The Beers of Eataly


As I was taking this pic, some dude walked into the right edge of the frame - turns out it was Sam Calagione!!

I’m at Eataly in NYC, and can’t bring myself to care about Italian beer.

How come “Italy” and “beer” don’t go together in my head?

Categories: Uncategorized


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

Join the Madness

Like beer? Like whiskey? Like goofing off? Follow Us!

42 Comments on “The Beers of Eataly”

  1. March 30, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I think the same thing. My own opinion is that of the Italian beers I’ve tried, they’ve seemed very much like the ubiquitous American Light Lager. And that’s fine, just not usually what I’m looking to drink.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      Will see how the Nora I picked up turns out. I’m hopefully it’ll make a light bulb go off for me.

  2. Rob Crozier
    March 30, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    You should give it a try – its definitely different but there are some very interesting things, beer-wise, coming out of Italy. I have tried 2 beers from Birrificio de Baladin who have a majority of their stuff at Eataly. Its more fruity and bubbly than what we are used to here but its worth a try.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      I picked up a Nora by Baladin and I have something from Birra in my fridge from the beer of the month club, so I bet I’ll “get it” soon, Rob!

  3. March 30, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Ha ha. Just ran into Sam Calagione, and he talked me into Picking up a NORA. Small world!

    • Rob Crozier
      March 30, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      Nora is one that I tried…very much like a hopped up and sour sparkling wine (not sure that makes any sense but it was definitely different than anything I’ve ever tasted).

    • Alex
      March 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      When you name-drop, make sure to add “my good friend” before the person’s name. It’s much more impressive that way. 😉

      • Don
        March 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

        Nice Alex! Only Jim would happen to trek over to Eataly for lunch and happen to “bump into” Sam Calgione! He is such a lucky bastard!

      • March 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

        I had to remind him that I was the guy who started the rumor that Brewmasters was cancelled – the one his wife had to deny to one of the Alstrom boys. The one he confirmed at Eataly this morning, BTW.

        Anyway, he seemed like a nice guy. He said we should keep in touch, but I said I know waaay too many people to add another friend to the rolodex. You know how it is. 😉

  4. March 30, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Dude, are you nuts? There’s been a huge revolution going on in Italy with craft beers. Give a few a try!! BTW, if you eat at the bar over by the cafe, they usually have one Dogfish Head on tap.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

      Missed the beer on tap – I was with my boss and driving – two strikes and I was out!

      I picked up a beer recommended by Mr. Calagione, so I’m sure I’ll love it even if it sucks. I’m a fanboi!!

  5. March 30, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    While there’s no reason to get a Peroni, there are some good craft beers coming out of Italy – Le Baladin has some good stuff, and I’m looking forward to their collaboration with Dogfish Head for Eataly. Northern Italy has been having a quiet craft beer boom for a few years now, but not many actually make it here – yet. Nuova Mattina is one I’ve had some great beers from, and I’m looking forward to more. I imagine this will be a useful kick-start for some smaller breweries. This was a handy article on the Italian microbrew mini-boom from a few years back:

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

      Sam was in the beer aisle picking up some Baladin stuff because he was having a lunch with the brewer from there as they worked on their collaboration.

  6. March 30, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    I walked through there two weeks ago. There has been alot of buzz about my people’s beer the past couple years (he is one article: While you are correct that when most people think beer, they do not think Italy, but I say we give them a chance. I’ve been really curious to try a few of their craft beers, but the problem has been the price since most of the well reviewed stuff costs over $15/bottle (most are 750 ML I believe). If my people can do with beer what they do with pasta, cheese, wine, meats, gelato, coffee, etc., then I definitely want to give it a try. I just hope that the Italian craft brews taste better than Perroni and Moretti. That stuff is just awful!

    Eataly is very impressive, but much like Dean & Deluca in the 90s, I can’t help but feel that what they is sell ridiculously overpriced. You can get the same stuff for much less if you head down to the Village and the Lower East Side.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

      I only bought one beer because Sam Calagione recommended it to me and I felt like I couldn’t say “meh” and walk away empty handed. It was damn near $17.00 for a big bottle of Baladin Nora, way more than I can get by home.

