A trait shared by your BotF correspondents is our ability to eke out the maximum number of craft venues visited in the smallest time available on every trip and at each destination. Often at the expense of stability on the home front. Take my visit to Open Baladin in Rome recently.
I had marked down this brilliant craft beer destination on my map prior to visiting Rome. But with a small tribe and Mrs BotF to escort round the sites of Rome, it was a venue too far. I had snuck a few in already and I was getting a very definite ‘don’t push it’ vibe from the offspring.
So there we were, luggage packed for the 21 hour flight home, kids in bed in readiness for the sparrow fart dash to Fiumicino & all nerves frayed as only those who have packed for three kids have experienced. Then my phone goes ‘ping’. Message received. I open it to see my brother and sister-in-law parked at the bar at said Open Baladin. 35 taps of liquid gold. Bugga. How do I play this?
Some quick mental calculations. 10 mins in a cab, let’s say 3 unique crafties, 10 mins back…..1 hour tops. So here goes. Opening gambit to Mrs BotF. “Jeez my brother’s at that place I mentioned, the one with the 35 taps?”. No response. “Would have loved to have got to this one. I guess there’s no time now”.
Silence. I was going to have to earn this one.
Silences are just waiting to be filled. You just have to wait.
I got a response but you must remember I am dealing with a master.
“I guess you’d better go” partnered with the stink eye. How do I read that!?
A lesser correspondent would have got back in his box. I chose to take the ball and charge through the meagre gap offered – straight to a cab and the joys of Open Baladin.
What a place. Innocuous entrance off a nondescript street. But an Aladdin’s cave of craft beers await, including a great takeaway list and some quality merchandise. It was hiding amongst the takeaways that I saw a few offerings from Brookvale’s own Nomad Brewing. These boys are long way from home but then again we shouldn’t be suprised given the distinctly Italian backstory of how Nomad came into being.
Open Baladin was a full as a tic and the menu looked pretty good. A top tip might be to book if you want to eat. As for me, I parked at the bar with my brother and tried my best to choose 3 beers from the 35 on tap that adequately represented the range on offer. It was a tough ask but I had a crack.
I tried the floral Trhibu IPA, the smooth caramel of the Sweet Earth Brown Ale and the smarting Maciste Double IPA.
Open Baladin is a must if you are after a great craft beer venue in Rome. Maybe just leave yourself a little more time to enjoy it than I did.
Open Baladin Roma
Address: Via degli specchi, 6 (zona Campo de’ Fiori) – 00186 Roma (click for map)
On Thursday, I was lucky enough to dine at Aqua, above North Sydney pool. They have 10 Italian beers on their list, as well as a couple from Nomad. 4 of the Italian beers were from Baladin – including 2 $30 750ml bottles. Quite a coincidence between the timing of your Italian post and my Australian drinking experience!