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Best Italian Beers - Most Popular Italian Beer Brands

Norah Clark
Different Italian beers getting a cheers!

The most popular and best Italian beers are Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Cortigiana, Birra Moretti, Quarta Runa, Peroni Gran Riserva, to Birra Messina.

Italy is renowned for its excellent wines, which usually means that its fantastic beers can slip under the radar very easily. Instead of immediately thinking about German or Belgian beers, try some of the best and most popular, readily available Italian beer brands. You’ll be amazed by their depth of flavor.

In the last couple of years, beer production in Italy has gone to new heights and there are many tasty beers that are not just sought-after in Italy however, but worldwide.

Italian Beers Guide

To point you in the right direction, there I have chosen the 11 best and most popular Italian beers and they are all worth trying!

Italian beers cheers. Credit: Unsplash
Italian beers cheers. Credit: Unsplash

1. Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Bottle and glass full of Peroni Nastro Azzurro.
Bottle and glass full of Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Peroni is renowned all over the world. It is thought to be among the oldest breweries in Italy--brewing for more than 175 years.

The most popular and best Peroni beer is Peroni Nastro Azzurro. The beer is refreshing and has a distinctive flavor, with notes of citrus; it sports a light gold color like Prosecco and is 5.1% alcohol.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro has been produced since 1963 and is currently being rebranded. The emphasis is on its authentic Italian tradition.

Its new design features exquisite curves and Giovanni Peroni's signature is visible inside the bottle.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is considered one of the premium beers throughout the world, particularly in the United Kingdom.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro is certainly a must-try beer!

What Is The Difference Between Peroni Red And Peroni Nastro Azzuro?

Peroni Red is a slightly darker-colored beverage compared to Peroni Nastro Azzuro.

It has more distinct hops and malty characteristics and is packed with fruity and floral notes, providing a smooth, soft, silky, and refreshing finish.

2. Birra Moretti

Bottle and glass full of Birra Moretti.
Bottle and glass full of Birra Moretti.

Moretti beer has gone through a change of ownership recently, and the brewery has been released as an Italian brand.

In 1996 Moretti was purchased by Heineken, the Dutch company. However Heineken’s Italians were unhappy about their beloved Moretti being owned by the Dutch beer company, and they urged the Antitrust Authority to get involved.

In the wake of the disgruntled Italian market, Heineken had to buy the brand name of Birra Moretti and return it in the name of Birra Castello, an Italian brand.

Moretti is still produced by Heineken in its plant in Milan, however, it is part of Birra Castello.

All things considered, Moretti is known as beverage perfect for a hot day in the Italian sun. It is a genuine high-quality lager made with passion, using only the finest ingredients.

A specially formulated mix of hops makes a well-balanced, fruity, hoppy lager. It is rounded off by moderate bitterness, and a fresh, clean aftertaste.

It has an alcohol content of 4.6%. The main ingredients are malted barley, water and malted hop extract, and maize.

Birra Moretti is great paired with seafood and pasta. The Tuscany hills will beckon when you taste this beer.

Throughout Europe and especially in the United Kingdom, Birra Moretti is the second most popular Italian beer brand, just behind Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Read also: How Long Does Beer Last In The Fridge?

3. Cortigiana Beer

Bottle and glass full of Cortigiana Beer.
Bottle and glass full of Cortigiana Beer.

Cortigiana is a rich, deep beer bursting with the rich aroma of cinnamon and vanilla essence. It is a sour beer that, despite its intensity, is perfect for sipping in the summer heat.

Produced in the Borgorose region of Italy Cortigiana, it's regarded as an medium-bodied ale and has a 5% alcohol.

Cortigiana is relatively inexpensive for such a good beer.

If you are drinking Cortigiana, It is best served in a glass with a tulip. However, many enjoy drinking it straight from the bottle.

Cortigiana is made using the customary barley malt, but, it also contains buckwheat and einkorn, as well as a small quantity of oats.

Along with cinnamon and vanilla essence, orange peel, ginger, and coriander are included to provide the ale with a refreshing aromatic,  smooth flavor that is rich and delicious.

This is a not-to-be-missed beer while touring Italy.

4. Quarta Runa

Bottle and glass full of Quarta Runa.
Bottle and glass full of Quarta Runa.

