Recently I filed my first story for Bon Appétit, for the April print edition, a long-awaited foray into the pages of what I regard as the best food & drink magazine. My humble one-page subject? How countries with little in the way of artisanal brewing tradition are quickly remaking the global beer map (and your local’s beer list), mixing Old World styles with a New World attitude. Here’s a 12-pack of the best.
In 1996, Italy had next to niente for craft breweries; now there are hundreds, especially in the north.
Birra del Borgo ReAle Extra
An American-style IPA that drinks great with wood-fired-oven pizza. $18 for 750ml
Birrificio Montegioco Dolii Raptor
Aged in Barbera barrels, this lip-smackingly sour beer is molto refreshing. $13 for 330 ml
Beer is catching up with wine, as successful farmhouse operations in the north have sparked microbrewing countrywide.
Brasserie Thiriez Extra
The ultimate beer for mussels. You could even (gasp!) cook them in it. $10 for 750 ml
La Choulette Biere des Sans Culottes
This earthy, elegantly bottled brew is aged on top of its own yeast. $9 for 750 ml
The country’s genre-bending beers have found an export audience in the States.
Hitachino Nest XH
A Belgian-style ale aged in sake barrels and shochu casks; great with sushi. $6 for 330 ml
Baird Beer Angry Boy Brown
A strong brown ale with flavors of caramel, toffee, and pine. $5 for 355 ml
Bold Swiss brewers are making Belgian-inspired creations prized for their edgy flavors.
Trois Dames Grande Dame
A Flemish oud bruin ale with a sour-sweet interplay and mellow nutty notes. $17 for 750 ml
Bad Attitude/Rappi Bier Factory CH2
This rustic, unfiltered lager is brewed with fresh Swiss hops. $6 for 330 ml
Vikings loved their aul. Today’s Norsemen are brewing some wonderfully idiosyncratic beer.
Nogne O Porter
Roasty and chocolaty: a hearty beer to savor on a cold night. $8 for 500 ml
Made with tart wild crowberries for the perfect thirst quencher. $9 for 500 ml
Farmhouse upstarts and “gypsy brewers” are stealing megabrewer Carlsberg’s thunder.
Mikkeller Wheat Is the New Hops
A wheaty IPA made in collaboration with Vermont’s Grassroots Brewing. $6 for 330 ml
Amager Bryghus Rye Porter
Try this one for dessert–maybe even over ice cream. It’s rich and complex. $9 for 500 ml