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Menabrea 1846 | Birra Menabrea SpA

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Menabrea 1846Menabrea 1846

Brewed by:
Birra Menabrea SpA

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lager Beer produced with bottom fermentation, Premium Lager. Brewed with water, malt, maize, hops. It is a well-balanced beer with a notable floral/fruity aroma thanks to the selected yeasts used in the brewing process.

Added by kbub6f on 01-08-2003

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 142
Photo of metter98
2.24/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A: The beer is crystal clear deep yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with just a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass that eventually completely faded away.
S: Light aromas of skunk and pale malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is rather skunky, and these flavors stand out in front of notes of underlying pale malts and hints of corn-like adjuncts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and clean on the palate and has no carbonation.
O: The lack of carbonation and flat mouthfeel of this beer do not lend to its drinkability. It seems like the green bottle also lends some skunked flavors to the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
3.11/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having only ever had Moretti and Peroni as examples of Italian brewing culture, I was interested to see this offering hit my local liquor store shelves. For a country so varied in its wine production, one would hope that there's more to its brewing as well...

Into a pilsner glass, this beer pours a very clear, light pale golden colour. The head is thin, white, and gargantuan at first, but dissipates quickly. It smells like white, bready malt, and rice cakes. The taste has a slight floral hoppiness at first, then a very thin, almost state-less body arrrives. I haven't analyzed very many beers made with corn, so I don't know if this is attributable to that or not. It isn't really sweet maltiness that I taste, but a smooth graininess. There isn't really much flavour to speak of, just an essence of a reminder of an indication of one. The carbonation is on the low side. That said, it's pretty inoffensive, and easy to drink, just not much to make you remember it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.89/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a pale yellow color lager with a medium size pure white bubbly head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma of sweet adjunct is not very interesting. Taste is also dominated by some sweet adjunct though quite bland at the end of the day. Body is about average with some average carbonation as well. I am sure Italy as a lot more to offer in terms of craft beer then this crap.

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Photo of emerge077
3.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled at Pizza D.O.C. in Chicago.

Pours into a pilsner flute, fizzy yellow body, high clarity, champagne streams of carbonation.

Smell is bland, maybe old hops, slightly mineral.

Taste is fairly crisp with a dry aftertaste. Leans toward a Pilsner, but overall is sort of bland. Vague grain and sweetness in the middle. It's drinkable, but then again, so is water. Paired well with wood-fired Pizze Margherita.

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Photo of zeff80
2.83/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, golden-color. It had a small, short-lived, bubbly, white head that left minimal lacing.

S - Aroma seemed a little skunky. Otherwise, grain and maybe some floral notes.

T - This has a light caramel maltiness mixed with corn and grain flavors. And there are actually some hops in here providing a bitter kick.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A light bodied beer.

D - This is okay for an italian lager. It is pretty easy drinking and smooth.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, pale gold body with a finely-textured, white head leaving a smattering of splotchy lace on the descent.

Smell: Lightly grainy, dry maltiness filled out with some modest traces of floral, grassy noble hops.

Taste: Minimum pale maltiness along with a touch of graininess and a hint of pilsner malt tang. Whisper of maize. Minor sweetness. Floral, grassy-toned hops with ample bitterness to balance things out. Dry, nicely crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: It's decent. 1846 sports an acceptable taste with a refreshing, quenching crisp texture.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.39/5  rDev +54%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ah, travel. I was up to Eataly (Manhattan) several months ago and snagged this out of an innate sense of curiosity. We had this gorgeous, tall Italianate beauty in at The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop as a rep last night & I was regaling her with my bocce prowess. How did I never know that "bocce" = kiss?!? The famous roll is called "La Bocce della Morte", one for which I am renowned, thanks to Giuseppe, my tutor on Sardinia in 1985. I will not reveal it here, but one night at Brooklyn's Floyd's Bar on Atlantic Avenue, I not only stunned a pair of jagov champs, but I flabbergasted my buddy & set off a riot! We barely escaped, but I realized that I have not lost it. I'm not sure that she was buying my patter, but I had everybody's attention within earshot. Good times!

From the bottle: "Quality assured by over a century of brewing tradition" (trans.).

