La Darbia blog

The oldest brewery in Italy

Fri, 6 November 2020
The oldest brewery in Italy
"Because a mug of beer is a king's meal." And if Shakespeare said it… If the legendary city of Babylon could boast over twenty qualities of beer and the ancient Code of Hammurabi regulated its production and sale, we can easily understand the extraordinary potential and the noble history of this an..

"Because a mug of beer is a king's meal." And if Shakespeare said it…

If the legendary city of Babylon could boast over twenty qualities of beer and the ancient Code of Hammurabi regulated its production and sale, we can easily understand the extraordinary potential and the noble history of this ancient drink which still, today, boasts millions of lovers worldwide.

And in fact, savouring a sip of fresh beer on a summer evening is, in my opinion, one of life’s greatest pleasures… My German friends will argue that the best qualities are produced in Munich, while the Dutch, English or Belgians will argue that Amsterdam, the United Kingdom or Flanders are the home of this drink… The truth is that we Italians also cultivate a tradition of master brewers, so much so that in Biella, not far from La Darbia, you will find the oldest brewery of our peninsula.

I can't say whether when Mr. Giuseppe, about two centuries ago, started his company he imagined such a glorious future, but surely today the Menabrea plant represents a real excellence in the Italian panorama. What has made this beer so popular is the use of raw materials of extraordinary quality, starting with the water from the Biella springs.

Next to the historic factory, right in the heart of the city, there is also the Menabrea Beer Museum, a private collection that contains a heritage of culture and tradition. Inside the office we can also visit the Beer Library which houses more than 300 original publications and documents in Latin, Italian, French and German. Do not forget, attached to the factory, accessed from the old stables, the renowned restaurant, informal and welcoming, where you can dine and combine the different types of beer with a typical and tasty local cuisine.

Notwithstanding significant technological improvements, such as the modern Cooking Room or the innovative bottling plant, Birra Menabrea has always remained true to itself, in its territory surrounded by the Alps, with pure and very light waters and a beer culture that has been handed down from generation to generation.

As Goethe said "knowing and visiting a place can often be reduced to mere theoretical geography, instead knowing where the best beer is produced and tapped is true practical geography!".

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