Straight off the plane and into the car to drive to Biella. Our first stop was at the brewery to go and find out what goes into making a Menabrea
I mentioned in my last blog about my trip to Italy that I wanted to do a separate post about Menabrea beer. After landing in Italy we headed straight to the brewery to learn about the brand and meet Franco Thedy, owner of Menabrea. Before this trip my Italian beer knowledge stretched as far as Peroni, but it turns out Menabrea is actually quite well known, with pretty much every Italian in the north of Italy drinking Menabrea.
After an espresso pick me up following the early flight, we walked around the brewery seeing the production from start to finish. It didn’t have much of a factory feel to it at all, from the wooden beamed ceilings and the location of it being right at the foot of the alps in Biella.
They’ve never moved since they started back in 1864, but simply getting more innovative with how they use the space they have. A lot of the tanks that contained all the beer are actually kept underground.
I knew this trip was going to be about beer, but I don’t think I was quite ready for my first beer at 10am. Franco grabbed a few bottles straight off the production line and honestly it was one of the nicest beers I’ve had. I’m not a massive beer drinker and don’t claim to know everything about beer, but it didn’t have a bloating feeling and was rather light. It even had a sweet element to it that I thought was really nice, so nice in fact, that I had a second soon after my first.
Personally, what reassures me that Menabrea is a good beer is that it’s family owned, now in its fifth generation of being in the family. It has also kept things traditional. Again, I’m no expert, but at every stage there was a body there to do the manual work rather than machines where possible. And, where better to get its water then directly from the Alps?
Family owned, small home-like factory and high-quality ingredients for the beer. They’re now creeping into the UK market, which is great, and we were told that it’s finding its way into London restaurants. Fantastico! I’m hoping my next Menabrea beer won’t be too far around the corner.