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Salute — A Sneak Peek at Eataly's New Rooftop Brewery

By Amy Zimmer | May 26, 2011 7:17am | Updated on May 26, 2011 10:32am

By Amy Zimmer

DNAinfo News Editor

FLATIRON — There will be craft beer served on a rooftop, but don't call Eataly's Birreria a beer garden, said partner Adam Saper at a sneak peek of the new space on Wednesday night.

It is, after all, still one of Mario Batali's creations and the food will be important, too.

"We are a restaurant," Saper said. "The food is awesome. The beer is awesome. And together they're even better."

The long-anticipated outdoor space, which has a retractable roof for year round use, is set to officially open on June 3 (but may have a soft opening sooner).

The beer, of course, is paramount.

Three beers will be made in Birreria's copper clad brewing system: a pale ale made with thyme, an English mild style beer made with chestnuts, and a wheat beer made with peppercorns.

Brewmaster Brooks Carretta, who spent more than two years working in Italy's Birra del Borgo learning the craft of making beer, has melded that brewery's techniques with the Italian Birrificio Le Baladin and the Delaware-based Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

"This has been a combination of American craft brewing knowledge and Italian craft brewing knowledge," Carretta said.

Also on tap are two beers from each of those three breweries, plus a few other beers.

"It's naturally carbonated and just the right temperature," he said of the rooftop brews. "You get all the flavors a little better that way," he explained of the lack of refrigeration. "It's going to be a sincere brew. Anything that's not right, you'll detect it."

The food will be meat-heavy and not include any pasta, said chef Alex Pilas.

He will be making four homemade sausages and three braised pork shoulders that will be seasonal to match the beers, starting with peach and apricot.

There will also be cheeses and breads and an entire section devoted to mushrooms, "because vegetarians like to drink beer, too," Pilas said.

There will also be drinks for the non-beer drinkers. The eatery includes a full bar and Italian wine that will be poured from barrels.

La Birreria, which seats 160 in addition to a long bar cocktail area, will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. An elevator on the 23rd Street side of the vast Italian emporium, located at 200 Fifth Ave., will take you upstairs.

If it's too crowded — and odds are it will be — the restaurant will have a system where you wait downstairs until you get a text message. It will be taking reservations for parties of six or more.