I Pop!ped and then I Pop!ped the cap. Whoops! TMI. At any rate, the aggro pour raised two-plus fingers of fluffy, foamy, rocky, bone-white head that withered in the face of today's heat & humidity. Color was a gorgeous Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5) with NE-quality clarity, prompting yet another visit from The Gelt Gang of Midas, Mammon & Croesus, all shoving each other to get a taste. They did not have far to go as they were on my living room couch, watching the PSU/Pitt game while their TV is on the fritz. Nose smelled of honey, a clue to a good, adjunct-free lager, as well as a bready maltiness. Mmmm, a slice of freshly-baked bread drizzled with honey? Like being at my maternal grandmother's house in the summer. Take it down to the meadow and while away the hours. Last night, I invoked Enrico's Biscotti in Pixburgh's Strip District & man, did her eyebrows shoot up! How does a short Irish-English American with a strong Jewish cast know so much about her heritage? Back to the birra. It was such a pleasure NOT to be subjected to unnecessary adjuncts in a lager that I cannot adequately explain. I get that it is not an attractive style on this site, but one should rate to style, NOT to taste. Man, if this was CANned, I could drink it all day on the shore of the Med. Been there, done that. I am also almost done with this beer & its review. It finished semi-dry to dry and was entirely refreshing. It was clean, crisp, slightly malty. I wonder what others want from the style. This was A-OK by me.

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Photo of jwc215
2.68/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle, freshness date of 05.05.09 on back label:

Pours straw yellow with a thin white head.

The smell is of cooked corn, skunked cabbage and strong sulfur. This all does subside, revealing a hint of grain.

The taste is of a combo of American macro and industrial EPL. Husky with sulfur and a touch of lime. Some washed-out hops give is a slightly floral dryness. Salt water comes through.

To its credit, while thin, it is not overly fizzy.

There are cleaner macros out there. It's not undrinkable, but I wasn't looking for the .8 ounces that would have made up the full 12 ounces.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.62/5  rDev +27%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Found this state side at La Bottega, a fantastic modern-Italian sandwich chain, figured I'd give it a shot.

p.s. Looks like they've upgraded to brown bottles.

A - Clear straw gold. Poured a full 4 fingers of clean white head with below average retention, but decent lace.

S - Some lager yeast and a touch of malty sweetness. Backdrop of citrus zest.

T - Crisp with some lemon up front. Rolls into a smooth, surprisingly big, malt body. Toast, caramel, sunflower seeds. Touch on the sweet side. Some citrus hop bitterness accents the finish.

M - Light body with mild, but refreshing carbonation. Semi-sweet finish.

O - I enjoyed a glass over a brainstorm session at lunch, and wouldn't have said no to a second if we weren't going back to the office.

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Photo of Tone
3.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of pale malt, sweet malt, grain, yeast, and slight hop. Fits the style of an Euro Pale Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and clean with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, grain, slight sweet malt, slight metallic, hint of hops, and a hint of citrus. Overall, a decent appearance and body.

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Photo of tone77
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Aroma was a bit on the sweet side. Taste was crisp but rather bland. Not much here in the way of flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall there is nothing special about this one.

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Photo of biegaman
2.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Italian lagers are nowhere as good as those of their neighboring German and Austrian counterparts, even if they look it. Menabrea 1846 has the standard brilliantly clear, shined golden complexion, the lively bubbles and moderate, bleach-white head. It glistens when held to the light and has that classically quenching, tempting appearance.

But expect to cry foul about that aroma. Unlike other European nations, Italy doesn't have any legislative regulations when it comes to integrity of ingredients nor do they have a culture of beer drinkers sophisticated enough to notice, much less protest the use of adjuncts and additives. This lager smells replete with them.

How can you tell? Well, aside from the explicit wet cardboard and moldy rice notes in the aroma, the taste is also notably starchy and cloyingly sweet. Corn grits and Wonder-bread are imposed over the conventional flavours of pale malt. There's no bitterness or hops to note and the finish tastes something like a plain baked potato.

You'd think it'd be pretty easy to impress when Moretti and Peroni are your only competition. Alas, Menabrea obviously seeks not only to be as insipid, adulterated and characterless as those lagers - it actually does a better job at it! Clearly the people at Heineken and Asahi have nothing to fear, unless Italians decide they want an even worse beer as their national brand.

