There was an almost eery hush that fell over Rome last weekend.
The tension was palpable and we could practically hear the pitter patter of Romanista hearts, as soon as the news that Inter had tied with Fiorentina hit the waves. Could it be? AS Roma actually had a chance of snatching the Number One (shh! don’t jinx it!) spot in Serie A of the Italian league.
We convened at a dark, musty bar in Trastevere on Sunday afternoon, clutching glasses of chilled beer, our eyes glued to the flat screen. A grey-haired bearded man jogged in place, channeling his inner giocatore-di-calcio, my friend GP donned his Roma jersey and scarf, screaming obscenities, and an older gentleman stood outside the bar, watching the game through a foggy window, literally biting his knuckles in anticipation.
We all know how the game ended. A spectacular 2-1 win for Roma. The joy, oh the joy.
After the game, we trooped over to a pizza a taglio joint on Via della Scala, notorious for its greasy pizzas but equally famous for the cheapest Menabreas you will find in Trastevere. As Italian beers go, and not counting the beautiful and delicious artisanal or organic beers that have exploded on the market recently, Menabrea ranks high in my list of “Tina’s Favorite Lagers”.
Located in Biella, Piedmont, this Italian brewing company produces approximately 100 thousand hectolitres of beer a year, most of which ends up in my belly. They have continued to win prestigious awards throughout their century and a half of beer production, and with good reason. A classic, an oldy, but definitely a goody.
This inconspicuous little joint boasts a menu which pretty much speaks for itself. Do people go there for the cheese grease? Do we even care that the pizza is less than stellar? I think not. It’s a sanctuary for Roma lovers and beer lovers. And who dares to enter wearing sky-blue and white do at their own risk. It’s a strictly red-and-orange kind of watering hole.
Birra Menabrea: http://www.birramenabrea.it/