GIOVENTU » A nation of beer drinkers

A nation of beer drinkers

The Italian beer boom

A taste revolution is taking place in Italy! In the last 30 years the beer sector increased its production and exportation. There’s also been a boom in the average individual consumption in Italy.

In a country characterized by a solid wine producing tradition, nobody could ever imagine that this year the Italian beer production would achieve record results on their importation to Britain, historical homeland of this product, traditionally prone to consume national products and also very careful regarding the quality of the drink.

According to an analysis of Coldiretti Italian beer exports in Britain increased by 37% in the quantity exported to Britain in respect to the same period of 2010. The data is even more surprising if considered that the percentage of British exportation represents more than half of the made in Italy beer sent abroad.

As far as Coldiretti is concerned, this growing success in consumption, both in Italy and abroad, is due to a qualification process in the production which occurred in recent years.

In Italy, beer is drunk occasionally more or less by 72% of consumers, especially among young people and women, with an extension of consumers and an annual average per person of consumption around 28.5 litres per year (according to ISPO).

The Italian leader brand in Italy is Peroni, the second one for the volume of production is Dreher, controlled by the Dutct brand Heineken, then follow Wurher Simplon, Kronenbourg and Sib-Nuova Birra Messina.

Above all, according to Coldiretti, it is the increasing popularity obtained in Italy of handmade local products which meet the tastes of young consumers.

Homemade beer (not pasteurized and free of preservatives) is flourishing with new iingredients and techniques. The lack of a significant native malt and hops production has led to innovation in the Italian craft of brewing. To make characteristic Italian beers that reflect their regions and territory, Italian craft brewing have found ways of using locally cultivated grains, incorporating seasonal fruits, and utilizing chestnuts in various forms: dried, smoked and roasted.

For years chestnut beers were synonymous with Italian brewing. Now a new type of Italian beer is emerging, one that uses the active or cooked must of grapes. Many brewers have experimented with recipes that use the recently harvested fruit. As there are no laws regulating how grapes may be used in beer production, brewers can use any quantities they desire for producing beer.

The brewer most associated with this innovation is Valter Loverier, who in 2002 launched the “Lover beer” brewery in Piemonte. His first beer, named “Beerbera” remands one of “Barbera” the famous wine of that region.


Giulia Lombardo

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