Tuscany has a growing claim to fame. (Or to foam). Italian beer database MicroBirrifici puts the region’s craft brewery count at close to 110, and those are just the ones social media-savvy enough to get themselves listed. Below are three to keep an eye on.
Brùton goes way back (at least in name). On the Minoan island of Crete, this was a beer-esque beverage made from fermented cereals and frequently enjoyed during sacred rites venerating the powerful Minotaur (witness the brand’s logo). Founder Iacopo Apo Lenci is a similar force to be reckoned with and now has a dynamic team of four producing six beers year-round at their Lucca labyrinth. Go for the strong golden ale “Stoner,” which has hints of apricot and honey that belie its 7.5 percent gradation. (Fun fact: when shipping to the US, the team must remove the “r” at the end of the label if they want the beers to make it through customs).
Ph. via MOA website
Andrea and Riccardo, the Campi Bisenzio duo behind MOA (My Own Ale), began as homebrewers. Stirred by the joys of sharing their DIY drinks with friends, they launched the brand in 2011 and have created four signature beers since, which range from a Black Stout to our pick, the raspberry-tinted “Pink Pale Giovane,” two-time gold winner in the Fruit Beer category at Birra Artigianale dell’Anno.
BRASSERIA DELLA FONTE
Craving more than a cold beer? “Hop” on over to Brasseria della Fonte, part of a larger agriturismo complex and a prime spot for a grainy getaway. Their trademark Tap Room is open until 11pm on weekends, with occasional live music and guided tastings (follow facebook.com/laboratoriodeigiovanibirrai for updates). A bitter “Rossa di Pienza” is one of their best, but the frothy Summer Ale may serve you better in the scorching temps.