Beer lovers in Rome have not one but two craft beer festivals coming up this weekend, with beer festival Fermentazioni moving to a summer slot and changing locations, shifting to the slightly more central Guido Reni District in Flaminio, after propping up the bar in Rome’s Fori Italici the last couple of years.
The other event, also in north Rome, sees the Beer Park Festival return to Parco Nomentano in Montesacro, for a slightly more boutique beer festival focusing on mostly Italian micro-breweries, with a couple of European names thrown in to boot.
Both events are definitely worth patronising and with both running for three days, there’s no reason why you can’t do it all.
Beer festival Fermentazioni
Beer festival Fermentazioni, now in its fifth year, will kick off proceedings on Friday night at the rather gorgeous Guido Reni District, a polyfunctional space which was formerly a barracks, and now hits the spot as an event and concert venue with its post-industrial vibe. With doors opening at 16.00 on the first day, there’s no excuse to not get in early and avoid the queues – even if the Romans are usually distinguished by a laid-back approach to punctuality.
The bar will be staying open until 3am on the first night – then you can do it all again on Saturday from 11am until 3 in the morning, with extra rations for the most merciless beer drinkers on Sunday, this time for an 11am until 1am drinking session.
I like Fermentazioni, and last September’s event was one of the best beer festivals of the year, although I found the location a pain to reach. The new spot is slightly easier to get to, and with Roman weather really on its best behaviour in June, those outdoor spaces at Guido Reni are likely to come into their own.
This year, there are 30 Italian craft breweries taking part, including some of my absolute favourites – Birrificio Pontino, Croce di Malto, Etnia and La Fucina. Look out too for BiRen, Birra dell’Eremo, Birra Perugia, Birradamare Birranova, Birrificio di Cagliari, Birrificio Italiano, Birrone, BrewFist, Brùton, Canediguerra, Eastside, Foglie d’Erba, Hammer, L’Olmaia, La Casa di Cura, Lambrate, Manerba, MC-77, Opperbacco, P3 Brewing, Ritual Lab, Sorrento, Vetra, Birrificio del Doge, and Birrificio del Ducato.
Quality snacks will be provided by Trapizzino – Stefano Callegari’s pizza pockets, stuffed with rich sauces – as well as fried goodies and vegetarian options to suit all palates.
In case you’ve got kids in tow, a creche is provided from 11am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, while there’s even a vintage market and a few merchandising stands to keep you busy between pints.
Entrance costs €10, which bags you a pint glass and a ticket that lasts three days – if you get in before 18.00 on successive days. Tastings will be by token, costing €1 each. You can happily ask for a single token tasting, although count on spending €3 – €5 for a ‘proper’ drink.
Beer Park Festival
Beer Park Festival, in Parco Nomentano, starts on Friday 9 June at 18.00 and carries on until 2 in the morning. Saturday and Sunday doors open 12.00 – 02.00. While entrance is free, you’ll have to pay €3 for your tasting glass at this beer festival, and €2 for each token, worth a 20cl tasting of beer.
There’s lots of great names here too, ranging from brilliant local brewers Agrilab, Eternal City Brewing, Hilltop, Jungle Juice and Rebel’s to northern microbreweries Sant’Andrea, LuckyBrews, Piccolo Birrificio Clandestino and Railroad. There’s even Beer Fellas from the UK, Twigg from Poland, Dougall’s from Spain and Brasserie Dupont from Belgium, just to mix things up a bit, bringing the total on show to 20 craft breweries.
There’ll be a good range of locally produced street food, and it’s really close to the Metro stop B1 Conca d’Oro so you can drink to your heart’s content and still roll home. Cheers!