Tag Archives: beer

Travel Tips: Drink up in Umbria!

Its’ Umbria – Drink Up!  Traveling in Italy the wine flows as easily as water at some tables. And although Italian wines from all regions have an established reputation, we’re pretty partial to those that come from Umbria. And it’s hard not to be. Once you’ve traveled there and toured some of the vineyards, you’d be loyal to them as well! Here’s what Marco Palermi had to say when we asked him about what to taste in Umbria:

Ah! The wine and beer! Umbria is unique for its small family-run farms, and extensive biodynamic and organic wineries. There are many areas for wine production in Umbria, including Orvieto, Montefaclo Torniamo and Assisi, just to name a few.

The most grown type of grape is the Sangiovese, and Umbria is the center of production for this type. The Trebbiano and Grechetto grapes make delicious white wines, but when talking about wine in Umbria, one cannot miss the Sagrantino from Montefalco. This jewel in the crown of Umbria is the most delicious and prized wine in Umbria, and will change how you view red wine!

Bill and Suzy, your hosts at our vacation rental house, are both wine lovers and wine aficionados. Not only will they make sure you get to sample the full range that Umbria has to offer, but they are a wealth of information, and can answer any questions you may have about the wines – including how best to drink them!

But wine isn’t the only thing to indulge on in Umbria. Umbrian beers have grown in popularity recently, drawing from the monastic traditions of brewing that were popular in Umbrian history. San Biagio beer was one of the first breweries I’d heard of and tried, and they are definitely worth a taste. Lots of breweries thrive near Colifiorito, which is famous for its pure water springs, that enhance the taste and production of beers in the area.

In fact, actual Benedictine Monks brew beer up in the monastery in Norcia, and it is possible to buy that beer all year long, or plan a trip around August 15th, when they open the monastery to the public. Now if Norcia is too far away for authentic monk beer, definitely make a stop at Casa Norcia in Santa Maria Degli Angeli in via de Gasperi and try some a little closer to the villa. Other great breweries to try are: Birra Perugia, Khan beer, Birra Dell’Eremo (a close stop between Mt. Subasio and the villa), and Flea Beer.

The popularity of beer in Umbria has definitely gone up recently, and with good reason, the beers are truly delicious, and excellent paired with a slice of pizza or a torta al testo!

Ah! The wine and beer! Read more

Its' Umbria - Drink Up!  Traveling in Italy the wine flows as easily as water at some tables. And although Italian wines ...

Fifty Pounds of Cheese

On Wednesday March 30, passport in hand, our intrepid MELTers traveled through the raclette rivers and fondue forests to visit each of our five amazing cheese stations. First stop? The accompaniments table! A veritable cornucopia of mouthwatering treats from homemade pretzel bites to Gordy’s pickles, to a selection of our favorite charcuterie, this table featured something special for everyone (and every cheese).

Passport to Cheese

Choosing Accompaniments

Next, our fearless cheese fiends found sanctuary in a down-home Midwestern favorite: Wisconsin Cheese Curds. These ooey-gooey, deep fried pieces of heaven were an instant classic–especially when paired with Chef Johanna’s homemade marinara! Don’t just take our word for it though, stop by Spritz O’Clock soon to taste these mini marvels for yourself.

Wisconsin Cheese Curds

Further into the cafe, our daring patrons were treated to the dazzling spectacle (and mouthwatering aroma) of raclette being melted to order. When paired with Gordy’s Pickles and starchy potatoes, this station was a #MELTy indulgence beyond compare. For those of you looking to recreate this moment at home, stop by and pick up a Partyclette machine from our cheesemonger and be the host with the most at your next dinner party.

Enjoying Plates of Raclette

Before following the scent of cheesy goodness upstairs, our noshing nomads made a quick stop in the wine room for a triumphant taste of American Pub cheese. This beer based bite of bliss paired perfectly with the Port City Porter and Chef Johanna’s homemade pretzel bites. Pretzels, porter, and pub cheese? What more could a party provide?!

Dipping into American Fondue

The answer to that question lay waiting for patrons upstairs in our laboratorio where Chiara was serving an Italian Fonduta over perfectly toasted baguette. This truffle infused #MELTy masterpiece was clearly a crowd favorite, as it was the first to disappear. Fortunately, Federico came to the rescue and delighted our dauntless diners with handmade cheese ravioli. For those who missed it, he will be hosting an encore pasta performance in the Cafe every day at lunchtime.

Italian Fonduta Station

Last, but certainly not least, our gallant and engorged guests found themselves faced with a meal of mountainous proportions…or at least flavors. The Alpine Fondue station, featuring smooth, garlicky, Swiss flavors had everyone yodeling for more.

