When you think of Italy and Italian drinks, it’s quite likely that you think of deep red wines from vast vineyards or sparkling prosecco over a hearty, garlic-filled meal.
Lager lovers out there might also think of some of the bold Italian beers that are popular across the globe.
Peroni, Birra Moretti, and Birra Menabrea are just a few of the fragrant beers that Italy produces.
But what about Sardinia? What hoppy concoctions can you expect to be served while you stay on the Mediterranean’s second-largest island? Does Sardinia have a big scene for beer drinkers?
Let’s dive into all of these questions to find out what beer they drink in Sardinia.
Before we can discuss the different types of beer that you can purchase in Sardinia, it’s important to know what the culture of drinking and nightlife is like over there.
Typically, the nightlife is very laid back. Only the Chi Chi bars of Costa Smeralda are anything close to busy, and even then, it’s hardly Ibiza.
There’s certainly a culture of drinking wine with meals, but it’s certainly more about drinking socially and appreciating your beverage rather than drinking to get drunk.
Further reading: What do people in Sardinia drink?
That said, Sardinians drink, on average, 60 liters of beer per person per year, making them Italy’s biggest beer drinkers.
There are plenty of breweries right on the island where you can take tours and sample the products.
What’s more, there has been a craft beer revolution sweeping across the island in recent years, meaning that if you’re looking for a great-tasting, organic beer, then you’re in good company over in Sardinia.
By far the most popular beer on the island, and across Italy for that matter, is Ichnusa Beer.
There are four different types of beer produced by Ichnusa, these being Inchusa Classica (the original taste), Ichnusa al Limon (a light beer with notes of lemon and other citrus), Ichnusa Non-Filtrata (unfiltered beer), and their raw variety, Ichnusa Cruda.
No matter what kind of beer you prefer and what you look for in a lager, you’ll probably be able to find something preferable from the Ichnusa brand.
This beer is becoming so popular that you can now find it in many different bars across Europe thanks to its acquisition by Heineken.
The name comes from the ancient Latin name for Sardinia, Ichnuso being a word that means foot, referencing the shape of the island.
Ichnuso was founded in 1912 and was producing its signature beer throughout the Second World War. Though it took a while for the beer to get off the ground, once it did, it hasn’t slowed down. The company was bought by Keinekin in 1986.
Since being bought by the Dutch corporation, Ichnusa has had several very popular and impressive ad campaigns that brought broader attention to Ichnusa beer as well as the island of Sardinia as a whole.
Whether you’re sitting in a Sardinia restaurant, supermarket, or small beach shack, you’ll be able to buy an Ichnusa beer for a real taste of Sardinia.
Something To Note: Although Ichnusa and the craft beers are certainly very popular across the island, you will still be able to find other popular Italian lagers like Bierre Moretti, Peroni, and Nastro Azzurro.
However, if you have a preference for dark ales, then you might be out of luck because these are a lot more rare in Italy, with the people there preferring light, hoppy beers.
Biddanoa (And Other Craft Beers)
If you want something a little sweeter, then you need to try Biddanoa, served in a microbrewery in Cagliari.
This is a popular drink that you should be able to find in the majority of good bars and restaurants.
The flavor profile is often referred to as honey-like, so if this sounds like something that you think you’d like, then you need to order yourself a small glass of Biddanoa.
Another popular local brew is called Toccadibò and is produced in a Barley brewery in Maracalagonis.
This beer is particularly citrusy, with lemon and lime notes that are super refreshing on hot summer days.
There’s nothing better than a bright beer to crack open when you’ve had a long, warm day.
Our favorite is probably something along the lines of Rubja, a sweet brew from the Lara di Tertenia brewery.
This particular beer is brewed on the Southeast coast of Sardinia and is perfect for drinking on the beach during the sunset.
You’ll truly feel like you’re on vacation if you’re able to sit somewhere warm and taste the sweet, hoppy notes of a beer like Rubja.
Of course, the setting you find yourself in when you drink is always going to make a major difference, but there are always so many beautiful places where you can enjoy a cold one that finding somewhere to drink can be part of the problem.
Luckily, Sardinia has thought of everything.
The Rubiu brewery in Sant’Antioco is home to a beer that won “Best Italian Beer of 2011” in its category. Flavia is a fruity beer with many different notes of mango, peach, and orange. This beer isn’t just a party in your mouth, but in your nose well!
Further reading: What are the different types of Panada?
No matter where you go in Sardinia, you’ll probably be greeted with clinking glasses and a cold drink waiting for you.
There are a number of beer festivals organized to take place across the Island in summer, as well as a Sardinian version of Octoberfest.
Even in the smaller Italian villages, you’ll find festivals or events going on, during which beer is almost always free-flowing.
Wherever you end up traveling to, you know you won’t be going thirsty any time soon!
Take a look at the most popular Sardinian wines in this guide.