Birrificio Italiano Tipopils
Bottle, 5.2% ABV
Craft beer from Italy? Who'd have thunk it?
Just a few years ago, your best bet when looking for craft beer in Italy would've been wine.
Such was the dearth of options, it was enough to turn even the most hardened beer drinker into a vino-sipping softie. Peroni and Moretti were about your lot and even the sight of Gran Riserva might have provided a source of great relief.
But, almost overnight, microbreweries started popping up all over the country and now number more than 400, providing fresh hope for an end to Italy's obsession with bland, colourless lagers.
Birrificio Italiano's Tipopils offers solid proof that the craft beer revolution is not about to take any prisoners. This brewery was one of the forerunners for the current movement, having been established in 1996, and is responsible for a handful of good, German-influenced beers.
It usually takes a lot to get me genuinely excited by a pilsner but Tipopils is one of the exceptions to the rule. It is just so incredibly drinkable.
Typically, the nose is full of sweet doughy malt but, more surprisingly, it also fills your nostrils with heaps of clean, fresh hop, mixing crisp grass with sweet lemon.
It manages a similarly impressive balance on the tastebuds, thanks to a healthy dose of hops. Hay and citrus hit you instantly but are evened out by an almost honey-like sweetness and strong, biscuity malt.
Unlike many pilsners, it doesn't leave a lingering mustiness in the mouth, instead finishing beautifully bitter and dry to leave you hankering for more before the glass has even hit the table.
A slight upgrade on Peroni if you ask me.