Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Last Minute Beer Adventure

We found in a food and beverage magazine a place called Makeeda Grand Pub. With 40 beers on tap and a sushi train that was all Italian small appetizer dishes (not sushi, thankfully, as I swear the hygiene is not what we're used to in Australia). On the way there I saw this bridge which I assumed must be old as it mentioned Lepidus (3rd wheel in the Marc Antony, Octavian Triumvirate), who is most often depicted as being added by Octavian to make the Triumvirate appear more politically correct). A quick wikipedia shows the bridge was built in 62 BC. God bless the Romans, wine, safe to walk the streets at night, education, etc..

Google maps showed that we were almost  on top of the bar but we thought we were in a normal residential street. It was actually right next to all that bamboo on the left (2nd house in).

We met Mitch and his counterpart (forgot to ask his name) who gave us some good info on craft beer venues in Rome. Top bloke, super worried about his English but he had it nailed really. Totally wouldn't have had a conversation otherwise :) Mitch had left Brasserie 4:20 6 months ago to help these guys as a new idea and startup. Next on our list for the evening was 4:20 so he helpfully showed us how to get there easily. Notice the beer list on the board behind him!

Ciao Mitch!
Aren't I tricky. Took a photo straight off the mirrored roof
Mmm Appetizer train
We have met quite a few people, had quite a few beers at quite a few bars, but the unwavering truth is we are yet to have a beer poured correctly - in my opinion. Craft beer in Italy is poured well over carbonated with about 2/3rds of the beer as head. This is then allowed to settle and the final bour tops up the beer and leaves the last (and quite a bit of) head on the beer. The result is a really creamy beer, but one that is flat. This really hurts styles like lager, kolsch and particularly the Belgian beers. Mouthfeel is generally improved as a result, however, I feel they are doing many beers an injustice. It must be an Italian style prerogative as it is done everywhere outside of the commercial beers. I will add the caveat that this is just my opinion and an observation.

Even at the places considered to be the best we've been we have been waiting upwards of 10 minutes for a beer to be poured. Brianna just waited 15 minutes for a pilsner to draw.  In Rome it is just accepted.   

Dopplebock - quite standard and from Germany
Imperial  Stout - this was chocolatey, warm and very tasty
Busting for the toilet "beer stop" on way to Brasserie 4:20
We then trundled off to Brasserie 4:20, which I mentioned earlier was next on the list. I really can't recommend this place, it really wasn't for me. They even had Beatles playing, which is for me, but the atmosphere was kind of "underground diner bar" and just didn't seem to come off. The barstools surrounding the bar were locked in by a rail that went all the way  around. This was impractical and made it impossible for more that two people to be up at the bar ordering drinks. Also, in attempted hipster-side (that's where you commit death by hipster) the beers were poured, over 15 minutes, into jars... ugh!

jars as glasses? Oh FFS.
 We trundled back up to Bir and Fud but couldn't get a seat. Someone had notified America that "Spring Break" would take part in Trastevere this year. I couldn't believe how many drunk 16 year old American girls were running around in all states of disrepair. We couldn't get home quickly enough. We bought a couple of beers and headed back to our hotel to unwind and plan the next day.
Night cap
Off to the forum we go and then train it up north to Trento!


  1. Hold on a minute...16yr old Yankee girls in disrepair and you rushed off home ? Errr...

    1. There was plenty of sleeze already available to cater for them Paul