/Italian Craft Beer Takes NYC

Italian Craft Beer Takes NYC

Daily Meal beer

The past ten days have been dedicated to spreading the Italian craft beer gospel all over NYC. A tasting dinner, three radio interviews, three film segments, and dozens of bottles of BeerBera, Friska, La Mummia and Etrusca later, and I’m fairly confident I have made some converts.

But evangelizing birra artigianale isn’t simple. There are relatively few places in NYC where the good stuff is served and what is around is bloody expensive. A single 33cL bottle of La Mummia retails for $11.95 plus tax at New Beer. Tibir, a personal favorite from Montegioco, is priced at almost $22 at Eataly. To be fair, these are spectacular beers and I personally am willingly to pay for them, but the economic hurdle is hard to ignore and pushes lots of customers and pub proprietors away.

Heritage Radio Network

The reason I dwell on Italian craft beer prices in my talks and interviews is that it is a major deterrent for distribution, as well as consumption. Pubs and shops are justly cautious of stocking expensive kegs of beer made by brewers few are familiar with or understand. It is a rarity (and a joy!) to find D’Uva Beer on tap at Proletariat because simply profit margin considerations make it an unattractive purchase, no matter how outstanding the beer is.

La Mummia Montegioco

Another challenge is the language barrier and confusion surrounding names. Many refer to Birrificio Ducato as just “Birrificio” (brewery…which brewery?!). Birra del Borgo is simplified to Borgo and their relatively wide distribution in NYC, paired with their partnership with Eataly, means “Borgo” is a recognizable brand. Ditto for Baladin. But for Barley, LoverBeer and Montegioco, three of my favorite brewers on the planet, getting the news out isn’t as easy, but I’m dedicated to spreading the good word.

parla food beer dinner

You can learn more about Italian craft beer from my recent segment on Beer Sessions, on this week’s Weekly Pint and on the B-United website.

2017-02-17T15:16:44+00:00 June 18th, 2013|Categories: Beer, New York City, Wine & Spirits|7 Comments


  1. Mamma Parla June 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    It’s a tough job BUT someone has to do. And you do it so well!

  2. Mark Brattebo July 12, 2013 at 3:22 am - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    I’m going to Piedmont in Sept and was thinking of exploring Biella for two reasons, one of which involves beer. Are you familiar with “Biella” beer and would it rival some of the best artisinal beers in Piedmont or should I go to Biella for only for my original reason? By the way, your blog comments on Piedmont were most helpful. Although I’m pretty good at identifying quality and comfort, your comments on San Maurizio sealed the deal. Then on to Hotel Costello di Sinio which seems entralled with the Biella beer.


    Mark Brattebo

    • Katie July 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      hey mark! if you are referring to menabrea beer, then i would give it a pass. that’s industrial stuff. have a great time! piedmont is amazing!

  3. Alyce Oreilly July 28, 2013 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    I would also like to add a wonderful small brewery near Parma. It is called Toccalmatto. He makes excellent beer! Lots of different ones too. He said he will not sell at Eataly because he does not like their practices. This is the best beer we had in our search throughout Italy.

  4. Brewery MONTELUPO September 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply


    we are absolutely proud to present for your evaluation our Brewery MONTELUPO/Tuscany/Italy with its amazing Artisan Beers

    Great spectrum of beers, with fantastic bottles which like so much our clients.
    Please contact us if any interest at brewery.montelupo@gmail.com


  5. Regan September 18, 2013 at 2:39 am - Reply

    It’s sad that most people wouldn’t think twice about spending $12 or $20 on a great bottle (or glass) of wine, but balk at the same for an outstanding beer. Hopefully this changes soon, articles like this are helping!

  6. Giovanni Gino Caffarella October 4, 2013 at 2:08 am - Reply

    I am glad I stumbled here. Well, not figuratively yet!

    I have really been doing as much as I can to also promote Italian craft beer in the South Jersey/Philadelphia region as I really believe in it and I am actually doing an Italian beer tasting in November!

    And B. United are TRUE heroes for bringing in the most selections of Italian beer! They even bring a panettone from Parma made with Ducato’s Krampus!

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