Another Italian bar selling cask ale. And yes it definitely is. In this case it’s the Mostodolce brewery tap in Florence, which in my opinion is the #1 place to go for a beer in Florence, if decent beer and a pub style atmosphere is what you are really after.
Six keg lines and one beer engine which was serving a red ale that I’d describe as being very deep amber rather than red, a decent malt profile that carried a floral hoppy flavour, bitter after taste and a slight astringency. If someone served you it in a UK pub then most folk would call it Bitter. It was of course hazy as all the beers are Birra Cruda which sort of means raw beer, which in everyday English is unfined and unfiltered. I think it was actually Birra di Christian (4.5%), €4 a pint and not what it said on the pump.
Other beers may vary, but will be from the brewery’s quite extensive range; 19 listed on Micro Birrifici, but these seem to be supplemented with one-offs cum seasonal brews, like the intensely malty, hoppy and fruity 9% Imperial India Pale Lager they had on last time I was in.
It’s a proper bar with bar stools and people stood at the bar having a swift one after work. The clientele is very much local people rather than the hoards of tourists Florence suffers. Having said that it’s as much an eating place as a bar, but that’s Italy for you. The food is excellent, but it’s not really a restaurant.
It’s quite disconcerting when your stood at the bar having a quiet drink and someone starts slinging arrows over your back. Worry not though because this is Italian darts and they have no point, and what is the point of playing darts on an electronic gaming machine that’s fabricated around one of them child friendly boards that you grew out of by the time you were four.
You’d never grow out of Elephants though and everywhere you look there’s evidence of the breweries emblem.
The staff are amazingly friendly and the nice lady in the picture is Francesca Torri, the Mostodolce brewer, Least wise that’s what I think she said because this is real Italy and not everyone speaks brilliant English. I’m getting better at Italian too, but only because someone kindly leant me their Italian brewery guide which is all in … yep, Italian.
It’s worth a look in the bottle fridges as the Mostodolce bottles have labels taken from original drawings, many of which are 750ml bottles. This is supplemented by lots of quirky art work drawn on the brown paper place settings and stuck to the wall. I’m not sure what the qualification for getting stuck on the wall was? The bar was quite high though.
Music play list is excellent. Anywhere with Lou Reed playing will do for me. It’s dog friendly too. Downsides? Toilets are graffitied to hell and back which is where you’d be if you needed a crap as there’s only one trap and no seat. It took me ages to work out that you pressed a foot operated lever to turn the sink tap on too.
Don’t look up neither because above head height everything needs a bit of a fettle, so much so that a friends wife won’t go in.
Overall, it’s quite a busy sort of place with a nice atmosphere, particularly if you hit it around tea time when people are calling in after work. The beers are all very good and have all been brewed in their own brewery which is located in the nearby (17km) city of Prata.
Verdict; there’s a bar directly across the road selling mainstream products that, tourists apart, is usually empty, says it all really, just follow the Elephant.