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Friday, March 8, 2013

Archea Brewery: Florence Italy

Later in my trip to Florence, Italy, we tried to find the Archea Brewery.  My phone was not working properly (I burned out the charger and was having trouble with the touchscreen) so I was having difficulty looking up the location on Google Maps.  After two trips to the wrong places, we finally found the Archea Brewery on Via De'Serragli 44r (there’s no website, but they have a facebook page).  Again, being Americans, were showed up right after they opened at 6:00 pm and were the only patrons in the place.  Fortunately, that allowed us to chat up the bartender, who was quite familiar with the Archea brewery and craft beer in general.  

The establishment is not technically a brewpub as they brew their beer south of Rome, but they did sell two of their own beers on tap, alongside several others and they had an incredible selection of bottled beer.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they sold Bam Noire from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales.  We told the bartender that the Jolly Pumpkin  brewery was only about 10 miles from our house in Michigan.  He did not seem too impressed—perhaps we should have used kilometers instead of miles.  Nevertheless, the beer selection was impressive.  

I had a pint of the Archea Bock beer.  It was a nice, strong bock (8% ABV) with the right amount of malt and bitterness.  My wife wanted the Rogue Hazelnut Stout, but they were out of that excellent Portland, Oregon beer.  Instead she settled for one of the bottled stouts (Old Engine Oil Stout I think it was called).  We sipped and chatted with the bartended as he open up a bag of potato chips for us.  We learned from him that there were over 500 breweries in Italy and that the enjoyment of craft beers and home brewing was on the rise in his country.  He told us of the difficulties he had importing American beers and was impressed with the variety of craft breweries appearing across the US.  He told us about Archea Brewery and their plans to expand the number of selections and to start bottling the beer. 

After all this chatting we were ready for some more beer (OK, I was).  I asked for a pint of the Archea Pils.  Instead, the bartender poured me tasters of the Archea Pils, the Jackie Brown, and the Take my Adweiss.  The Pils was thin and slightly lacking, but the Mikkeller Jackie Brown was divine.  I had a pint of that.  As we finished our beers, more people began to show up and the bartender seemed to know them all.  The Archea brewery taproom in Florence, Italy is a fun beer oasis among the land of the Italian Renaissance and Chianti. I highly recommend it to any craft beer lover.


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