Off the train and into the heart of Milan, we grabbed a rental car at the station and hit up A Tutta Birra for a quick grab of Italian bottles. At that we made haste through city traffic to escape the metropolis into the Lombardy countryside. The destination was Birrificio Italiano.
Twenty-five miles north of Milan we arrive in Lurago Marinone. It’s afternoon now, and this village of three thousand is asleep. We duck inside the brewery taproom to have a word with the bartender. There are posters and banners on the wall from Colorado breweries located not far from where I live. Funny. The bartender talks us into staying for dinner when the kitchen opens that evening.
For the wait we take patio seats and throw down tall, cold glasses of Tipopils, a 5.2% pilsner that sits somewhere between German and Bohemian in character. Widely regarded as one of the best pilsners in the world by those with a thirst for lager, this is the beer that had me infatuated with Birrificio Italiano, and the reason for this journey to the source.
Rigid head; Lip-smacking crispness; vibrant noble hop character; exceptionally clean malt. And fresh from the source, no doubt about storage, transport or serving effect. No other method will do.
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Dinner is cured meat, local cheese and vegetables and pork. Glasses were had of the weizen beer and the Fleurette, and 3.8% pilsner malt and rye beer spiced with elderberry and black pepper and hopped with East Kent Goldings. And more Tipopils.
Satiated, we drove on to Novara to grab a room, before heading east the next day to Udine, to eat and drink the Friulian culture and plan our entrance into the bordering wine country in Slovenia.