Bill at the Alpine Fondue Station

We would like to say a special Thank You to all of our courageous cheese connoisseurs for making this event such a success. We went through fifty pounds of cheese, but our cheese counter is still stocked! For those of you who weren’t able to attend (or want to relive the night), we have a special treat: visit our cheese counter and take home a fondue kit, specially curated by in-house Cheesemonger Alice Bergen Phillips and make a little #MELTed magic of your own.

Mini Fondue Kits

A MELT Retrospective Read more

On Wednesday March 30, passport in hand, our intrepid MELTers traveled through the raclette rivers and fondue forests to visit each of ...

Good For What Ales You

The rolling green hills of Italy have always been known for providing rich culinary experiences: savory plates of pasta, distinctly cured meats, flavorful olive oils. And of course, everybody knows about Italian wine. But there’s one more thing that’s steadily been rising through the ranks of Italy’s already abundant food scene: craft beer. And although many Italian breweries are small or relatively young, they all boast big flavor and creativity.

Recently moving into the spotlight is an Umbrian brewery located in Pontenuovo di Torgiano, Fabbrica della Birra Perugia. The brewery is a contemporary interpretation of ancient history, which began in 1875. During its earliest days, when it was the only brewery in Umbria, beer was distributed by cart with the help of powerful Maremma horses to get the beer to the train station and a few grocery stores and taverns. Today, they continue the tradition of fine Italian brewing and export to several countries across the world.

Birra Perugia beers are authentic expressions, handcrafted from natural raw materials and Umbrian spring waters. And just last year, Birra Perugia put Umbria on the beer map with Calibro 7, which won Beer of the Year 2015 at Beer Attraction, an international beer festival in Rimini. The intensity and creativity of this beer topped all others in one of the most competitive categories in the beer world. Via Umbria is proud to bring this unique and award-winning beer, as well as four other varieties of Birra Perugia brews, to the DC area.


Birra Perugia Golden Ale Birra Perugia Italian Red Ale Birra Perugia Chocolate Porter Birra Perugia Calibro 7 Birra Perugia Classic IPA

Golden Ale is light in color, with fresh aromas, lively taste and rich flavor. (5.2%)

American Red Ale is an amber colored ale, with an intense fragrance and an enveloping and decisive taste. It is inspired by a pioneering style that marked a decisive stage of the American craft beer revolution. (6%)

Chocolate Porter is a dark colored ale, with an enchanting fragrance, delicious notes of cocoa, and a full-bodied flavor. (5.3%)

Calibro 7 is an exuberant and original Italian Pale Ale, with strong citrus and tropical aromas. The creative recipe uses no less than seven different hops, resulting in an unconventional and irreverent fruity taste. (5.5%)

Classic IPA is produced with only malt (100% Maris Otter Flor) and English hops (East Kent Golding). The strong dry hopping gives resinous and balsamic sensations, with well balanced bitterness. (6.2%)

Haven’t tried any of these yet? We highly recommend that you do. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or just entering the world of craft brews, we’ve got the perfect event for you. Join Via Umbria on Wednesday, February 17th, to celebrate the month of Fe-brew-ary. This event is free to attend, with brews and bites available for purchase all night. Let us know you’re coming by reserving a spot, or just drop by to see what it’s all about!

The rise of craft beer in Italy Read more

The rolling green hills of Italy have always been known for providing rich culinary experiences: savory plates of pasta, distinctly cured meats, flavorful ...

Noteworthy Notizie


E ‘Venerdì! Put a little prosecco in your glass and peruse the news! 


Fashion first!  We are smack dab in the middle of Milan Fashion week. Catch up with the catwalk on the official website.


In other fashion news, Neil Patrick Harris was wearing Umbrian designer Brunello Cucinelli at the Oscars last Sunday!


An interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday explored the issues surrounding changing the language of higher education in Engineering and Architecture to English, and then back to Italian. So what is the Lingua Franca of Engineering in Italy today?


Birra Perugia Wins Best Beer of the Year with their Calibro 7, at Beer Attraction, an international beer festival in Rimi. We are so proud…we had to take a bottle off our shelves and crack it open. See what the hype is about in our Georgetown store.


This Giant Catfish caught in the Po is absolutely terrifying.


James Bond hits his poor little head due to the cobblestones in Rome, re-igniting a debate on whether the old street should be updated.


Have a wonderful weekend!

–Via Umbria

February 27 Read more

FRIDAY FEBUARY 27 E ‘Venerdì! Put a little prosecco in your glass and peruse the news!    Fashion first!  We are smack dab in the ...