When most travelers head to Italy, they are looking for the nearest vineyard or bottle from the land. And while Italian wine has taken all of the attention for centuries from other beverages in the country, craft breweries are starting to change the scene. Over the last few decades, Italy has seen breweries spring up from the top of the boot down to the toe, with the most acclaimed brews hailing from the north, specifically the regions of Lombardy and Piedmont. While these regions might be known for their fashion, art and architecture, they are also worth visiting for the concoctions brewing in their microbreweries. If you want to give the wine a rest while venturing around Italy’s north, you can make these three stops instead for a sampling of some of the areas most acclaimed beers.
Birrificio Lambrate: The first brewpub in Milan is said to be Birrificio Lambrate. Began in 1996, this Italian brewery prides itself on using the best quality ingredients for their brews. Based in the Lambrate quarter of Milan, the brewery offers a number of year round brews along with seasonal sips. Beer drinkers imbibe on wooden tables, surrounded by walls covered in old photographs. Birrificio Lambrate has two locations, one a brewpub and the other a pub.
Birrificio Italiano: Founded in 1996, Birrifico Italiano has quickly become one of the leaders in Italian craft breweries. Winner of countless awards for its brews, the brewery sits just north of Milan in Lurago Marinone. Birrificio Italian boasts of being the first microbrewery in Lombardy. Along with your hoppy, malty or strong brew, you can order up a meal with beer in mind. As Birrificio Italiano states, “Gastronomy goes well with beer,” a reflection of how beer is infused in their dishes.
Birrifico Grado Plato: Just southeast of Turin and southwest of Milan, Birrifico Grado Plato has made a name for itself in the Italy craft beer circuit. Founded in 2003, the brewery sets up in the town of Chieri. The idea of expanding a simple brewing operation came when more and more customers were asking to take home some of Birrifico Grado Plato’s beers. What began with merely two beers, a blond and a red beer, Birrifico Grado Plato now offers a number of brews to suit all tastes. The brewery also offers beer-based dishes to soak up some of what you consume. Snails are the brewery’s specialty.
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