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Craft and farmhouse beers in Italy are a new way of making Roman 'cervis'. Native malts, hop farming and an infinite aroma variety are all re-establishing beer's bond with the land.

Beer entered Italian culinary language by way of an original production of an ancient drink, already well-known to the Romans who drank 'cervis' after learning how to make it from the Etruscans. Over the last few years, creativity and local bonds once again have led to a new approach to beer - craft beer and from there to farmhouse beer. Small scale producers have cropped up alongside certain historic brands and these are experimenting on an ongoing basis with beer styles using the usual malted barley but also wheat and chestnuts, flavouring beer with a huge range of ingredients (honey, pepper, flowers, spices and herbs), ageing it in wood often in barrique used previously for wine and modelling it on new consumer tastes. Farmhouse beers have grown out of artisan beers, directly from barley itself and spelt farmed in situ and often malted there too. Craft and farmhouse breweries make use of the wealth of Italian waters and have widened beer's flavour horizons into tastings designed to find the perfect beer-food matching. It could now be said that the around 1000 Italian breweries today - whether micro, craft, farmhouse or industrial - have together brewed up a fourth beer style. After Belgian, Anglophone and Latin American beers we now have Italian style beer too.