Monday, June 11, 2012

Nastro Azzurro and Drinking Local (Even Mass Produced)

More Italian beer! This one is another mass produced brew. Nastro Azzurro is made by Peroni, probably the most recognizable name in Italian beer apart from Moretti. Even though I didn't go in with very high hopes, I will always try the local beers because transportation of beer and the atmosphere in which you drink them will certainly change the flavor. This isn't just a blind assumption. Carlsberg is better in Denmark, Budweiser is better in St. Louis, and the goal is to find out if the Italian beers are better in Italy.

Background: We drank this just outside of the Duomo in Florence. It was accompanied by a focaccia with bufala mozzarella and salami. All in all, it was a delicious lunch. Don't worry, I didn't drink all of the carafe. 

Nastro Azzurro is another European pale lager. It is 5.1% ABV, so it makes for a reasonable vacation lunchtime beer. It is crisp, with a hint of grainy sweetness. The hops barely show up, but it you are familiar with hops, you can pick up a subtle hop nose. The hops are almost completely missing from the taste. This was a perfect beer for quenching my thirst after a morning of walking all over Florence. I doubt you are going to be overwhelmed by the flavor, but it went down damn smooth at the time. 

I would suggest that if you want to try this beer, get it on tap, rather than in a bottle. This is because Peroni uses green bottles, which allow in UV light, skunking the beer. With a beer that is this light in flavor, the skunk can be overwhelming and seriously hamper your drinking experience. 

Glassware: Pilsner Glass, Mug

Synonym Beer: Kronenbourg 1664

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