in

11 Popular Italian Beer Brands To Try

These Italian beers are popular around the world, and for good reason!

Italians have given us a lot: Opera, pizza, Mario and Luigi. The country inspires notions of romance and sophistication and its alcohol is no different, from wine and cocktails to Italian beers. 

Frozen bottles of Italian beer Birra Moretti

We often think of Italy in terms of its liquors. The Italians gave us limoncello and many other delicious spirits to create Italian cocktails.

However, don’t discount our favorite boot-shaped country’s contributions to the beer world. Italy has access to water from the Alps and uses it well. 

We’ve picked and examined the best Italian beers to help you find your favorite. These brews make the romantic country proud with their unique and memorable flavors and are my favorite drinks with an Italian flair.

Best Italian Beer

Learn about Italy’s greatest beer offerings below.


Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Peroni created the recipe for Nastro Azzurro in 1963 and has been adhering to it ever since.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is a crisp, sophisticated beer that elevates any event.

The brewers use high-quality ingredients to craft the brew.

Crisp citrus notes create the strongest flavors, while bitter undertones round out my favorite flavor profile. 


Birra Moretti

Luigi Moretti founded his brewery in 1859.

Moretti’s quickly established a brewing method that would serve it well; the company’s process remains steadfast to the practices created all those years ago.

I like Birra Moretti because it’s a mildly sweet beer with floral undertones.

A delicate bitterness infuses each sip without overpowering the drinker.

The brew carries citrus notes while enjoying each smooth, easy mouthful.


Peroni Gran Riserva

Peroni triumphantly returns to our list with Gran Riserva, an award-winning pale lager.

The brewers lend the beer a unique sweetness by including caramel malts in the recipe.

Peroni Gran Riserva is a sweeter entry in the Italian beer catalog.

The brew’s malt flavor is mild but distinguishable, providing a hint of bitterness. 


Quarta Runa

Quarta Runa will delight drinkers who prefer fruit-forward beers, like me.

Birrificio Montegioco’s crisp, bright beer features a pleasant but robust peach flavor.

Quarta Runa’s primary taste is peach; however, bitter almond contributes undertones.

A subtle hoppiness lends the beer some kick without overpowering the fruit flavor.

The brew goes down easy and tastes of summer, lingering on the palate well after the last sip. 


Menabrea Beer

Jean Joseph Menabrea opened the doors to his iconic brewery in 1846.

The company remains in the family after historical tumult, dedicated to making some of Italy’s best beers.

Menabrea Beer makes two lagers. Both use high-quality ingredients and water from the Alps to achieve a crisp, bright taste.

Menabrea produces its yeast, allowing the brewery to monitor quality from the earliest production steps. 


Cortigiana Beer

Cortigiana Beer puts an Italian twist on a Belgium classic.

Birra Del Borgo filtered a Belgian Blanche through an Italian brewery for the perfect brew.

Cortigiana adds oat flakes and cereal wheat to the recipe. Additionally, Birra Del Borgo fortifies the beer with ginger, coriander, and orange peel, creating a unique flavor profile that I find delightful. 


Angelo Poretti

Angelo Poretti opened Birrificio Angelo Poretti in 1877.

The brewery passed between owners several times through the years without ever abandoning its commitment to quality. 

Angelo Poretti is a table beer that compliments every meal.

The brew is hoppy but not overwhelming and won’t cover the flavor of your main dish.  


Forst

Forst takes advantage of its proximity to the Alps to brew delicious beer using some of the world’s purest water. 

Forst brewery opened in 1857. The family-run brand sells two beers: a premium lager and the Sixtus doppelbock.

Both rely on superior Italian ingredients to provide them with layered, complex flavor profiles. 


Lambrate Ghisa

Lambrate brewery developed its innovative approach to crafting beer in 1996.

The company doesn’t pasteurize or filter its beer, creating unique and unforgettable brews.

Lambrate Ghisa is a smoked stout. The beer features an unusual blend of flavors, including cocoa, licorice, and dried fruit.

Lambrate toasts Ghisa’s malts, providing a hint of bitterness, for a taste that I find impossible to resist. 


Messina Beer

1923 was a big year for Italian beer. That was the year that Birra Messina entered the scene and became Sicilia’s most famous brewery. 

Messina beer is a lager with the taste of a pilsner. The brew is malty and earthy.

A pleasant lingering bitterness stays on the tongue after the final sip. 


Ichnusa

Inchnusa began brewing beer in 1912. The brewery’s flagship beer is a unique and delicious lager.

While the lager is Ichnusa’s specialty, the company makes three other beers: Ichnusa Cruda, Ichnusa Special, and Ichnusa Non-Filtrate.

Each brew is hoppy without being overpowering. The beer is designed to complement Italian cuisine with its slightly bitter flavor. 


Best Italian Beer

  1. Peroni Nastro Azzurro
  2. Birra Moretti
  3. Peroni Gran Riserva
  4. Quarta Runa
  5. Menabrea Beer
  6. Cortigiana Beer
  7. Angelo Poretti
  8. Forst
  9. Lambrate Ghisa
  10. Messina Beer
  11. Ichnusa

Final Thoughts

Italian beers are full of bright, refreshing flavors. The brews aren’t only delicious; they are part and parcel of Italy’s history.

Any of the beverages featured in this list of the best Italian beers are sure to delight your taste buds and make you a believer.

Did we miss any essential Italian beer? Leave us a comment letting us know!

If you’re more of a wine drinker, check out our favorite Italian reds and Italian white wines!

This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.