Tuesday’s ad is for Italy’s Peroni, from 1976. The headline, “chiamami Peroni sarò la tua birra, translates roughly to “call me Peroni I’ll be your beer” or possibly “call me, Peroni’ll be your beer.” And in the ad copy there’s “sono la birra pùr bevuta la Italia,” which is something along the lines of “drinking the beer while in Italy,” and finally “Lo sapevi,” meaning “did you know?” What makes this ad stand out is how exactly is she holding up that beer mug in her hand with all five of her fingers spread wide? Either she just let go and the photographer snapped the picture before it smashed to the floor, or that’s one slick magic trick.
Last week, the International Trappist Association approved the 11th monastery brewery to be allowed to designate their beers as “officially” Trappist. There are now six Trappist breweries in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, and one each in Austria, the U.S.A. and now Italy. The latest monastery brewery, Abbey at Tre Fontane, is located in Rome, Italy. It was a religious spot since Roman times (from around the first century), and became affiliated with the Cistercian Order in 1625. According to Wikipedia:
Belonging to the monastery are three separate churches. The first, the Church of St. Paul of Three Fountains, was raised on the spot where St. Paul was beheaded by order of Emperor Nero. Legend accounts for the three springs (fontane) with the assertion that, when severed from Paul’s body, his head bounced and struck the earth in three different places, from which fountains sprang up. These still flow and are located in the sanctuary.
That’s where the beer’s name comes from, Three Fountains Tripel, which is an 8.5% a.b.v. Tripel, brewed with Eucalyptus. That’s because the monks of the Tre Fontane Abbey planted fields of eucalyptus to combat malaria beginning in 1870. They also make olive oil, honey (flower, acacia, and eucalyptus), chocolates, and a Trappist liqueur.
The beer is described by the ITA like this:
“The high carbonation gives the mouthfeel a pleasant dry finish. The mildly sweet aftertaste comes from the soothing flavor of eucalyptus herb, which cleanses and refreshes the palate. While the beer gives the impression of being light, it has abundant body. The high alcohol content adds a warm, refined feeling to the soothing highlights of the eucalyptus.”
Today is the 62nd birthday of Italian beer writer Lorenzo Dabove, one of Europe’s most celebrated. I first met Lorenzo in San Diego and nearly a decade ago, and run into here and again a few times since, most recently at the Craft Brewers Conference and the World Beer Cup earlier this year in Denver. He’s a great voice for better beer everywhere, though especially his native Italy and Belgium. Join me in wishing Lorenzo a very happy birthday.
At a beer dinner at Lost Abbey in 2008. From left: Tomme Arthur (Lost Abbey), Lorenzo, Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Adam Avery (Avery Brewing) and Rob Todd (Allagash).
Monday’s ad is an another early ad for the Italian brewery Birra Pedavena, which closed in 1937, but reopened again in 1998 as La Bierreria Pedavena. The man struggling with the giant beer glass looks to me like he might be King Gambrinus.
Friday’s ad is for Birra di Borgofranco, a stylized ad for the Italian beer, possibly from 1911. I couldn’t find anything about the brewery itself. Still, what’s with the waitresses hat. That’s a pretty odd-looking chapeau, or should I say cappello. And the complexion on the man about to spill that beer on his tuxedo? Is he a zombie?
Wednesday’s ad is also for an Italian beer, though it’s by renowned German illustrator Adolfo Hohenstein, who made a name for himself painting in Italy, where he helped to found Italian Art Nouveau. Hohenstein is also considered the “father of Italian poster art,” and this poster was completed in 1906, the year he left Milan and returned home to Germany. I think it’s one of the most beautiful of the time period.
Tuesday’s ad is a 1920s ad for an Italian beer that’s still in business — Pedavena. Similar to yesterday’s French ad, this one also features a king carrying a beer. Is it Gambrinus? Who knows.
This week’s work of art is by a French illustrator, Michael Marcinkowski, who created a fun play on a portion of Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel. He calls his work Le Nectar Des Dieux or Nectar of the Gods and it shows God giving beer to Adam, presumably right after he gave him life.
Today is actually the birthday of Michelangelo (a.k.a. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simon), who was born in 1475 near Tuscany in what today is Italy. Marcinkowski took the hands from a portion of Michelangelo’s painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which is meant to represent God giving life to Adam.
That scene makes up the central portion of the fresco in the Vatican showing Adam and God.
Thursday’s ad is a beautiful one for an Birra Italia, a Milan brewery. It’s from 1906 and was created by the German artist Adolfo Hohenstein, who was well-known for his Opera posters. Oddly enough, he’s “considered the father of Italian poster art and an exponent of the Stile Liberty, the Italian Art Nouveau.”