Quarta Runa is one of the beers produced at the microbrewery Birra Montegioco located in Piedmont, Italy. The microbrewery is famous for its excellent range of special beers that have exploded onto international markets, and are consumed worldwide.

The microbrewery produces a variety of barley-based sour ales as well as wines and all of them are uniquely packaged.

Each bottle is wrapped in bright colored paper which is then shaped into a seal. The various types of ales and beers are wrapped in different hues of paper.

This Quarta Runa beer from this line is definitely one you should test. It contains 7.7% alcohol and is made with the flavor of local baked peaches. 

Other baked fruits and spices are evident.

The notes of baked fruits and the spices present in the beer create the perfect companion to a desserts and cheeses.

If you are looking to buy Quarta Runa, make sure you try the yellow-wrapped bottle.

Read also: How Long Does It Take Beer To Freeze?

5. Peroni Gran Riserva

Peroni Gran Riserva
Bottle and glass full of Peroni Gran Riserva. Some nibbles too!

The Peroni Gran Riserva was released in 1996, named after the brewery on its 15th anniversary

Peroni and Gran Riserva are both produced in Rome. The wine is made with Saaz hops along with Prisma Barley malt. It is then left to ferment for eight weeks until ready to drink.

The beer is sweet and has a mild acidic tinge, but leaves some lingering caramel and toffee notes.

The beer has an alcohol level of 5.1%.

The beer is gaining recognition throughout the world due to it's elegant wine-shaped bottle. 

The Peroni Gran Riserva comes in three varieties: Gran Riserva RossaGran Riserva Puro Malto is a light beer and Gran Riserva Doppio Malto, a darker-colored lager.

6. Menabrea Beer

Bottle and glass of Menabrea Beer.
Bottle and glass of Menabrea Beer.

Menabrea is an old and reliable beer brand located in Biella, Piedmont, with the brewery situated in the historic headquarters.

The Menabrea brewery makes a variety of beers. The two most sought-after are the Bionda Lager and the Amber Ambrata.

Bionda Lager Bionda Lager is matured gently in a temperature found in cave cellars, gives it a great flavor. The Bionda has an alcohol level of 4.8%, ideal for light drinking.

It is well-balanced with citrus and floral notes. The after taste is slightly bitter all combining to create a refined and consistent taste.

It features an outstanding head due to high quality ingredients and the process of maturation.

Also from the same brewery is the Ambrata, a 5% alcohol content beer. it’s a full-bodied, balanced amber beer. It has a mildly bitter taste that is refreshing and enjoyable.

The two beers mentioned are sophisticated and are perfect for beer lovers who appreciate a fine taste!

Read also: Cooking With Beer – A Chef’s Guide

7. Messina Beer

Bottle and glass of Messina Beer.
Bottle and glass of Messina Beer.

Messina Beer is a well-known beer brewed in Sicily. Birra Messina is brewed with attention to detail and dedication and is made with the finest ingredients sourced by master brewers.

Messina is a lager and contains an alcohol level of 4.7%. It’s a beautiful gold color that truly conveys the atmosphere and culture of Sicily.

You can smell the hops and malts in this refreshing and dry drink.

From the same stable, Birra Messina Cristalli di Sale is a specially-brewed brew that uniquely contains Sicilian salt crystals.

Birra Messina Cristalli Di Sale is an unfiltered lager with 5% alcohol content. It is an opalescent, golden beer with a dense and long-lasting foam.

The flavor of Cristalli Di Sale is delightful It is smooth and fine. It is perfectly balanced. It has a fruity and floral scent and is slightly less dry than the standard Birra Messina.

Messina was was also purchased by the Heineken S.p.A group, however, it’s still produced in Sicily and is a tribute to its origins.

8. Angelo Poretti

Bottle and glass of Angelo Poretti Beer.
Bottle and glass of Angelo Poretti Beer.

Angelo Poretti Brewery is an Italian brewery that is part of the Danish group, Carlsberg.

However, the beers are made in the Italian style and are packed with amazing ingredients that help them stand out from other Italian beers.

There’s a broad selection of beers under the name Angelo Poretti, however, the two most well-known are the Birrificio Angelo Poretti 3 Luppoli and the Birrificio Angelo Poretti 5 Luppoli Bock Chiara.

