Levyta of Queen Makeda in Rome Creates Pizzas Using Spent Grain of Tripel Beer
Brought about by the passion of craft beer by a group of friends, Queen Makeda was created five years ago by Pasquale De Lucia and his partners with the support of Laurenzi Consulting. Their goal was to establish a place where the culture of brewing beer was the focal point of the large space. There are thirty variations of craft beer on tap wherein 15 different styles are present starting from the Indian Pale Ale to the Barley Wine, Waizen, Saison and Lambic.
Initially with a menu of burgers, fried food, grilled dishes, wok food as well as smorrebrod, not until December 2019 did they finally complete the gastronomic proposals with beer's iconic Italian partner, the pizza. With the creation of Levyta inside the space of Queen Makeda Grand Pub, the partners' project has finally been realized and proposed to the public. But what they wanted to produce is not just regular pizza. Making pizza out of beer has been the long-time challenge for Pasquale De Lucia and his partners and finally at Levyta, the path of a sensory journey through the wide world of beer commences. The kitchen is headed by Pizza Chef Gabriele Raimondi.
Symbiotically, using one's byproduct that becomes a raw ingredient for another is an exceptional idea because not only is waste reduced, but it is also put into good use by creating another product. Levyta's pizza has its own peculiarity. Keeping in line with the craft beer as Queen Makeda's protagonist, the pizza is made of two-thirds flour (with a little bit of rice flour) and one-third brewer's spent grain from the production of Tripel beer. Tripel is a strong Belgian pale ale with the presence of three times more malt which in turn puts up the alcohol by volume (abv). With these characteristics, the pizza dough attains crispiness outside, a trace of toasted malt aroma and light bitter notes in the palate. The dough matures for 48 hours then baked without any toppings. The toppings are placed almost exclusively cold to keep the pizzas remain fragrant.
What is brewer's spent grain?
Spent grain is the leftover malted barley that was used to make wort in the process of making beer. While the wort goes through its fermentation, the spent grain is then separated. Generally, they go to the waste bin or in some cases, feed to farm animals, lately, there has been some great development in re-utilizing it in the kitchen. Being a damp mass that starts to ferments at room temperature immediately after it is separated from the wort, it has to go through quick-freezing immediately to stop the fermentation, the state where they can remain until further use. Apparently, spent grain is really not spent at all. As the brewing process takes away most of the sugars, a nutritional powerhouse remains in the spent grain. It has a rich salutary profile which has protein, dietary fibers and B vitamins. It's the same amount found in almonds and three times more fiber than in oats. Already used by bakeries in baked products like bread, granola and waffles, Levyta instead uses it as part of their pizza dough.
Among the varieties of pizza toppings, Italian classics are met by international touches and each pizza corresponds with a beer in their selection. The pizza selections are divided into three categories: Simple (€5 to 11) which includes Focaccia with Oil and Herbs, and Bufala e Daterino with basil cream, which is their version of the classic Margherita. Signature (€10 to €12) included Pumpkin and Mushrooms made with ricotta mozzarella, baked pumpkin, shiitake mushrooms and wood-ear mushrooms. There is also the Grilled Octopus, a rather rich and tasty combination of roasted octopus, grilled tomatoes, kimchi and octopus mayonnaise. Rich (€9 to €11) has an interesting range of predominantly Italian classics flavors like the Mortadella e Bufala, a combination of mortadella, pistachios and burrata. There is also the Broccoletto e Salsiccia with fior di latte, sautèed broccoli and sausage which stood out with its excellent flavors because of the kind of broccoli used - from the region of Campania which had zero-irrigation cultivation for more prominent tastes.
In the menu of Levyta, there are also the Fried Proposals (€2 to €7) of Supplì, Potato Croquettes, Squash Blossoms, Falafel and Chicken Strips. Burgers and Fries (€13 to €15) has a selection of burgers using different kinds of meat as well as vegetables for the vegetarian.
Levyta by Queen Makeda Grand Pub
Via di San Saba, 11
00153 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 5759608
Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Sundays
Closed on Mondays