It was only three days ago now that I spent my last beer of the Rome holiday sat in Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa (aka the Football pub) enjoying the last beer of the holiday. The German smoked Bock Gaenstaller Brau Affumicator sure leaves you with a craving for smoked cheese and bratwurst sausages.
A tiny little pub with football strips and scarves adorning the walls and a beer range largely dominated by European imports it's a good place to stop by for a few beers before or after dinner. This is quite convenient as it's directly opposite Bir & Fud and it's definitely worth mentioning as the last of the big four beer hunting destinations of the holiday.
But now, with it all over, some Rob's Beer Quest Awards...
Best overall beer range: Brasserie 4:20. If you count the bottled beer list that included vintage lambics, US craft limited edition beers and even vintage bottles of Hardy's Ale going back to 1995 costing over 100 euros a bottle you could also say it has the most expensive beer range.
Best place to embrace the Italian beer: Open Baladin. Co owned by Birra Baladin and Del Borgo brewers Open Baladin is no less than a world class palace of worship for Italian beer. Here I discovered many of the most exceptional beers of the holiday. Although the food menu is a little limited to mainly burgers, chicken wings etc it's still exceptional.
Best beer of the holiday: Montegioco Open Mind. Never tried anything quite like it and according to the bar man wine wort was used in its production. Interesting indeed.
Best food: Bir & Fud (but the desserts at bar 4:20 are still hard to beat).
Best beer and food pairing: Del Borgo Re Ale Extra with a pizza at Bir & Fud. Totally effortless. Can't remember the name of the pizza it but it had sausage and potato on it and although any hoppy pale ale would have done the job this one was exceptional.
Best staff: Brasserie 4:20.
Best Place for a session: Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa (it's also marginally the cheapest)
Most decorated bar: Open Baladin..Especially with the giant hanging transparent picture of Teo Musso (Baladin) and Leonardo Di Vincenzo (Birra del Borgo) holding a giant goblet of beer in some kind of garden displayed above the bar.
That's it, happy times. But remember if you do go to Rome to look out of the small armys of little Indian blokes hanging around big tourist attractions trying to sell you umbrellas, roses, hats and the like. Then you have the blokes dressed as Roman soldiers trying to get pictures of you posing with them for 10 euros... And don't give tips, as I said to the wife, "were British, not American and we don't do that unless we think their worth it".