It’s a good time for beer in Italy. In fact, in a region of the world far better known for its wine, the craft scene is booming and the light flavours of traditional Italian beers like Peroni and Moretti are yielding quickly to the all powerful IPA – an abbreviation that one local, and blatantly lying, shop owner recently told me stands for Italian Pale Ale. Right…

For years, beer has played an important role in defining our next destination. From lengthy road trips to buy Westvleteren 12 from the Belgian monks of the Saint Sixtus Abbey to our on-going hunt for the world’s best beer festival, our travel obsession has been fuelled by the perfect mix of hops, barley, yeast and water. For those of you who’ve had a sip of Peroni, well, you’ll excuse the fact that I ignorantly never put Italy at the top of my bucket list. In fact, leading up to a recent trip to Rome, I’ll even admit lamenting that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a good beer for two weeks – this in spite of the incredible history, food, wine, landscapes and hospitality that Italy has to offer. I was dead wrong.

Italy is a country that excels at a few wonderful things, though mass producing anything that doesn’t contain grapes, olives, or tomatoes is not one of them. To frame this from a different perspective is to recognize that Italy is a country that excels at crafting the perfect something. Think: the Lamborghini. And in a country with an exceptional climate, a love for food and drink, incredible seasonal produce, a craft at…well craft, and a market devoid of great beer, someone recently started to get it right; a fact I was made aware of by wonderful tour guide from Eating Italy Food Tours and the less than truthful – but incredibly friendly – beer store owner she introduced me to.

While the country’s burgeoning industry warrants a cross-country road trip in and of itself, this trek is likely out of reach for many travellers. Thankfully, the country’s capital is a great one-stop-shop for the novice and experienced beer-drinker alike, offering access to many of the country’s most recognized and most innovative beers. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of some of Rome’s top craft beer bars. Since Rome’s craft beer scene is expanding rapidly, the list below may already miss a few gems. As they say, così è la vita.

The Best Places To Enjoy Craft Beer In Rome

Craft Beer in Rome: Open Baladin Roma

Open Baladin

This popular craft beer bar opened 2009 near Campo de’ Fiori and has quickly become home base for local craft beer aficionados, expats, and travellers alike. Owned and operated by Baladin, an Italian brewer and operator of a growing network of brewpubs across the country, Open Baladin features over 100 Italian beers alone with 40 local craft beers on tap including Baladin’s own line. While there are many spots to enjoy craft beer in Rome, this is a great place to get your bearings and try a broad swath of beers from Milano to Palermo.


No.Au

Established as a collaborative effort between Baladin owner Teo Musso and Birra del Borgo’s Leonardo Di Vincenzo, No.Au is a Parisian-style bistro located a few minute walk from Piazza Navona. Much lower key than Open Baladin, this bistro is a great bet if you’re looking to enjoy a selection of Italian and international craft beer served alongside fresh organic dishes. The name itself is both an abbreviation of “Naturale Organico Alimento Umano” (or natural organic human food) and a play on words, as the name spoken aloud reproduces the sound of the phrase “Know How” in Italian – a characteristic the chef and owners clearly possess a great deal of.


Ma Cha Siete Venuti a Fà

If you’re looking to experience craft beer in Rome, Ma Cha Siete Venuti a Fà, the landmark pub in Trastevere, one of Rome’s trendiest neighbourhoods, is a spot you shouldn’t miss. With a great selection of local and international craft beers, knowledgable staff, reasonable prices and not nearly enough interior space, expect this small bar to be busy all night with crowds spilling out into the street.


Bir & Fud

Located just across the street from Ma Cha Siete Venuti a Fà, Bir & Fud is hip, well-designed, counterpart to its famous neighbour, featuring a selection of good pizzas, Italian ‘pub food’, and lots of beer. If you’re planning on visiting Ma Cha Siete Venuti a Fà, Bir & Fud is a good spot to sit and have dinner before or after. Since you’re in the neighbourhood, those also interested in cocktails should make sure to visit the adjacent Freni e Frizioni near the end of the night. The beer list there leaves lots to be desired but there is usually a good crowd and a solid selection of cocktails.


Craft Beer in Rome: Brasserie 4:20

Brasserie 4:20

Located just south of Ponte Sublicio, the bridge that connects the neighbourhoods of Trastevere and Testaccio, Brasserie 4:20 has one specialty, and its not what the name might indicate…(it’s actually beer). This bar has a beautiful cavernous interior, a rooftop patio, 47 beers on tap and a list of burgers and hot dogs that could give any Roman pizza a run for its money – almost. Recognizing how intimidating (and exciting) 47 craft beers on tap can be – we recommend starting with their local brand “Revelation Cat“. If you’re into IPAs, give their HopAddendum a try.


Birra Più

Described by the Rome Digest as having a “Punky Man Cave” ambiance, this craft beer shop and pub in the artsy neighbourhood of Pigneto – a neighbourhood still relatively untouched by the spoon-fed spaghetti-eating tourists found throughout the city’s centre – features a smaller selection of draught beers (8) but has a huge selection of bottled beer you can enjoy right in the shop (a trend that would seem unusual in most countries, but one that is typical in many Italian beer stores).


Have you found any other great places to enjoy craft beer in Rome? Let us know in the comment section so we can keep our list up to date!


Craft Beer in Rome Photos courtesy of Open Baladin; Flickr, Claudio.


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JP Bervoets

JP Bervoets

JP has spent the last decade working in the not-for-profit sector and has called Canada, the Netherlands and South Africa home. He’s travelled to over 30 countries and currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. His interests include photography, cycling, playing guitar and working on Departful. JP co-founded the site in 2012.

Departful is a full service travel agency for busy professionals seeking unique and transformative custom travel experiences. We create memorable holidays that are 100% tailored to our clients, saving them time and energy by handling all of the little details while providing value by leverage our expertise and network of travel partners. We are based in Toronto.

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Departful is a full service travel agency for busy professionals seeking unique and transformative custom travel experience. We create memorable holidays that are 100% tailored to our clients, saving them time & energy by handling all of the little details while providing value by leverage our expertise and network of travel partners. We are based in Toronto.

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Departful is affiliated with TravelOnly.

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Head Office:
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ON, Canada N3R 3V6

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