When Italian beer drinkers head out to eat and drink, they may ask their waiter for a Peroni. And they won’t be surprised to be asked: “Sure – but which Peroni do you want?”
While international consumers will be most familiar with the blue-ribboned, globally-available beer Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Italians get to pick from a larger (and growing) family of products bearing the Peroni name.
The first Peroni was brewed back in 1846 and Italians can now choose from six variations within the Peroni family, but which would you pick? Well, it depends on what you’ve got planned.
Statistically speaking, you’re probably about to eat. There’s nothing the Italians like more than pairing a beer with a meal. Seventy-five per cent of all beer consumed in Italy is enjoyed at the same time as food – and more than half of that food is likely to be pizza.
Allow your taste buds to consider this: a dangerously-thin slice of scorched, stone-baked pizza crust, smothered with sweet, tangy San Marzano tomato sauce, topped with melting pools of creamy mozzarella di bufala all washed down with a long sip of cold, refreshing Nastro Azzurro …the statistics aren’t lying about the perfection of this partnership.
This historic and deeply entrenched association between beer and food has helped Birra Peroni, our Rome-based brewery responsible for the Peroni family, to launch new products. In fact, Birra Peroni’s mission statement sees the company aiming to be ‘the beer on every Italian table’ – inviting its customers to pull up a chair and celebrate together with a Peroni.
They might have got the food pairing wrapped up – but what happens when gatherings take place later at night, or if you’re celebrating something special?
For the latter, Birra Peroni recommends its top-end range, Peroni Gran Riserva. The three beers in this collection - Peroni Rossa (red), Peroni Doppio Malto (double malt) and Peroni Puro Malto (pure malt) - are produced with elegant occasions in mind and packaged accordingly in taller bottles, more reminiscent of those used for wine.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Peroni Forte is slightly stronger and hits the right notes for a late-night, post-dinner crowd as an alternative to spirits.
Just starting your evening, or enjoying a post-riposo sunny afternoon with friends? You could opt for Peroni Chill Lemon. Brewed using 100% Italian malt and 100% Italian lemons, it’s based on a European radler, in which fruit flavours are combined with beer for a refreshing twist.
And if you’re joining the Italians by sitting down to tuck into a quick, everyday meal then go for the hugely popular red-labelled Italian Peroni; a pale local brew that’s one of the biggest selling beers in Italy.
One thing’s for certain: there’s a member of the Peroni family to pair with most occasions. So next time you find yourself feasting in Florence, celebrating in Calabria or unwinding in Umbria, you’ll know which Peroni’s perfect for you.