The 3 Luppoli from the Birrificio Angelo Poretti is a refreshing lager with thirst-quenching characteristics that make it an ideal beer to sip on during the summer months, or as a daily accompaniment to your meals.

It has a light body and moderate bitterness, making it an excellent beer to enjoy for those who don’t need any alcohol that is too heavy or overwhelming.

This Pilsner goes well with Mediterranean cuisine and has an alcohol level of 4.8%.

The Birrificio Angelo Poretti 5 Bock Chiara has plenty of body and personality.

With an alcohol level of 6.5%, the beer has a sharp flavor and a smooth body that is enhanced by a mildly bitter taste. It’s most enjoyable with intensely-flavored appetizers like aged cheeses and cold cuts.

Although Birrificio Angelo Poretti was purchased from the Carlsberg Group, the brewery dates to 1877, when it was established at Induno, Olona.

It is still a tribute to the recipes of the past and the ingredients that are used.

Read also: What Is Red Horse Beer? The Philippines’ Most Popular Beer

9. Forst

Bottle and glass of Forst Beer. 
Bottle and glass of Forst Beer.

Forst, in spite of it's German-sounding name is an Italian beer made in the bilingual Bolzano region. Located in the foothills of the Italian Alps, the brewery uses naturally-sourced spring water.

The brewery was established around 1857, by two businessmen. 

The standard of ingredients allegedly above average and that's why it is among the most well-known breweries in Italy.

When you’re trying the Forst beer, your choices are Forst Premium Lager and Forst Sixtus Doppelbock. Both are premium beers that have distinct tastes.

The Forst Premium Lager, a lager with alcohol levels of 4.8%, has a wonderful balance of malts and hops and is characterized by a distinctive aroma, and a long-lasting head.

It is a wonderful session beer with a subtle flavor and notes.

Another Forst beer worth trying can be the Sixtus Doppelbock. It's content is 6.5%, making it a slightly heady, malty drink. It is a warm beer with flavors of toasted spices, roasted malts and caramel. It's dense and long-lasting head is a sight to behold. 

10. Ichnusa

Bottle and glass of Ichnusa Beer.
Bottle and glass of Ichnusa Beer.

Ichnusa, developed in 1912 by Amsicora C. Capra, a winemaker. It's another beer produced by Heineken, but is made in Sardinia. It retains the ingredients and recipe of the region. The brewery had to close due to World War 2, but reopened in 1945.

The alcohol content in Ichnusa stands at 4.7%, making it pleasant and easy to consume. It has a well-balanced bitter aftertaste.

Ichnusa Lager Beer is light colored with a pleasant scent. It’s moderately refreshing and has a firm foam.

11. Lambrate Ghisa

Bottle and glass of Lambrate Ghisa Beer.
Bottle and glass of Lambrate Ghisa Beer.

Lambrate Ghisa can be described as a pleasantly bitter yet refreshing beer that has a dark, rich flavor.

The beer has an alcohol level of 5% and the appearance of a cappuccino-colored, thick foam. It’s a smokey stout-like beer flavored with aromas of dried fruit such as licorice and cocoa. Your first sip will have you wanting more. 

Although the beer is rich and dark, it has delicate flavors, which complement the subtle bitterness created by toasting malts.

The beer is produced in Birrificio Lambrate which is a brewery that is craft-based in the Lambrate district in Milan. It’s fairly young, founded in 1996, however, it has become one of the nation’s most sought-after stouts ever since.

Treat yourself to this delicious stout.


What is the most popular beer in Italy?

As of today, Peroni Nastro Azzurro is the best-selling Italian beer in the world, exported to all continents and over 70 countries. The beer brand has been the subject of a recent restyling, aimed essentially at highlighting the Italian character of the product and underlining its belonging to the large Peroni beer family.

What type of beer do they regularly drink in Italy?

The country is dominated by two huge beer brands, Peroni and Moretti.

What is the local beer in Italy?

Famous Italian Beer Peroni and Moretti are the two most well-known Italian beer brands.

Is Stella Artois an Italian beer?

No, Stella Artois isn’t an Italian beer. It is a Belgian beer that was first produced in Leuven, Belgium.

What kind of beer is Peroni?

Peroni Nastro Azzuro is a lager-style beer. It is a refreshing beer with many flavors and an Italian design. It is one of the most loved beers available in Italy. 

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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