Among the very first brewpubs born in Italy in the late 90s, Lambrate Brewery - Birrificio Lambrate (Lambrate is a historical district of Milan) is still one of the most influential. Its deserved fame is certified by the rich collection of medals it won in the most prestigious competitions. So, the five young members who manage it (their average age is 40 years old) had also the bright idea to identify their beers with the land or the organoleptic characteristics which distinguish them, and this thought has been appreciated.
This is the case of ‘Ghisa’, the ‘smoked stout’ beer which, for its unavoidable British colour, is named after the dialect name given to the local Policeman of Milan, with his well- known black uniform. ‘Porpora’ is a ‘bock’ which emanates the brilliance of a ruby and it is also the name of a major road that crosses the district of Lambrate. ‘Sant'Ambroeus’, then, is the ‘Belgian strong golden ale’ dedicated to the patron Saint of the city, and ‘Domm’ is the ‘bavarian hefeweizen’ inspired by the famous Gothic cathedral that symbolizes the regional capital of Lombardy.
The full list would be long, because this brewpub, which expects to close the year 2014 with a production of more than 5 thousand hectolitres, has in its catalogue about 20 labels, both classic and seasonal ones, to which ‘one shot’ beers add, designed for events or special occasions. By tasting some of them, it is possible to understand the reason why the celebrity of this brewery has gone beyond national borders, fostering exports to Sweden, Norway, Spain, Australia, and Brazil.
Ghisa (5% alcohol; Beer of the year 2011 and 2006 for the category smoked ones) immediately attracts for the cappuccino colour of its compact foam. Its scent reminds scamorza cheese and freshly roasted coffee, while its taste at first stimulate with a hint of liquorice, then cocoa and carob which precede its delicate bitter.
Porpora (8% alcohol; first prize at the ‘Italia beer Festival 2011’ in its category and third at ‘Birra dell’Anno 2010’) stimulates the sense of smell with caramel which precedes its herbaceous notes due to the different hops used, while the sweetness of its taste reminds fruit in syrup, properly restrained by the bitter characteristics of the hops themselves.
Sant'Ambroeus (7% alcohol) distinguishes itself for its beautiful deep yellow colour, whose scent proposes malted notes, followed by attractive suggestions of citrus and tropical fruits, thanks to the hops of New Zealand which are used. Its taste is characterized by fruity notes of still unripe grapes and passion fruit, tempered by a hint of bitterness.
Domm (5 % alcohol, third at the ‘Italia beer festival 2009’), is characterized by a pale yellow opalescent colour and scent which reveals notes of banana and clove, while its taste offers a fresh sensation, due to citrusy astringency, with a pleasant bitter hint in the end.
Toasty and smoky notes
The five members are proud of their laboratory, with which they are able to innovate and do research, sometimes reinterpreting the traditional styles. This happens, for example, with ‘Quarantott’ (double Indian pale ale 8% alcohol, whose name derives from the popular uprising which in 1848 created great disorder in Milan. In the local dialect, ‘Quarantott’ means ‘Forty-eight’) and ‘Imperial Ghisa’ (Smoked Baltic porter 8.5% alcohol, which reflects the style so loved by the Tsarist court in ‘800).
Quarantott is characterized by the abundant use of American hops during cooking process and dry hopping (cold), which contribute to give to this beer fruity fragrances, supported by gentle herbal notes.
Imperial Ghisa, the ‘extreme version’ of ‘Ghisa’, on the other hand, is appreciated for its toasty and smoky notes, which remind coffee and cocoa, with a full body, basically oily texture, balanced by the bitter hints of hop.
Among the technical skills of Lambrate Brewery, it is important to highlight the ability to produce such low-fermented beers as Pilsner Montestella (5% alcohol), dedicated to the altitude which rises at a short distance from ‘San Siro’ Stadium and emerged by accumulating the debris due to the Second World War, and the seasonal Magut (5 % alcohol), inspired by the helper bricklayer in the hierarchy of the Venerable building of the Dom who received the task of building the cathedral.
The reverse osmosis
In addition, Lambrate Brewery distinguishes itself for the use of the reverse osmosis technique for the treatment of water, so that its characteristics become ideal for producing beers that require different types of mineralization. Thus such beers as ‘Vun’ (‘one’ in Milanese dialect, 5% alcohol) have been produced, a special cream ale characterized by a pale yellow colour and a light body, produced in order to celebrate the first anniversary of the second Lambrate Brewery in ‘Città Studi’, the district of Milan not far from Lambrate, so called for the concentration of Universities faculties located here.