On the history of beer and where to find the best in town.
A ridiculously hot summer just made its triumphal entry, especially in the Northern regions of Italy. Many of us are not on holiday yet and, from Milan to Venice, we sweat, we pant, we struggle performing easy tasks, we constantly complain about this crazy weather and, above all, WE DRINK. If red wine is not recommended when the heat gets torrid, besides icy white wines and cocktails, we could definitely say that beer is the queen of summertime.
And even in Venice, widely known for its wine & cichetti culture, the production and the consumption of beer boast ancient origins. Following a short history of the beer in Venice and some suggestions on where to taste it in the city.
HISTORY IN PILLS
The first beer factory was based on the Giudecca island, right between Fondamenta San Biagio and Rio de le Convertite. Born in 1835, the company Biliotti relied only on 8 workers. Soon its name changed into Distilleria Veneziana, a new brewery equipped with the most modern industrial systems and designed to be efficient and safe for the laborers.
The fast growth brings the company to change its name into Societa’ Birra San Marco and later, in 1913, into Fabbrica della Birra Venezia. At that time, the hop was coming from Germany, the factory had reached more than a hundred workers and a strong advertising campaign had been paired by a traditional sailing on Canale della Giudecca. Acquired by the Luciani family, in 1929 the company switched for the last time in Pedavena Dreher Venezia. Later on, facing a tough competition, the factory was forced to close. After 80 years somebody committed to restore the tradition, recreating brands such as Birra Venezia and Birra San Marco, brewed right out of Venice in small facilities and distributed just as many other artisanal brands.
BEST PUBS IN VENICE. OUR PERSONAL SELECTION
Relying on 21 taps of artisanal beers in rotation, this pub is probably the most stocked and specialized. Always looking for new breweries, the owner focuses on quality and often meets in person his suppliers, either visiting or hosting them at the counter.
Besides a selection of special gin, here you can find a range of cichetti and snacks made with seasonal vegetables and zero km products. Find it at Cannaregio 2393/A, 30121 Venezia
Recalling a sophisticated London pub, Marciano offers a wide selection of beers, focusing on the artisanal products. On the drink menu there are also some amazing cocktails prepared with fresh ingredients and a choice of high quality wines. As far as food, you can enjoy not only hamburgers and snacks, but also a selection of raw fish and different types of oysters.
Find it at Calle Loredan, 1863/C, 30121 Venezia
With a selection of beers from all over the world, Pub Da Aldo is a true legend in Cannaregio. The place itself is small and very simple, but its owner is very well known by locals and by some adventurous visitors. A piece of authentic Venice. A choice of typical cichetti is available at the counter and some table are placed outside, right on the popular Fondamenta degli Ormesini. Find it at Calle Briani, 1503, 30121 Venezia
This is the first Irish pub ever born in Venice. With a wide selection of beers and yummy snacks Venetian style, it's the ideal place if you'd like to watch a sport event, or just meet with friends for a pint (or more!). Here you will certainly find enough screens and the right atmosphere. Often attended by British and open from 11 am to 2 am, this stop is a must if you are a beer fan. Find it at Cannaregio 3487, 30121 Venezia
Characteristic Irish Pub, attended by local customers and international guests. Boasting a wide selections of beers on tap and in bottles, it’s open all day long, serving from breakfast to dinner. Here’s where you can follow national and international sporting events: premier league, champions league, Italian league, rugby, and more. A fairly traditional option. Find it at Cannaregio 282/b, 30121 Venezia
Have a Glass in Venice is more than happy to guide you through this particular itinerary, in order to discover the best beers in Venice.