How do Italian craft brewers, who have well over a century of industrial beer production to compete against, set about to create quality products that are uniquely Italian? For years, Italian chestnuts, wine must, and locally cultivated grains have been used to impart a sort of authenticity to various brews, but Birra del Borgo is taking an unusual step to incorporate local ingredients.

The brewery’s Perle ai Porci (Pearls Before Swine) oyster stout, which draws from a northern European tradition of adding oysters during the wort boiling stage (15kg of Fin de Claire oysters from Brittany for every 500L of wort in this case) also includes the addition of telline del litorale romano (bean clams from Lazio’s Tyrrhenian coast). The result is a soft, mineral, and savory beer with a pleasant salty finish that evokes the sea. You can find Perle ai Porci at Open Baladin in Rome and drink it with me at one of my private or semi-private beer tastings