The big events you plan for might turn out splendid. But it’s the beer bars you stumble upon that are some of the real gems. Here is one in Milan.
The day before had been very eventful. I had been up bright and early, caught a flight to Milan and attending the opening of the new Baladin brewery. The next day involved transport back to Milan before we went home, but some of us had time to spare.
We started off with lunch at an offshoot of the Birrificio Lambrate, their Golgi restaurant. It is similar to their brewpub I visited some years ago, for lunch there are good rustic dishes, and they have a good selection of tasty beers on tap as well as some bottles. With me for this session were two proper beer writers, Adrian Tierney-Jones and Martyn Cornell, as well as fellow Norwegian beer writer Ove Haugland Jakobsen, who has a day job as I do. We had a merry time sampling some of the beers available, including a very tasty bock and their Quarantot Double IPA.
By 2:30, the restaurant was closing for the afternoon and Adrian and Martyn were off to the airport. Ove had the sense to ask the waiter if there was another bar in the neighborhood that might be open.
- Sure, just continue down the main street, and there is one on your right.
Six hundred meters or so along the boulevard we found the place, Au Vieux Strasbourg. What looked like a pleasant beer bar when we looked at the beers on tap turned into an excellent beer bar when we looked through the bottle list. An well curated range of Belgian beers is the theme here, they could have named the place after a Belgian city instead. From the beer mats and glasses, there seems to be a wholesaler/importer involved here, meaning there could be similar places across Italy.
Never mind. We got through quite a few in a few hours’ time, and while the barman had limited knowledge of English, a lady who seemed to be a regular helped with the translation. A highlight for me was a bottle of Biere de Beloeil from Dupont. Fruity and funky, it had the splendid Belgian blend of fruit and stable, with tones of oranges and apricots.
We were way behind schedule when we arrived at the airport for the check in. After all, we couldn’t possibly turn down the offer of a final glass of beer on the house. Sometimes, very rarely for me, you’re lucky your plane is delayed. This was one of those times.
If you are in the area and feels the urge to imbimbe, you are lucky. Au Vieux Strasbourg is open 07-02, which is more user friendly than most Italian places. More user friendly than most places in the known universe, come to think of it.