Il Piccolo Birrificio Clandestino - Livorno's first Brewpub
10th January 2011 My very first home in Livorno was in Via Solferino, one of the city’s oldest streets in the San Marco district. In those days number 69 was occupied by the Spada family’s patisserie, but today, the aroma of cakes and pastries has been replaced by that of malt, yeast and hops since the shop has recently been turned into Livorno’s first ever brewpub - il Piccolo Birrificio Clandestino ( a brewpub is a small-scale brewery (or micro-brewery) with a pub and/or eatery attached).
Thanks to the initiative of Stefano Pellegrini, Pierluigi – Piggiù - Chiosi and their business partners Riccardo, Mauro, Luca and Fabio, Livorno now has its very own real ale, brewed and bottled right here on the premises!
The Piccolo Birrificio Clandestino (or PBC for short) is clandestine only by name. The team’s production of four different ales – at a rate of between 200-400 litres a week – is the successful result of Pierluigi’s passion for home-brewing that began in his own living room! His official Livornese mini-brewery is now found in a properly-equipped brewing room behind the pub, where every available corner of the limited space is filled with equipment, and padded out with the brewer's expertise and enthusiasm.
These are the four Livorno-brewed unpasteurised PBC real ales, available in bottles and on draft:
Ri’Appala - an American-style IPA
Santa Giulia – an American ale (named after the patron saint of Livorno!)
Villa Serena – a Belgian ale
Lamarina – a blonde ale
In addition to their own brew, the PBC also stocks a range of bottled beers, many from Belgium. Also on offer is an appetizing menu of pub meals and snacks, and some impressively tasty cakes (made by the Spada family's son!), while even if you only want to sample the beer, there are peanuts to shell and the pub’s own delicious ‘schiacciata’to munch on, made with the residue from the malts used to make the beer!
This is certainly a great addition to Livorno’s nightlife. The beer is great, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and there is a definite Livornese feel! Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 7pm – 1am. See their website for more details.
All this beer talk got me wondering about terminology. Like, what’s the difference between ale and lager? If you’re interested, here are a couple of useful links on the subject:
Wikipedia on beer
Beer Tutor on beer styles