I know, Italian beers are not exactly thought of as being high quality. I’m here to tell you that there are some craft brewers in Italy who are doing some unusual things.

One such brewer is BIRRA TROLL. We have two of their brews in stock. SHANGRI LA is a fruity beverage. I’m not a big fan of that style but there are lots of folks who are. I really like the other type that we have. PALANTRINA is brewed with chestnut flowers, dried chestnuts, chestnut honey and chestnut jam. You get the idea. I’m nuts about it!

We also have a third variant of the Italian craft brewing movement. CASSISSONA is sparkling beer brewed with black currant (cassis). Matured over 6 months, our shipment was bottled almost 2 years ago and it is getting quite drinkable. Are you looking to pair up an unusual beverage with fruit desserts or savory cheeses? This brew would fill the bill and I guarantee that your guests will never have had anything quite like it!

That reminds me of my most memorable Italian beer experience. It happened on July 7, 1973. I was in Florence (Firenze) and I was drinking a Nastro Azzuro. Several of us were sitting on the street enjoying the Tuscan scene. A long, black limousine pulled up across the street in front of a boutique.

Two women got out along with a frumpy looking man. They strolled over to us. The man looked familiar. He extended his hand to shake mine and said: “Hi, my name’s Nelson Rockefeller. What’s your name and where are you from?”

I guess the Governor of New York was good at spotting Americans. A few years later this scene would not have happened. The Red Brigades kidnapped and killed one Italian Prime Minister and Nelson Rockefeller was serving as Vice President to President Gerald Ford.

I was so stunned to meet him that I almost dropped my beer.

Vick (the beer guy) Mickunas