Monday, March 14, 2011

Italian Beer Series: Menabrea (Biella)

Menabrea is a brewery in Piemonte that started its production in 1846, but has been in continuous ownership by a single family since 1872. It was mainly a local product, until Forst bought the rights to its distribution, making it a ubiquitous presence in grocery stores across northern Italy. Although it prides itself for having retained its independence despite being bought by a larger company, the beer, at least the lager, does not speak for that.

Their amber lager is one that is largely defined by its "weakness". The hoppy aroma is almost nonexistent, maybe because the head is composed of fine bubbles that does not last at all even with vigorious pouring. The watery consistency perfectly underlines the really subtle flavors of hops and grass. A pleasant mild bitterness finishes off, that goes away as soon as it comes. at 4.5%, the beer won't make you feel anything even after a few of their half-liter bottles. Good for spicy foods where the refreshing taste would cut down the spice (in retrospect, so does water). Or if you want to taste the beer, maybe a drink with your bread or white rice.

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