      • March 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

        I probably would have done the same thing. Sam Calagione is practically the Godfather of Craft Beer afterall (I can say this because I’m Sicilian… heh). It would be like saying no to Don Corleone!

        There’s a place near home that stocks a wide variety of funky Italian brews. You may have just inspired me to drop some change on a bottle of Paesano Brew.We’ll have to compare notes. 🙂


        • March 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

          Yo, G-LO!

          That’s never been more appropriate!

          Just shared the Nora with the wife and it was really nice, a little sour, and crisp and complex. A very neat beer.

          I think it was brewed by a good fella.

      • March 30, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

        Glad to hear you enjoyed the brew. Sounds very intriguing. All I can say is… Abbondanza!

        Looks like I’ll definitely have to run out and buy some now. There goes the college fund for the boys! 😉

        • March 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

          E$pecially if you buy it a Eataly!

      • March 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

        I doubt I’ll make it to to Eataly anytime soon. I’ll be picking it up here:

        Looks like you got a fair price.

  7. March 30, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Give it a try! I think for most people (in the States anyway) Italian Beer = Perroni + Moretti. There’s got to be more to Italian beer than that.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Agreed I now have a Baladin Nora and something from Birra Somebodyorother to try!

  8. Trevor B
    March 30, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    This attitude is exactly why italy’s microbrew market hasn’t taken off like in other places, If everyone thinks all italian beer is bad, then these businesses can never make it. I say give it a try, they could be making just as good beer as any craft brewer here in the states.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Well leave it to me to have a poor attitude, Trevor! 🙂

  9. johnking82
    March 30, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Bibbity Bobbity Brew?

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      What am I, a clown?!!

  10. March 30, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    That’s like Kentucky Wine. Texas Chicken. Frozen yogurt. I mean they exist but why would one see them out when you can have Bourbon, Steak and Ice Cream.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

      That’s sorta how I have it in my head. Like a French amusement park.

  11. johnking82
    March 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Well I guess that makes my upcoming wedding reception at a Kentucky winery seem pretty shitty then 😦

    • Don
      March 30, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      Really John, what were you thinking? 😉

    • March 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      Better back up the Bourbon Truck… 😉

      • johnking82
        March 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

        well having it at a distillery here is out of the question because they are an hour away and in the country. Does it help the winery is right next to Old Whiskey Row?

    • March 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      There can be some leeway with the Old Whiskey Row thing. Hope there are few bottles of Pappy, Buffalo Trace or Blantons at this Kentucky wedding to go along with the wine.

      • johnking82
        March 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

        I can buy Buffalo Trace easy. Pappy may be bought after the wedding when everyone gets real drunk cus it’s so expensive.

      • March 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

        BT is a nice value whiskey. Hope the wedding goes well. Kentucky winery. Next thing you’ll be telling me they got an Ice Hockey team in Texas…

        • Don
          March 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm #


  12. Mark S.
    March 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    I was just there yesterday, and had the same reaction. Not that I would turn down a Moretti La Rossa if someone offered me one. Just saying nothing grabbed me.

    • March 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      I felt exactly the same way, Mark. I wouldn’t have bought a thing if it weren’t for Mr. Rock Star.

  13. Mark
    March 30, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Word was they were going to open a rooftop beer garden..any sighting?

    • March 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      Yup. Looks like June. Sam was there to meet with the brewer from Le Baladin, his partner in the beer garden. The equipment is in and they should start brewing in a couple of weeks.


  1. Was Brewmasters Killed by “Big Beer”? « Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - March 30, 2011

    […] so mark that on your calendars. He also helped me pick out an Italian beer after I told him about my problem wrapping my head around them.  He suggested a Baladin Nora, which I dutifully […]

  2. Beer Review – Birra Baladin Nora « It's just the booze dancing… - April 13, 2011

    […] friend Jim from the Beer & Whiskey Brothers blog also took a walk through Eataly and had this beer recommended to him by none other than Mr. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: