Step aside, Belgium.
San Francisco's beer geeks have found a new obsession from an unlikely country: Italy.
Italian beer has long been an afterthought--a large bottle of Peroni cracked open to wash down a pizza at a Roman-style trattoria.
But thanks to a new generation of Italian brewmasters, many of whom were inspired by Teo Musso's trailblazing work at Le Baladin brewery in Piedmont, there is an ever-growing variety of distinctive Italian beers from which to choose. Lucky for us, local beverage directors are catching the refreshing wave.
Here's where to drink four of our favorites:
Birra del Borgo Genziana ($13) This heady ale is infused with gentian root and combines a richly elegant mouthfeel with lasting spice. Available at Ristobar.
Piccolo Birrificio Seson ($25) Laced with juniper, coriander and the bitter Italian fruit chinotto, this Liguria-brewed, saison-style beer has notable length and balance. Available at Farina.
Pausa Café Tosta ($17) Potent and dark, this ale is brewed with Costa Rican chocolate and features rich, toasted malt notes. Available at The Monk's Kettle.
Birra del Borgo Gina ($10) This spicy weiss beer has a savory edge, with lasting notes of coriander and sage. Available on tap at La Trappe.
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