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The Slow Food movement, with its long list of disciples, has added another group: Italian craft brewers, who are using local fruits and spices, as well as unexpected ingredients like tea or myrrh (instead of hops in some brews). Star Italian brewmasters Teo Musso of Le Baladin and Leonardo di Vincenzo of Birra del Borgo poured their food-friendly beers this week at a dinner at NYC's Convivio (home to a fantastic all-Italian beer list). They also shared their exciting plans for Open Baladin, an Italy-exclusive brew pub and market that will be part of Eataly, the Italian supermarket that Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali's B&B Hospitality Group are bringing to NYC's Flatiron neighborhood. Here are a couple of my favorite beers from the dinner that are now available in the U.S.:
Birra del Borgo Te Ale: This light blend of pilsner malt and wheat malt uses fermented tea leaves, which provide acidity and bitterness.
Le Baladin Al-iksir Ale: A high alcohol content (10%) gives this effervescent beer a dry finish that's balanced by the almond, tropical fruit and malty flavors.
For just some of the restaurants and markets carrying these beers in your area, check out the state-by-state list on the importer's site.-Christine Quinlan