Four beer trends
Find your new go-to brew in one of these up-and-coming beer varieties.
Tue Feb 15 2011
Photograph: Beth Levendis
Genziana (Birra del Borgo)
Most Americans still equate Italian beers with light lagers like Peroni and Moretti, but in recent years, the old country has seen a boom that mirrors America's craft-beer revolution. Like their stateside counterparts, Italy's artisanal producers aren't constrained by time-honored brewing traditions that keep the English making ales and Czechs making pilsners. As a result, they experiment freely with oddball ingredients such as flowers, myrrh and chili peppers, producing unorthodox sips that are every bit as nuanced as Tuscan wines. These beers are finally getting their due in the U.S., especially here in NYC: Eataly now offers the city's best selection of Italian imports, and later this year it plans to open the rooftop Birreria brew-pub, where pedigreed Italian and American brewers (including Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione) will collaborate an a range of rustic house beers.
Three to try:
Genziana (Birra del Borgo) This peppery, tart saison has a honeyed backbone and serious bitterness arising from gentian flowers. Available at , 200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-229-2560, eataly.com). 25oz bottle $16.80.
Strada San Felice (Grado Plato) Wood-fire-dried Italian chestnuts bolster this full-bodied, slightly sweet amber lager with an appealing earthiness. Available at , 200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-229-2560, eataly.com). 16.9oz bottle $13.80.
Baladin Nora (Birrificio Le Baladin) Inspired by Egypt, brewer Teo Musso's spicy ale is made with orange peel, ginger, myrrh and the ancient grain Kamut, which imparts a nutty character. Available at , 200 Fifth Ave between 23rd and 24th Sts (212-229-2560, eataly.com). 25oz bottle $16.80.