We are still far from the new frontiers of the dining-breweries seen in English pubs. However, Italy has a deep-rooted beer culture—propagated even in other types of venues, especially pizzerias—which over the years has fostered the emergence of great places for both relaxed evenings and knowledgeable pit stops. Here, on a gastronomic level, one can experience high-quality dining akin to a true restaurant. After all, beer also signifies social interaction and inclusion—a moment of relaxation accessible to - almost - all ages and wallets, as highlighted by a recent survey conducted by BVA Doxa for the Centro Informazione Birra (CIB) of AssoBirra.
While the rise of craft beers started as a trend and has become a practice, some individuals genuinely believed in it before everyone else. For instance, Teo Musso from Piozzo (CN), who, with his "chain" of Baladin breweries, was a pioneer in the genre, reaping success for over thirty years. Similarly, the De Bortoli brothers from Montebelluna, in Trevigiano, have been pursuing an ever-evolving project since 1979. They remain the two leading names in the Italian scenario, both holders of the 'Tre Boccali' recognition in the Ristoranti d'Italia 2024 guide. They are closely followed by nine other substantial entities—four of them only in Lombardy and two in Rome—equally established as references for brew lovers, currently distinguished by the 'Due Boccali' rating. Here's the complete list of the temples of Italian craft beer.
The 11 Best Breweries in Italy
Baladin Open Garden
A increasingly consolidated brand, counting branches and replicas spread across Italy, and beyond, yet always faithful to the rules of the parent company. From the town square to the converted chicken coop, from Casa Baladin to the current Cascina Coda, the ebullient Teo Musso has invented and literally driven the craft brewery sector for well over three decades, never tamed in expanding horizons and collaborations, in designing innovations, in fertilising the sector with venues, formats, examples, and projects. Witness the great attention to the production of grains and hops managed in-house and on large plots in Melfi, thus becoming an agricultural brewery and Italianising almost the entire process. In Piozzo, the seventeenth-century farmhouse next to the plant has been remodelled to make the most of every space with refined and functional aesthetics in details of finishes, furnishings, and murals. A place where beer is the element that connects a whole series of hospitality, entertainment, dining, and educational offerings. More popular for impact and enjoyment is the exterior, or rather, the Garden Brewery with tables arranged under the canvases of the large courtyard that lights up in the evening with suggestive strings of lights. The beer offering is very important with about fifteen taps and wide availability of both in-house and other productions. As for food, classic Italian pub dishes such as sandwiches, focaccias, and very tasty dishes are offered in consideration of dietary intolerances. Additionally, there are Sunday visits with a complete brewery tour, the possibility of overnight stays in Agronidi (a cross between bungalows and tents with a retractable roof), concerts, and events always in line with the company motto: "beer as land and sharing".
Baladin Open Garden - Piozzo (CN) - loc. Valle, 25 - 340 6076351 - baladin.it
The establishment that brothers Andrea and Daniela De Bortoli founded in 1979 is more than just a historic brewery; it's a world in constant motion. Since Anna Vistenini (front of house) and Lorenzo Torresan (in the kitchen) joined them, the evolution that has always characterised this reality has experienced yet another acceleration. The beer selection, constantly updated, remains internationally focused and quality-oriented: the cellar is a treasure trove that also includes precious vintage rarities. Everything is meticulously cared for, from tapping to serving temperature to the type of glass, so that the customer can fully enjoy the aromas, flavours, and textures of each of the 150 rotating seasonal labels offered.
A remarkably vast range of draft beers, complemented by an equally generous variety in bottles. The culinary proposal continues its growth, enriching the menu with tantalising novelties. The focus is on fresh seasonal products, such as vegetables and fruits from their own garden or local farmers, and ingredients from renowned artisans of taste, such as the "pizza-researcher" Renato Bosco for bread (one of the four champions in the Pizzerie d'Italia 2024 guide) or the highly acclaimed Vicenza butchery of the Damini family for meats.
Each dish is prepared with care and precision, from the fried items (the meticulous croquettes of cacio e pepe are memorable) to hamburgers, and to the more elaborate recipes that incorporate beer as an ingredient, such as rabbit marinated in a special wild sour ale where the must is macerated with Verdicchio grapes. Indulgent dishes, each to be paired with the most suitable mug in a welcoming environment with original vintage-style design, expanded this year with a new room. The veranda, quite popular, is a spectacle not to be missed in the warmer seasons. Across the way lies the spacious Nidaba Park where last summer, the "Luppolina," a colourful little house with its 5 taps (in addition to the 18 inside the establishment), was inaugurated for long evening aperitifs.
Nidaba - Montebelluna (TV) - via Argine, 15 - 0423 609937 - nidabaspirit.it
Behind the Royal Gardens, there is a bistrot-style establishment that stands out from the rest due to its wide variety of draft beers and an extensive selection in bottles that encompasses various artisanal styles. Alongside this, but not overshadowed, is the culinary offering that spans dishes such as Gragnano linguine with roast sauce and pancetta, hamburgers, chickpea meatballs, and many other delights. The service is courteous and punctual.
Oro Birra - Torino - c.so Regina Margherita, 97b - 011 5788480 - orobirra.it
Luca Carrara's establishment is entirely dedicated to promoting quality beer, available here in eight draft selections, as well as a myriad of options in cans or bottles. The assortment covers a complete range of styles, and the staff is readily available to provide recommendations. The menu features delightful dishes with some fusion touches: crispy egg with polenta foam, Strachitunt cheese, and spinach, Croque Monsieur, potato tortilla, falafel and hummus, cabbage with cashew sour cream and paprika, Tokyo-Nice gyoza stuffed with shrimp and vegetables, bouillabaisse base, mussels, fennel, carrots, herbs, and basil oil. For those not fond of beer, there is also a fine selection of ciders from across Europe. On Mondays, a lighter menu is available.
