Asset Publisher

BeerAdvisor
Flavours of Umbria
Taste routes
Craft Beer

BeerAdvisor

Unique beers in Umbria

Umbria is a region historically linked to beer production, which has its roots as far back as the 19th century with the birth of important historic breweries, forerunners of those that today make our region an excellence in the brewing sector.

In 2003, with the birth of the CERB - Research Centre for Brewing Excellence, and with the recent creation of the hop industry, Umbria has gained a nationally prominent position in the research and development of beer and its raw materials.

Today in Umbria there are numerous craft breweries and micro-breweries that use local raw materials and excellent territorial products: an identity so local that it seems to allow the introduction of the concept of terroir also for beer.

We suggest an itinerary that will let you discover those products of excellence that, leaving room for the creativity of our brewers, become ingredients and inspirations in the creation of Umbrian beers. A journey that will introduce you to beers created with surprising ingredients and their characteristics.

 

Let's start with the raw materials:

WATER

The main ingredient in beer is water, over 90%!

There are numerous Umbrian breweries that select local mineral waters, many choosing those of Nocera Umbra, a city linked to its renowned springs with unique properties, which contribute to the high quality of a craft beer. In fact, the organoleptic characteristics of each water influence the production and final taste of the beer.

MALT

Malt constitutes the soul of every beer, the essential and determining component that gives flavour, colour and body to the final product. Derived from a process of germination and subsequent drying of cereals such as barley, wheat or more particular ingredients, malt is obtained in specific specialised plants, the malt houses, which play a crucial role in the context of beer production.

In Umbria, the presence of such plants is closely linked to local craft breweries. Their mission is to transform the raw material into malt for the creation of beer, a process that can be carried out directly on regional soil. Local production is often favoured, thus creating a product with an entirely Umbrian identity: from the raw material to the beer.

HOPS

The short supply chain of Umbrian hops creates a direct link between farmers and breweries, promoting sustainability and valorisation of the region. The supply system without intermediaries guarantees transparency, quality and freshness! Elements that contribute to enhancing the results of the brewing processes, promoting authenticity and diversity in the sector.

Marker
Stage 1
The Corno River Valley

CASCIA

The first stage on our itinerary begins in the town of Cascia, a place associated with the production of cicerchia (chickling vetch), roveja and saffron.

The first two are legumes similar to chickpeas and peas respectively, which have also found an important role in brewing and share a history characterised by their rediscovery after a long period of neglect in cultivation.

A similar fate for saffron, one of Umbria's typical products. This spice, which has been mentioned since the 13th century, made the fortune of many Umbrian towns such as Cascia in the past.

Beer with Cicerchia and with Roveja

The particular type of beer brewed with cicerchia is characterised by an extremely enticing aroma in which mineral and caramel notes stand out, giving it a balanced taste.

Roveja, on the other hand, is a completely new ingredient in beer production, which is combined with a blend of several malts to create a perfect mix for a beer with a delicate, light flavour.

Beer with cicerchia pairings: pizza, pasta dishes, soups, white meats and medium mature cheeses.

Beer with roveja pairings: spicy meat dishes, blue cheeses.

Beer with Saffron

The town of Cascia has been the first to start the revival of saffron cultivation since 1999, also contributing to its use to make the aroma of the local blond beverage unmistakable, making its golden hues even more intense.

Beer with saffron pairings: aperitifs, marinated and pickled anchovies.

Read more
Marker
Stage 2
Monti Sibillini National Park

From NORCIA to CASTELLUCCIO DI NORCIA

The second stage takes us around the Monti Sibillini National Park, which extends to the border between Umbria and Marche. The area is characterised by a rich variety of productions used in the brewing process. In these places, beers speak of the territory through the use of local products as materials for distinctive craft productions.

In Castelluccio di Norcia, a small village in the Monti Sibillini National Park at an altitude of about 1,500 metres, the production of lentils has always been a deeply rooted tradition.

In the Norcia area we also find a true protagonist of beer production: spelt, used by many ancient peoples precisely in the production of fermented alcoholic beverages.

A cereal tied to this territory and to nearby Monteleone di Spoleto, the only area in Umbria and one of the few in Italy where the cultivation of spelt has never stopped over the centuries.

Beer with Lentil

Lentil PGI from Castelluccio is a precious ingredient that adds a unique and characteristic blend: it gives the beer a delicate aroma characterised by pleasant leguminous notes, giving it a profile that is both delicate and full-bodied on the palate.

Beer with lentils pairings: red meat, mature cheeses, cured meats.

Beer with spelt and other cereals

It is precisely in Norcia that spelt, together with other cereals cultivated in the area such as buckwheat, also becomes an important player in the brewing process. In particular, Norcia pearl spelt gives the beer special floral and spicy notes that emerge during the evolution of the taste.

Beer with spelt pairings: seasoned cold cuts, main courses of meat, game, seasoned cheeses.

Read more
Marker
Stage 3
Monte Subasio Regional Park

NOCERA UMBRA – city of waters

The next stage takes us to the heart of the Mount Subasio Regional Park, to discover ancient abbeys and villages rich in charm and history.

