Italian Breweries Open Locations Abroad

News by | Feb 2016 | Issue #109

There’s an underlying reason Italian breweries are heading abroad. “Identity,” says publican Manuele Colonna.

Proud of their origins, Italian brewers represent themselves with passion. While some entrepreneurs are hoping to recreate a piece of their native homeland, others are mixing it up.

Manuele Colonna, owner of the famous Rome beer bar Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fà, and Giampaolo Sangiorgi, owner of the pioneering Milan brewery Lambrate, are opening a beer bar in Berlin with the intention to help crack Germany’s reluctance about craft breweries. The small location will carry 16 taps with three hand pumps featuring Italian beers, with a patio and a wooden bar reminiscent of Colonna and Sangiorgi’s pubs at home. Meanwhile, esteemed brewer Teo Musso, who has already successfully expanded to Morocco and the US, plans to open a new Baladin brewery in Italy this summer.

“Germany’s purity law has lost step with the actual beer movement,” says Sangiorgi. “And the brewing laws in Berlin are the same as Italy, but Germany’s bureaucracy is less rigid.”

Alex Liberati, owner and brewer of Revelation Cat in Rome, is escaping the taxation system and an unfavorable entrepreneurial environment by relocating to Denver, Colo. “If I had stayed in Italy any longer I would have lost all passion for my work, consumed by the frustrations of living in such a disorganized and contorted bureacracy,” he says. Liberati founded Revelation Cat as a gypsy brewery in 2009 and expects to open Brewery Liberati in 2017 with a 9-barrel system.

Giovanni Campari, owner and brewer of Del Ducato, agrees with Liberati. “Italy’s bureaucracy is bloody oppressive,” he says. In February 2015 Campari opened a bar in London called The Italian Job with 12 rotating taps featuring Italian craft breweries. He aims to open a second in East London this year.

“Italian beer needs new showcases abroad,” says Colonna. “I see Roman consumer interest increase every year. I believe the possibility of expansion is desirable and well deserved.”

Two decades into Italy’s craft brewing movement, many Italian breweries now believe the time is right to bring their message and flavors abroad. “Our move furthers the knowledge and expansion of our beer and our story,” says Sangiorgi. “Italy isn’t just spaghetti, mandolin and mafia.”