Hardly a day goes by without some new brewery opening up and putting its products out onto the market, trying to challenge the establishment or reinvent the beer industry in some way. Others simply want to produce a nice pint and don't really care about being the next big thing, but precious few are actually forging their own path, and a lot of the beer that is being produced is pretty mediocre with only a few shining stars emerging from the masses, and the masses come from a lot of countries. The UK, America, Belgium and Germany are the biggies as well as a smattering from places such as the Netherlands and Norway, but what about Italy? Known for the likes of Nastro Azzuro and Birra Moretti, you don't often put Italy and 'craft beer' in the same paragraph, but I tried a trio of beers from the country shaped like a boot.
Started in 1996, when a group of friends wanted to have a bar in Milan that served quality beers, it grew a microbrewery that now produces around a dozen and a half different beers. They have just started being imported into the UK by Elite Beers, and here is what I thought.
Birrificio Lambrate Ligera American Pale Ale 5%
Sweet, gingery with some honey coming off the nose. A little bit of herb comes through with some dried apricots and a sweet floral element. The palate has some bitterness coming off the palate, light and fresh with a little bit of bitter floral hoppiness. A little weak on the finish, but a decent clean beer. Not worth the money though. 85pts
Birrificio Lambrate Lambrate Bock 6.8%
Sweet, rich honey and a lovely dried fruit coming off. Lovely sweet herbs with a nice balance of chocolate and toffee aroma. The palate is quite fizzy, but then calms down for a creamy palate, nice bitter element on the mid palate. Nice structure, quite hoppy but with an underlying sweetness. 87pts
Birrificio Lambrate Ghisa Smoked Stout 4.6%
Smoked tea aromas with a little chocolate coming through and some coffee as well. The palate has more of the smoke coming through at the start, and then becomes smoked bacon dipped in coffee. It needs more body, sweetness and alcohol as it is just to flat and thin with cheap smoked cheese on the finish. 72pts