Fancy some olives with your beer? Menabrea hope so

Picture:  Andy Buchanan
Picture: Andy Buchanan
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THERE was a time, in the not too distant past, that a packet of peanuts and a pint of heavy was the standard order in pubs across Scotland with the slightly more adventurous beer options locked away in the bar fridge gathering dust.

Today’s craft beer explosion and influx of brews from across the continent has transformed our options at the taps while pub food, a rarity before the smoking ban, is now widely available.

Picture:  Andy Buchanan

Picture: Andy Buchanan

Our attitudes to beer and food has changed which has in turn opened the door for imports like Menabrea whose makers hope that we’ll soon be sipping their offering with a range of apertivos.

Menabrea, available in draft and bottle, is a punchy little number. Dull in colour and medium-bodied it is both mellow and refreshing with a welcome citrus bite to clear the palette.

The Italian firm offer Menabrea Bionda in draught - a 4.8% ABV pale lager - and Menabrea Ambrata at 5.0% ABV in 330ml bottles.

Menabrea is commonly paired with aperitivo in Italy - small snack dishes commonly served with drinks in Italy, such as olives and nuts – and as part of the beer’s launch in Scotland, outlets will be provided with produce and custom Menabrea aperitivo dishes to serve with each order.

There will also be a number of pop-up events around the country over the coming months featuring experiential Italian cooking and beer pairing.

Menabrea, which is Italy’s oldest continuously operating brewery, is located in Piedmont town of Biella, in the foothills of the Italian Alps. A family owned business, Franco Thedy, the 5th generation member of the family to run the business, ensures Menabrea combines over 160 years of high quality, traditional brewing traditions with modern technology to produce its multi-award winning beer.

Franco Thedy said: “Menabrea has been a success story in Italy since 1846 and I’m confident that C&C Group will secure a significant following in Scotland for our authentic, well-crafted beer.”

“In Italy our beer has strong links to food, underlined by the fact that it’s used in the manufacture of Sbirro, a cow’s milk cheese made from Piedmont herds by our friends at Botalla Formaggio, here in Biella, and exported all over the world.”

“Scotland is an important market for Menabrea so I’m pleased that the C&C Group will help us further establish our brand here.”