DeGusto - Bergamo - via del Lazzaretto, 2 - 035 226346 - degustobirraecucina.com
The mission is clear: here, the selection comprises around fifty labels (mostly bottled but also available on tap) with a varied range in production style and origin regions, all well described on the menu to assist the undecided and inexperienced. Moreover, there's an extensive menu featuring classic or gourmet hamburgers, risottos, or meat dishes, often cooked at low temperatures. The dessert options are numerous for this type of establishment, all homemade, such as the Sacher or the rose cake. The service is knowledgeable and attentive, promptly catering to every guest in the spacious setting.
Fermento - Brescia - via Orzinuovi, 76 - 030 3545290 - fermento.it
Pavé - Birra di Quartiere
Born in 2018, this establishment is the latest creation of the Pavé brand, already known in the city for its pastry shop, bar - among the best in Italy according to the Bar d’Italia 2024 guide - and later as a gelateria. The underlying philosophy is reflected in the sign: creating a meeting point in the neighborhood, relaxed and informal, where people can share a passion for craft beer (as well as for sports when it's time for televised events). The offering, developed in collaboration with the agricultural brewery War located just outside Milan, revolves around a dozen draft artisanal beers and a selection of bottles from Italy and Europe, including various specialties (such as cider and gluten-free beers). On the food front, there are hot dogs prepared with selected ingredients and a handful of various delights, including fried foods, focaccias, and nachos. Convivial atmosphere. Adequate service. Second location at via Giambellino, 42.
Pavé - Birra di Quartiere - Milano - via F. Casati, 27 - 02 37905494 - birradiquartiere.it
It's the brainchild of Silvana, Samantha, and Stefano who, after attending Franco Re's Università della Birra in Azzate - one of Italy's leading experts in the field - decided to channel their passion and experience here. The extensive and skillfully curated selection includes around ten draft beers and a wide array of bottles from France, Germany, Belgium, England, Scotland, and Ireland, including fruit beers, lambics, alcohol-free, and gluten-free options (including whisky and a few ciders). The food menu complements the drinks, offering burgers, pork pluma, beer-braised shank, various fried dishes, and artisanal beer-infused gelato. The service is attentive and friendly. They also organise various types of courses dedicated to the subject, from tasting sessions to brewing workshops.
Unibirra - Varese - fraz. Calcinate del Pesce - via Duca degli Abruzzi, 130 - 0332 1850463 - unibirra.it
Beers are brewed in-house at the attached microbrewery. For aficionados of craft productions, it's a hotbed of discoveries. Yet, Old Spirit also excels in its culinary offerings, simple yet delicious, crafted with excellent ingredients. The menu spans from pizzas and platters to potato tortelli with mushroom sauce, tagliatelle with meat sauce, pork shank (a must-try), and Chianina beef burgers. The service is prompt and friendly. The ambiance is informal and welcoming, with outdoor seating available.
Atlantic Oil - Poppi (AR) - fraz. Porrena - via Falterona, 50 - 0575 550513 - Facebook
Old Spirit Authentic Football Pub
Anglo-Saxon spirit and San Benedetto heart define this popular downtown pub offering over twelve taps of Italian craft beer and more, to pair with a robust regional cuisine. Not only do they serve excellent hamburgers made with selected meats, sourdough bread (specially made for the pub by a local bakery), and homemade sauces, but also traditional dishes with homemade pasta and off-menu options featuring local seafood. One should try the artisanal arrosticini and liver skewers for those who prefer stronger flavours. The atmosphere is welcoming, characterised by wooden furnishings and sports memorabilia adorning the walls, recounting the pub's history deeply intertwined with a love for football and sports. Swift service, perfect beer taps, and a pleasant outdoor area to enjoy in all seasons.
Old Spirit Authentic Football Pub - San Benedetto del Tronto (AP) - via G.Pizzi, 91 - 0735 583798 - Facebook
It's one of Teo Musso's creations, which upon opening, offered the nation’s Capital a "serious" place dedicated to both the culture of quality hamburgers and a comprehensive view of the world of craft beer. The Open remains a sure bet, just a stone's throw from Campo de' Fiori: a pleasant, colourful place with a convivial and very international atmosphere. There are about 40 rotating beers on tap, along with approximately one hundred bottle (and can) options. Whether you sit at the counter, at tables in the main room, or in the smaller side rooms, you can enjoy a glass accompanied by one of the many sandwiches: for instance, the Tom Sawyer, which includes sesame bread by Gabriele Bonci, hamburger, Parmigiano fondue, grilled speck, fried zucchini, and smoked cheese. They also offer salads, grilled meats, and fried items. Fast service.
Open Baladin - Roma - via degli Specchi, 6 - 06 6838989 - baladin.it/open-baladin-roma
Beer and whisky enthusiasts will find paradise here: an atmosphere reminiscent of an old English pub, the focus is on the bar, with 9 taps and 12 casks (served with English hand pumps), but in addition, there are over 500 whiskey options available. There's also an oyster bar and a diverse kitchen, with touches of sophistication that are hard to come by in a simple pub, offering raw dishes, plates rich with fusion flavours, as well as fried foods, hamburgers, and sandwiches. Notably, there's an interesting selection of mixed drinks, naturally including whiskey cocktails, along with a well-stocked gin corner. On Sundays, they serve an excellent brunch.
Treefolk’s - Roma - v.le Trastevere, 192 - 06 87650779 - treefolkspublichouse.com