quick not crisp

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I've been taking my beer reviewing task pretty seriously, far more seriously it seems than the Italians have been taking their football preparation. With my main aim being to write my Beer World Cup review while my team are still in the tournament, and Italy currently standing aside to make way for Slovakia in the last 16, there's no more time to faff around. So here goes.

Initial thoughts were that the obvious Italian beers are Peroni and Moretti. Initial text-based research suggests that the obvious adjective to describe Italian beer is 'crisp'. New research topic suggests itself: has anybody ever written a sentence containing the words 'Italian' and 'beer' that does not include the word 'crisp'? What does 'crisp' mean exactly? Essentially, it means they're not going for big, complex flavours. They're going for thirst-quenching. But they're also aiming not to be water.

Empirical research involved me trying five beers:

  • Peroni Nastro Azzurro
  • Peroni Gran Riserva
  • Moretti draught
  • Moretti bottle
  • 'Marks and Spencer's Italian Lager Made With Fresh Spring Water From The Italian Alps' (honestly)

Having tried them all, the one I decided to review was the bottle of Moretti. I ruled out Nastro Azzurro as it's so well known. I ruled out Gran Riserva because it doesn't seem right as an Italian beer representative. I like its darker, chocolatesque flavours but it's not an organic flavour and quite untypical for Italian beer. Moretti draught was ruled out because I wasn't in competition when I drank it, and don't really remember much. And while I really appreciate Ohna sourcing the Marks and Spencer's bottle for me, I can't really review it because I don't know what it is (it was pretty good, actually, light and wet and not identifiable as one of the others in a different label). So the winner is Moretti in a bottle.

What to say? It's got a cute wee bottle with a guy in a hat on it. It's cheap and cheerful. It's not as 'crisp' as Nastro Azzurro. It's 4.4% as opposed to Nastro Azzurro's 5.1%. But it seems to me to do exactly what it's designed for. It's an uncomplicated way to give yourself something wet on a hot day. It's smooth and clear. You could say 'watery' but then water is a pretty good when you're thirsty. But it's not just a bland, insipid water substitute. There's just a little bit of bite to give it an edge as it disappears down your throat.

So there you go: something slightly more interesting than a glass of water to drink on a hot day. And I do mean that as a good thing. How do you think 'not quite water' would work as an advertising slogan?


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