The Chianti area is universally acclaimed for its excellent wines and wine bars, but last Sunday we preferred to spend the afternoon in a great beer bar, the “Birroteca di Greve“ located in Greve in Chianti, a wonderful hamlet in the Florence side of the region. The pub has been open since 2009 and its slogan says it all: “No matter how full our life is: there’s always room for a beer!” Oh, you can bet it! After a long family lunch to celebrate the feast of Epiphany we were definitely replete. Nevertheless, we decided to go out instead of collapsing on the couch, and make a short trip to Chianti. On the road to Greve, I remembered that a couple of times in the past a dear friend had invited us for a drink at la Birroteca, but for several commitments we couldn’t have accepted his nice proposals. After a walk around the Greve’s marvellous main square, it was already getting dark and cold enough to wish a warm place to sit down and get something to drink, thus we decided to try the Birroteca. The place is located on a small square in Viale Vittorio Veneto n. 100, the main road crossing the hamlet, and is a typical pub with many bottles of beer exposed behind the counter, different types of beer glasses, and blackboards listing the various snacks and other food available.
After taking a seat, we reached the counter to get our beer, and the two owners nicely informed us that a special Epiphany celebration was going on, with the possibility to taste some special cured meats and cheeses accompanied by the beers made by Riccardo from the beer bar Montegioco, in the Piedmont Region (Northern Italy), who was visiting the Birroteca as “Brewer of the Year 2012”. Despite our big fat lunch ended just a couple of hours before, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity! It is not so common to go to a place for the first time, be welcomed in such informal and enthusiastic way normally reserved to frequent customers, and find there the Brewer of the Year with his beers and products! Cured meats massaged with beer were simply fantastic, the selection of cheeses absolutely great (in particular, the one flavoured with whisky was astonishing, it will be in my dreams for such a longtime….), and the beers just amazing! We ended our visit to the Birroteca in the best way, with a last beer made with the addition of peaches (a special variety from the Northern Italy where the Brewer of the Year came from), accompanied by a peach in syrup. I had never tasted a beer made with peach before, and I must admit that I was definitely conquered by this excellent product.
The Birroteca has several taps, changing every week, a whole range of bottles, and beers can be accompanied by snacks and food prepared with local, typical, biological products (with a special attention to vegetarians, having tofu and seitan in the menu). The atmosphere is so happy and familiar that it seems to be visiting old friends, and the two owners are very nice and always ready to explain all their products in detail. If Greve was nearer to our village, the Birroteca would become our second house! Being a little far away, it is an excellent reason to intensify our trips to Chianti.
We were certainly lucky to go to the Birroteca and come across the event with the Brewer of the Year, and if you want to monitor the several initiatives , you can visit the website http://www.labirrotecadigreve.it/index.php or the facebook page “La Birroteca di Greve” (both in Italian). Anyway, the wonderful beers and the great place will make every occasion a special one! Opening time: Wednesday to Sunday 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.