• 2021.04.20
  • Craft beers
Liguria is renowned for its wines, from its expensive and rare Sciacchetrà from 5 Terre to the more common but amazing Vermentino; when it comes to craft beers though, it is somewhat considered the fifth wheel on the wagon of Northern Italy. Compared to larger Northern regions, such as Piedmont and Lombardy, there are fewer choices of craft beers and places where to drink them, but in reality, as for wine, it is a land to discover, where there are small companies determined to grow in terms of quality and offer too.
The history of the ancient Ligurians is made up of sheep farming and small crops. And if we go back and study history, we can see they cultivated hop plants too at some point in time too.
A story, that of beer in Liguria, older than the vineyard and the grapevine. The brewers scattered throughout our territory today carry on the tradition of the ancient Ligurians, with passion and above all attention to raw materials.
I’m not a beer drinker at all. I actually do not drink beer and I dislike it but my husband works in the field and he knows everything about them.
He told me that there is actually a beer from Liguria for every season and there are many up-and-coming breweries which are born every month even now during these difficult times.
It is in the seasonal beers that the bond with the territory better expresses itself: a spring beer involves the use of olive leaves, in the summer there is even a lavender flavored beer, while in the winter a strong local honey stout beer from the surrounding hills is the most sold one locally. It is worth visiting the breweries as many of them (in normal times) offer tours to show their production techniques and above the premises usually host a tap room where you can taste and buy the canned and bottled beers.
In Genoa the choice is actually quite wide. Since the end of the nineteenth century in the Ligurian capital there had been many breweries, mainly of German tradition, but only one or two of the original ones survived until today and the others closed down about three decades ago. Currently it is in the historic center that the pubs with the best choice of craft beers are concentrated.
Some of these breweries are in industrial or urban settings in or around Genoa city but some are in amazingly picturesque locations such as one based in Millesimo, a rural town which I had previously mentioned in my blog about Amaretti (bittersweet biscuits).
Located in the hinterland of Savona, about 1 hour drive from Genoa city, in the beautiful medieval setting of a monastery, this local brewery aims at fully reconnecting to the territory, for example by using some typical local products such as the chinotto citrus from Savona, Calizzano chestnuts and D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin) apricots.
Before Coronavirus times, there used to be an event called Birralonga, a food and wine tour through the alleys and streets of the historic center of Genoa.
A journey with ten different ‘stops’ at ten different stalls where, walking among the beautiful attractions of the Superba (The Conceited, that’s the nickname Genoese give to Genoa), you could taste ten different craft beers with different styles and flavors and additionally find foods for all tastes along the way.
And for the most curious people it was also an opportunity to discover the stories and the secrets of the alleys of Genoa city using a simple smartphone and a system of QR codes found along the path which started from Piazza San Lorenzo. Let’s hope this tradition and cheering with friends at the pub will be possible again very soon!

Pre-Covid picture: beer sampling at a local brewery


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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