The only other time I've had Menabrea beer was on a hot summer day at the beach of a small, medieval Italian town on the Tyrrhenian Sea. That beer was as awful as this one but I'd be lying if I said the scenery and surroundings didn't make up for it. It's true there's a right moment for every beer - but Menabrea 1846 requires one like that to be justified.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.41/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This green 330ml bottle (best before 7th Dec 2007) was poured into a Duvel glass.

It could have been a Duvel, well almost, it is clearer, a little lighter and doesn't produce such a huge head. So we have a golden yellow, pale beer with a tight foaming head that is snow white in colour.

Lager beers are served so cold I never get much if any aroma, this beer gets my standard 3 score for being no different to the rest.

I was pleased with the taste, refreshing and clean, with a fairly sharp tang to it, not bad at all for an Italian lager.

The sharpness fades to a dryness in the mouthfeel, but not that metalic taste sometimes evident in cheap lagers.

Obviously this would be a whole lot better sat on the beach in Amalfi with the sun beating down on you, but it isn't too bad here in wind swept England either. One of the best Mediterranean lagers I've ever had.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.2/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased on a random trip to the not-very-good local bottle shop, searching for things I hadn't tried.

Pours a very clear golden colour, with a full and rather good head of very white foam. Lacing is excellent, and gives that good lagery sudsy froth down the sides of the glass. Not a lot of carbonation visible. Looks pretty good, for what it is.

Nose... Blech, just a big dollop of porridge-like cereal sweetness, with a dollop of dry bread yeast thrown in. I thought I smelled a bit of green organics when the bottle was opened, but there's almost nothing of that here now. It's just dry, grainy and insipid. Very unpleasant.

Taste is similar, but less offensive, because it's less flavoursome overall. The cereal character is still cloying, but the light spritzy body makes it less noticeable. Very lame, though. Not tasty, and the bready, yeasty finish gets intolerable after a while.

Don't waste your time. This is a reasonably unpleasant beer, although it doesn't offend me so much that I couldn't drink it the need arose.

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Photo of rudzud
2.99/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up at a random store in Waitsfield, VT. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear honey hue with a fizzy light head that fades quickly to leave no retention and lacing.

S - sweet malts and grains/corn with light honey.

T - More of those sweet malts (though more honey atleast), but its still alot of corn on the taste. Not a big fan of corny beers...

M - Mouthfeel isnt that bad. Light, crisp, not too too thin mouthfeel. Definately european.

O - Overall, this beer was average. Havent really had a good Italian beer. This one was okay, wouldnt buy again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a strange)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear yellow with a swirling strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that support a bubbly snow white head that last for much of the beer.

S- The dry green herbal aroma blends with a soft sulfur note and a field corn note that grows into more of a honey comb quality as it warms.

T- The dry cooked corn taste has a slight sulfury sweetness to it with a touch of butter that comes through at the finish. Thee is a watery taste that grows as the beer opens and the finish takes on a touch of sweetness.

M- The light mouthfeel has a filling fizz texture and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The light character has some nice notes with a touch of sweetness softening the sulfur. There is a touch of green in the nose but none in the taste. Pleasant but one is enough.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.93/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml Bottle

Appearance – Clear golden yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is a pretty decent amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, corn, malts, skunk, grass, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste breads/grains mixed with light hops and some cooked corn. The beer finishes with a grainy aftertaste with a little bit of a lingering spicy/hoppy flavour.

Overall – This is a pretty decent euro-beer. It offers a little bit more than just the basic adjunct flavour. I'm not sure I'd pick it up again, but I'm happy I tried it.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.08/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle poured into pint glass nov16 2010

A clear pale straw yellow lots of large bubbles feeding a thumbs width of head that falls after a few seconds and leaves a couple random patches of lace

S grassy hops and a little lemon

T some sweet grains on top of what I smell with a slight metallic flavor

M a little thin but quite fluffy from the carbonation and fairly crisp

D nothing special and nothing offensive, on a hot day this could work if your selection was limited

I wouldn't go looking for this one, not a bad beer but pretty simple

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Photo of bark
3.26/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is pale gold; the firm yellowish head is finger thick. Some lacing.

The smell is very sweet with notes of white bread, flowers and sweet dough. It is a little on the heavy side.

