With such an abundance of tourist attractions situated in the historical center, it’s easy to see why large numbers of travellers spend most of their time there. Whilst the grandeur of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain or the Forum is not to be missed, there’s certainly more to Rome than just checking off the big attractions.
Although the Ostiense neighborhood is often absent from tourist maps, it’s closer than you might think. Tourists who make the quick trip just south of Circo Massimo are rewarded with a host of sights to take in.
As well as the Non-Catholic Cemetery, home to the graves of Keats and Shelley; the ornate Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls; and the remarkable 2000-year-old Egyptian-style Pyramid of Cestius, Ostiense is a living and working neighborhood. As such it boasts a huge number of bars, pubs and restaurants where tourists can relax and recharge alongside locals. I headed to one of these spots, the Roma Beer Company, to indulge in some recreation time of my own.
As the name suggests Roma Beer Company offers a huge choice of beers, not just from Rome, but from around the world. In fact, their beer selection takes up a whopping nine pages of the menu. As an eternally indecisive customer it took me a while to choose just one, but beer enthusiasts will appreciate the wide range on offer.
Intensely flavored bottles of wine might be what we first think of when it comes to Italian tipples, but the brewing scene has been working hard to catch up in recent years. Roma Beer Company has selected a number of these Italian craft beers to showcase this increasingly popular trend.
You might want to try the Re Ale Extra, a golden blonde beer which is an Italian version of an American pale ale, and as such a little heavier in taste than a traditional IPA. In fact there are a number of these amber colored, citrus flavored beers on the menu so if that’s your thing, you’re sure to find a refreshing glassful exactly how you like it.
Of course, other countries are well represented here too, including the classic beer-making nation of Belgium. Although you can find Duvel and Chimay on the menu, other obvious choices like Leffe, Vedett and Hoegaarden have been skipped in favor of lesser-known brands.
Take the unusual Deus Brut Des Flandres beer for example. Originally created in 2002, this sparkling brew is a curious mix between beer and champagne. It starts life as a fermentation of yeast, hops and barley but is then transported from Belgium to the Champagne region of France. The beer is then finished using methods usually used to produce sparkling wine and champagne.
Left to mature for a minimum of 12 months, the result is a clear, pale, sparkling beer with a frothy head. The mildly sweet and delicate taste makes it an ideal aperitif beer. At Roma Beer Company you can indulge in the whole bottle for €30 or sample just a glass before dinner for €5.
The menu claims to be ‘barbeque, brunch, burgers and Tex-Mex’ but I found this to be a little dubious. The occasional addition of habanero chili or guacamole does not equate to typical Tex-Mex cuisine; you won’t find fajitas or enchiladas here.
As for barbecue, there are a variety of options to choose from, such as the grilled and sliced beef with ‘Piramide Cestia’ seasoning. Named after the nearby landmark, the meat is served with artichokes sautéed in pilsner lager.
Meat eaters enjoy a lot of choice here, and can contemplate over ribs, sausages, chops, fillet steak or grilled chicken. The less carnivorous have fewer dishes to choose from, mainly salads and a small number of the pasta plates also available.
Both my dining companion and I tried a burger. We were in agreement that whilst it was a decent complement to a cold and refreshing beer, the quality could be improved. I don’t expect a place that specialized in beer, not burgers to rival the likes of Five Guys for example, but upgraded buns and branded, bottled condiments would be a good start.
If you’re a beer connoisseur there’s plenty of reasons to try out Roma Beer Company. If you’re a crowd of hungry tourists in need of nourishment after taking in the sights of Ostiense, this is an easy-going, friendly spot in which to recharge your batteries.
Roma Beer Company also has locations at Campo de’ Fiori and Ponte Milvio.
Via della Piramide Cestia 45/51
06 333 7048