Italy was laden with medals at European Beer Star, an event held at the Drinktec in Munich, Germany. Italian Beers were awarded a total of thirteen medals, seven of which were gold. The international competition, which has reached its tenth edition, is one of the most important in the world, pitting 1,512 beers from 40 nations against each other.
With two golds and a bronze, the Italian brewer with the most official praise was the Birrificio del Ducato located in the tiny hamlet of Roncole Verdi in the province of Parma. The other golden discs for Italy’s beers went to Fabbrica della Birra Tenute Collesi, Doppio Malto Brewing Company, The Perugia Beer Factory, Bolzano’s Batzen Bräu, and giant Peroni.
The foundation of this huge success can be traced to the Italian micro-brewery movement, which has seen its ranks increase to some 400 producers in the country, and quickly become less of a niche only for connoisseurs. According to data from the industry association Assobirra, hand-crafted beers may only account for a small percentage of production, but are running with a group of Italian specialty import products with growth of 10%-20% per year.