The taste is hoppy and creamy. Lots of sweet notes with hints of dough. Apart from the sweet flowery notes, it is rather simple. The aftertaste brings notes of flowers and honey. The finish got some mineral flavours.

The carbonation is medium strong; small bubbles. The liquid is a little sticky.

A typical "lawnmower beer". And there is nothing wrong with that.

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Photo of Gusler
2/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The pour a typical lager/Pils golden yellow, the head modest in size, frothy in texture, the color a bright white, with the left over lace fair too middling. Malt is the nose, clean and fresh, well almost. Sweet malt start, top skeletal, finish is caustic in its bite, the hops present, dry and long lasting aftertaste, another utterly forgettable beer.

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Photo of Suds
3.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this brew on tap while visiting Italy. It's a yellowish, straw colored beverage, with a decent and lasting head. The aroma is faint, but slightly bready. There's very little hop aroma in the brew. The taste is similar, with a notable sweetness and a slightly chaulky character. A bit grainy at the end. It's a very smooth beer, and fairly light in body. Very little bitterness in the finish. All in all, it's a typical euro-style lager. Nothing remarkable here.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Comes out of the bottle typical clear straw-yellow, not much of a head. Aroma is crisp and strong, but otherwise unremarkable. Flavor is rather typical of a lager - malty and crisp but not complex; at least it tastes like beer. Texture is smooth and just a little tingly. I am glad that I tried it, but I will not seek it out.

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Photo of Brenden
2.5/5  rDev -12.3%

No longer in a green bottle, at least where I found it, this one pours out of brown glass. It's completely clear but for a light chill haze, very bright polished gold. The head that rests on top is an eggshell white that settles at one finger and looks to stay for a while, then drops completely. A layer does remain all the while, and decent spotting clings.
The nose isn't much more than a tang I can't quite place. It's got a not-quite-sweet, earthy graininess to it with maybe a vague hint of leaf if I try hard enough to get it.
Grains are all over the tongue, some dry malt but mostly the tangy/sweet combo. It goes a little sour into the finish as the slightest bitterness adds some grassy leaf.
The body's almost what I expect, but actually better than I would think given the aroma and flavor. It's not terribly thin, and the light body holds well. It's crisp, yes, but there's a creaminess that doesn't fade out. It's fairly dry all the way through.

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Photo of laituegonflable
1.36/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours a slightly coppery golden colour, head is effervescent and white, too fizzy to stick around for very long at all. Slow, minimal bead, and some patches of slippery lace when tilted. Looks pretty uninteresting.

Nose is a bit of a sickfest, a lot of overly sweet, caramelly malt aromas, with a slight diacetyl edge and a whiff of creamed corn as well. A resiny hop tinge is welcome, but combined together with the sweetness it gives off a mildew or mouldy smell, like the stench of an uncleaned bathroom. Unpleasant.

Taste is little better - sweet and sour characters on the front, with a lot of buttery caramelly notes that last throughout the palate, a bit of rice sweetness on the mid, thin and fairly weak. Hint of a tart, carbolic edge on the back with some mild herbal notes, but not nearly enough to clean up the palate. Taste is just sweet, with all the worst fizz flavours of a soft drink to render it nastily so.

If mouthfeel were sticky it might pass as a sweet-style beer gone awry, but it's wafer thin and still makes my stomach want to explode.

A dreadful beer, not enough flavour and just has nothing to offer beer drinkers or the beer world. If they've been brewing this since 1846 then shame on the last 160 years of Italian beer drinkers and those worldwide for not telling Menabrea this beer is shit.

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Photo of beergoot
3.6/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark gold body; lively carbonation; one-finger thick, foamy head. Balanced blend of esters and malt in the nose. Gently sweet, cereal grain malt flavor; wheat; light, dry grass hop flavor; nice, easy going bitterness towards the finish. Medium body; somewhat coarse on the palate; mostly dry finish.

A very pleasant, easy drinking beer. I don't get much of a fruity/floral aroma as per the BA commercial description, yet everything mixes well and comes across with a deft balance. It reminds me more of a German kölsch in both flavor and mouthfeel. Regardless, this is a pleasant find and warrants repeat visits.

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Menabrea 1846 from Birra Menabrea SpA
2.85 out of 5 based on 142 ratings.
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