In Nocera Umbra, the 'City of Waters', other products are cultivated, including hops, and cannabis sativa, the cultivation of which was part of the daily life of families until the 1950s, finding use in the production of textiles and ropes.

With the revival of cultivation in Italy since the 2000s, many farms have also developed the supply chain linked to its use in the food sector.

Beer with Hemp

In Nocera Umbria, in particular, this plant becomes an unexpected ingredient that, together with other top-quality raw materials and precious spring water, gives beers a unique aroma, turning a tasting session into an unforgettable experience.

Beer with hemp pairings: Light foods, fresh fish, vegetables, aperitifs, pizza, fresh or slightly matured cheeses, pulses, red meat, cured meats and matured cheeses.

Read more
Marker
Stage 4
Between Villages and Hills

From MONTEFALCO to TORGIANO via Gualdo Cattaneo

After leaving the lands bathed by the Topino river, we head towards the Umbrian territory linked to viticulture. We land in Montefalco, where vine cultivation and wine production date back to Roman times, and even Pliny the Elder mentions Itriola grapes produced in these lands. In the municipality of Sagrantino, the history of vine cultivation and wine production is well documented, especially from the 10th century onwards, as can be seen in the statutes of Montefalco, which record the punishments reserved for those who cause damage to their own vines or the vines of others.

The important cultivation of vines extends throughout the hills between Montefalco and Torgiano, where we can also find a thematic museum on wine. Such a distinctive production has also created an unconventional marriage with the brewing industry in recent years.

Beer with grape must

These beers, called Italian Grape Ale, are placed in the Fruit Beer category and are described as refreshing or more complex depending on the type of grape used. In Umbria we find some made with grape must from Sagrantino di Montefalco, with must from Umbrian white grapes, and must from Moscato grapes, ingredients that not only trigger the fermentation of the beer spontaneously and without yeast, but also create unique flavours for a fresh and fragrant taste.

Read more
Marker
Stage 5
The City of Chocolate

PERUGIA

From the lands of Sagrantino, our itinerary takes us to the capital city, Perugia, famous for the production of something capable of winning the hearts and palates of all: chocolate.

Since the early 20th century, chocolate has become one of the distinctive symbols of Perugia, thanks above all to the far-sighted idea of a woman entrepreneur who baptised her confectionery company with a name that recalled her city. Thus was born Perugina, which, between a Bacio and a bar of Luisa chocolate, has conquered the palates of Italians.

From films starring famous actors to museums and schools, to the biggest chocolate event in Europe, Eurochocolate, this delicious ingredient has become a true tourist driver for the city.

Beer with cocoa

From combinations that seem impossible even the basic element of chocolate, cocoa, has become an ingredient used in the production of some craft beers, making them extraordinary and soft on the palate.

Read more
Marker
Stage 6
Lands of Upper Umbria

From Città di Castello to Umbertide via Montone

Leaving Perugia, our journey continues under the quiet of the woods in the Upper Umbria region. Between the towns of Montone and Umbertide, where events dedicated to the products of the woods and undergrowth are celebrated every year, it is now possible to explore these treasures also thanks to their use as special ingredients in the region's craft beers.

Beer with Chestnut, Chestnut and Honey, Laurel and Honey

A special ingredient used in typically Italian beers is the chestnut, which gives the beer an enveloping texture due to its rich starch content. The result? A beer that captures the essence of the autumn season, with notes of chestnut and honey.

It is precisely the honey, which we find in combination with chestnuts or bay leaves or on its own, that adds a touch of sweetness and unique aromas. Its high degree of fermentability makes it an important element that contributes a distinct aromaticity and creates beers with an irresistible alcoholic imprint.

Beer with chestnuts and honey pairings: biscuits, cakes, or dry desserts.

Beer with honey and laurel pairings: with an important meat course, cold meats, mature cheeses and special pizzas.

Beer with honey pairings: main courses of meat, cold meats, cheeses.

Read more
Marker
Stage 7
In the TRASIMENO LAKE Regional Park

From Castiglione del Lago to Tuoro

From the shade of the woods, we now head towards Lake Trasimeno to discover one of Umbria's most extraordinary legumes: the fagiolina del Lago Trasimeno bean, sometimes also called the “fagiolo dall'occhio”. This legume, known since ancient times, is the only bean that was cultivated in Europe before the introduction of American varieties.

Like other local products, the Trasimeno bean, which recently obtained a Slow Food Presidium, risked extinction after World War II, but fortunately made a triumphant comeback. Initially it was only sold in a grocery store in the square of Perugia, and was particularly popular in its white form without eye, called “risina del lago”.

Beer with Fagiolina del Lago Trasimeno

The history of this local product is brought to life through an innovative interpretation, becoming a special ingredient that gives a balanced taste to craft beers. These creations are inspired by the territory where the fagiolina bean is cultivated, capturing the distinctive and characteristic notes of this Umbrian legume.

Beer with fagiolina del Lago Trasimeno pairings: fish, white meats and medium-aged cheeses.

Read more