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Edible: Rooftop Brewery Fills Brews With Real Italian Flavor

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A rooftop brewer at Eataly in Manhattan has created a strong connection between its beer, bread and pork. Rachel Wharton from Edible Manhattan magazine filed the following report.

On the top floor of Eataly is a rooftop brewery, where brewer Brooks Carretta has found a unique use of his compost.

"Essentially when we are done mashing in our grain and extracting all those sugars that we need for fermentability, what we do is we bag the grain and we ship it off this local farm. And we also keep a little bit of that spent grain aside for the bakery, and they make a spent grain bread that we do serve here at Birreria," says Carretta.

At the farm, meanwhile, the spent grains are fed to the pigs, which why both Eataly's beer garden and butcher shop now stock pork chops made partially on-site.

"Whenever I eat pork up here, I know where it was coming from and I know what was fed to the pig, and that's amazing," says Carretta.

That is just one special partnership at the brewery. Brewers from two top Italian breweries and on in the United States help Carretta create beers that blend American and Italian sensibilities.

The Gina, for example, is a hoppy West Coast-style brew infused with wild Italian thyme. The Wanda is an English ale made with chestnuts, a common beer ingredient in Italy.

"It gives the beer a slightly roasty note and a little bit of nuttiness to the beer, and it makes it really creamy and smooth," says Carretta.

Yet perhaps the coolest thing about the brewery is Carretta himself, who is uniquely positioned to brew at Eataly.

"I am an Italian-American brewer, I was born in the United States, but I was moved to Rome, Italy, when I was seven years old. I pretty much lived there all my life, I lived there for 20 years. Just moved back to New York last year to start this project," says Carretta.

So when he says the name of the brewery, you know he's pronouncing it correctly.

"Well to me, it's 'birr-er-ree-a,' with a lot of rolling R's," says Carretta.

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