By Cormac Wall
When our friends at CR/AK told us they were throwing a birthday party a few weeks ago we knew from past tales of the event that we would definitely try to make it over. A short flight to Venice and a 30 minute trip to CR/AKs rural Padua home and we were suddenly surrounded by some of the best names in brewing, familiar faces from Other Half, Brasserie Popihn, Fyne Ales and Verdant as well as plenty of exciting new names from CR/AKs carefully curated list of invitees.
CR/AK are truly dedicated every Spring to bringing together their friends in a free-spirited celebration of the worlds’ best beers. This 2-day event is one of the most inspiring events on the beer calendar for us. Music, brews and full-hearted enjoyment under a warm Italian sky.
Seeing the brewery & stunning taproom really gives an idea of the attention to detail CR/AK possess. Looking to their neighbours in the North they have adopted Bavarian freepour taps for softer lager pours. For a more Italian inspired innovation they have a temperature controlled barrel ageing area complete with dining area. Every minute detail of the barrels’ heritage recorded, some of the worlds most famous wines adorning many of them, Barolo, Amarone, Chianti stamped with pride on the old timbers. The event is very much a celebration of Italy as a brewing country that is now firmly on the world map as one of the most exciting beer cultures around.
We were lucky to have a free afternoon on one of the days which meant we could head to Venice with some of the Verdant team. Having been before we made a beeline to what has to be one of Europe’s most scenic craft pubs, Santo Bevitore. Tucked away on a quiet canal and full of native Venetians it’s a great place to people watch while sipping on a few select Italian craft brews. The feeling of sitting on a Venetian canal drinking a mixed fermentation ale from the Italian Alps takes some beating in terms of afternoon beers.