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Birrificio Italiano Tipopils

Where In Town: Menomalé, 2711 12th St. NE

Price: $9.50/8 ounces

La Dolce Birra

Italian craft beer? Indeed. A revolution has been brewing throughout Europe, as everyone from Spaniards to Scandinavians puts their own spin on India pale ales, stouts, and other foreign styles. But the godfather of this experimental scene is arguably Italy, where local chestnut honey perfumes Belgian-style ales, and beers are sometimes aged in Brunello di Montalcino wine barrels. A prime example of these intriguing brews is Birrificio Italiano’s Tipopils, a German-style pilsner. So what if—like many Italian craft beers—it’s outrageously expensive? It’s still worth trying.

The Italian Stallion

No less an authority than Charlie Papazian, homebrewing guru and president of the Brewers Association, considers Tipopils a true thoroughbred. “The best German style pils I’ve had in years,” he recently tweeted. The beer smells grassy, earthy, and appetizing, with a hint of tropical fruit. Each sip is creamy and full-flavored—approachable and just fantastic. If you haven’t tried Menomalé, Brookland’s beacon of Neapolitan pizza (and dark horse contender for best beer program at a D.C. pizzeria), this and other Italian offerings will give you a perfect excuse.

Photo by Daniel Fromson