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Giampaolo Sangiorgi is the founder of Birra, one of Berlin’s most exciting craft beer arrivals this year. Sangiorgi, along with his team of committed craft beer enthusiasts bring together a true love for beer and a sense of craft beer’s time and place in Berlin. It may seem strange for Germany, a country steeped in beer quality and tradition, to look to a foreign country for a source of craft beer, but Birra’s dedication to the purity and simplicity of what creates good beer will surely resonate with German beer enthusiasts.
In the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, a reference point for craft beer is emerging from the experience of two of Italy’s best master brewers at Birra, Manuele Colonna from Rome and Giampaolo Sangiorgi from Milan. Birra (Italian for beer), is the only exclusively Italian craft beer bar in the city, and they’re offering a mashup of the classic appertivo, as well. To complement the beer, chef Marco d’Amato has a selection of delicious cheeses and sausages prepared from the regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. Everything is accompanied by Sironi bread, traditional Italian bread from Milan, which anyone who is familiar with Markthalle Neun will be well versed on.
Birra was created with the precise aim of promoting the culture of the Italian Craft beer in Berlin. Italy has an image as the home of wine in much of Europe, but for the last five years there have been more and more innovative craft beers coming from the Belle Paese, and given the large contingent of Italians in Berlin, it makes sense that one of their first outposts away from Italy would be in Berlin. The team at Birra select cask ales from Brewpub ‘Birrificio Lambrate,’ which last year was awarded the title of ‘Best Italian brewery,’ and is one of the biggest names in Italian craft beer. An almost obsessive attention to the craft beer process is at the heart of the Birra project. Birra is home to 16 taps and three hand pumps, which are a sign of a team doing their utmost to preserve the brewer’s intended flavor in the beer.
Among the beers available are the Pilsner ‘Monte Stella,’ the India Pale Ale ‘Gaina,’ the West Coast Pilsner ‘American Magut,’ the Strong Golden Ale ‘Sant’Ambroeus,’ and the Smoked Stout ‘Ghisa.’
Birra opens its doors this Friday for craft beer fanatics with an interest in discovering good beer that comes from outside of Germany. Customers will soon realize that even if there is no wine on offer, Italy knows what it’s doing where drinking and food is concerned.