother coming here?” The truth is, you came for the excellent selection of beer, but the place is so busy you may forget that while standing in line.