Sometimes We Just Stay Home and Drink #20: Centokiodi Sveltina Cream Ale, Centokiodi, Bologna, Italy
Date: June 19 , 2019 —
The Story— This isn’t the top rated cream ale, but it is one of the relatively few cream ales that scored above average for a craft beer. It’s well into the top 15% of the more than 100 cream ales we’ve tasted. Perhaps even more remarkable than the fact that it proves a good cream ale is possible, is the fact that it’s a relatively obscure Italian brewery that’s doing the proving.
The brewery, as far as we know, only brews four brands of beer. We believe they do not have a tap room, but we know they have a sense of humor. The legend under the Sveltina translates to “leaves a bitter taste in your mouth just like a quickie.” (We’re sure they’re referring to a short and quick tasting sampler. We’ll, they might be.) Even better is the legend under their Eroica: “Anyone can grab a tiger by the balls, but only a hero continues to tighten his grip.”
We tasted this beer–and several other hard-to-find Italian beers– at the Rahzani restaurant and bar in Bologna. It’s known for the pizza, and deservedly so, but the ever-changing beer lineup makes the slightly challenging (but quite safe) hunt through an industrial neighborhood worth the effort. You can take a taxi, but don’t expect him to find it easily either.
The Beer– Would that all cream ales had this much flavor, but despite their advertising slogan there’s little of a hop slam bitterness to it. Lots of malt with a tangy orange peel finish. Chalky yeast but still orangey into the aftertaste.
Value — good to very good. Craft breweries in Italy are taxed at higher rates than the big guys. (And you thought lobbyists were out of control in the US.) About eight bucks for a half liter isn’t much more than you’d pay in most craft bars in America.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
Sometimes we just stay home and drink beer — hundreds of them over the course of the year as we hunt for a new favorite. The searching for the beer of the day never stops, so for a while, there will be fewer travel-oriented posts and just some to-the-point descriptions of beers we’ve enjoyed.
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”