Sunday 17 April 2011

Pizzarium, Gradi Plato Beershop, Domus Birrae

We’d had lunch at Pizzarium as quickly as we could after arriving in Rome. A small by-the-slice pizza place not far from the Vatican City walls (go here after visiting the museum as the exit puts you right where you want to be), where impossibly thin pieces are cut from large slabs of pizza and where the bases are incredibly light and crisp and yet still keep a chewiness to them and the toppings are piled perilously high. They also sell good beer, though not as much as I expected; I got the last bottle of craft beer that wasn’t 750ml on our first visit (it was so good we visited the next day as well and Lauren wanted to go back again on the last day). The bottle was an excellent Milk Chocolate Stout from Brewfist (some good info on the brewery here), all chocolate, nuts and fudge and great with pizza – I like the depth of dark beer with tomato and cheese.

Gradi Plato Beershop is about a 10 minute walk from Pizzarium or from the centre of Vatican City. Hidden down a side street, it’s filled with bottles and fridges inside with a selection from around the world and lots of Italian beers. It’s a really good shop with more than enough for a thirsty traveller to choose from – I got some really interesting things to bring home.

The other beer shop I visited was Domus Birrae, about 5 minutes from Termini, the main train station (it’s also only about 10 minutes walk from the Colosseum). This place is excellent: big, filled with mostly Italian beers alongside a few from Denmark and America, plus a homebrew section with ingredients and equipment. I spent about half an hour (probably longer...) looking at everything, asking staff for recommendations or to explain what the beers were. The selection is larger and broader than Gradi Plato but both are definitely worth visiting if you want to bring bottles home from Rome. I bought nine bottles from Domus Birrae, somehow stuffing them into my backpack, and struggling onto a very full bus back to the hotel.

These three plus Open Baladin, Bir & Fud, Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa and Brasserie 4:20 made up my three days in Rome and filled them with great beer (there's a map below with them all on). If you are going to Rome then I recommend fitting all of them in, if you can. And don’t miss Pizzarium for lunch one day – it ended up being the best place we ate at in our four days in Rome, huddled over chopping boards and greedily stuffing our faces while sitting on the bench outside. Rome is a good place to visit for beer. There's also so much else to see and do while you're there, so, like me, you can veil a beer trip with the lure of a city trip to see the sights!

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  1. Whats a typical price range for beer in Rome?

  2. Hi Luke, all draft beer is 5 euros a glass (sometimes a pint, sometimes about 330ml), so not cheap. Bottles varied. Most 'normal' beers were about 5 but they went up to 10 for large and rare ones.

  3. About what I thought then. Not too bad considering how much beer costs in other touristy capitals, Dublin being a particularly bad offender! I will be in Rome with my girlfriend who drinks very little so I wont be drinking big amounts so im willing to pay a bit more to get some really awesome beers. Birra del borgo is the only Italian brewer I have had more than one beer by, who is really worth looking out for?

  4. If you're expecting the prices then it's ok. And if the beer's good then it's worth paying. One warning, if your girlfriend doesn't drink much... these places only sell beer and nothing else (except water). My girlfriend only drinks diet coke and wasn't happy!

    del Borgo are good. Italiano are good. LoverBeer make some interesting things, Toccalmatto are very good (Zona Cesarini and Stray Dog in particular), Baladin. There are many to look out for. Bir&Fud and Open Baladin are the best places for top Italian beer - anything they serve will be some of the best beers around. Enjoy!

  5. Next time please visit our beershop Gradi Plato via Flaminia vecchia 506 at Ponte Milvio. We would like to have a talk to you...