Day two and we decided to have a morning walk out to the Trastevere, check out the sights, market and see if we could find Bir & Fud for an evening meal later on. I must note that it isn’t the easiest places to find but we got there in the end. Rome has all the ambience of a very ancient city, but with a modern element built into it. Cobbled stone streets, lots of old buildings, fountains and churches. The bonus of the trip was definitely discovering the fantastic beer shop Gradi Plato almost by accident whilst leaving the Campo di Fiori market. A tiny little shop packed to the brim with mostly new school world beers. Choices were made carefully under the full awareness that whatever was bought would have to be walked back with me. I also got chatting with the bloke behind the counter, he seemed interested in my blog and Mordue brewery.
So with all thoughts on beer and one our core targets Open Baladin nearby the obvious next move was to head for Open Baladin to check out its glorious well decorated stylish bar harbouring a huge range of Italian craft beers. First up for me was the Troll Dau’, a light quenching 3.9% saison style beer that was just the thing considering the hot weather. Helen also liked it, and preferred it to her delicious hop-forward golden ale Troll Dorina. I preferred the Dorina so we made a good swap.
My bets were that Helen would the like heavy sweet nature of the historic recreational brew Baladin Nora and I was right though she seemed to like my Montegioco Open Mind even more so to the point she found it hard to put down. To date one of the most exceptional beers of the holiday its aroma seemed fairly mute with a touch of that brettanomyces character. On the palate however it was fantastic, think soft peaches and cream with a tart berry sourness contrasting it perfectly. Then in the finish a creamy soft honey sweetness comes back followed by more echoes of tart berries. This beer has the balance of being light yet fullish bodied, soft, composed and elegant with a very controlled sourness.
Additionally the 7.5% seemed to speed up the walk to our next destination, lunch at Caffe di Marzio at Piazza de Santa Maria in Trastevere. More specifically this meant the very dry, resinous cascade hop influenced Lariano Extraomnes Blonde with a selection of cheeses before we found ourselves sat by a fountain in the sun eating the most delicious chocolate and hazelnut ice cream I had ever tried. With it not even being evening time yet I had to agree that this day was straight kicking ass.