Milan Craft Beer Bars: Top Picks for Hops

Discover the best 🍺 spots in Milan with our guide to Craft Beer Bars! 🇮🇹 Experience unique flavors and lively atmospheres. #MilanCraftBeer

Milan has become a hotbed for craft beer enthusiasts, with a burgeoning beer culture that offers a mix of traditional Italian birrerias and innovative craft beer bars. As Italy’s reputation for fine wine is celebrated the world over, the rise of artisanal beer has brought a new player to the table, creating exciting experiences for locals and visitors alike. We see Milan’s aperitivo scene being complemented by the diverse and rich flavors of craft beers. This shift is marked by a growing number of bars and pubs dedicated to serving up unique and locally brewed craft beers, opening up a whole new world of tasting opportunities in the city.

Craft beer bars in Milan buzz with lively chatter and clinking glasses. Industrial-chic decor and a vast array of beer taps create a vibrant atmosphere

In our exploration of Milan’s best craft beer bars, we’re not just indulging in the finest brews the city has to offer but also embracing the culture and history that comes with it. From the atmospheric settings of historic neighborhoods to the trendy enclaves that have embraced the craft beer movement, we find that each venue adds its own flavor to Milan’s beer scene. With a range of beer styles available, from hoppy IPAs to sour Lambics, we are spoiled for choice. Moreover, we recognize that pairing the perfect beer with a delicious meal enhances the entire imbibing experience, as local bars often offer a plethora of palate-pleasing options.

Milan Craft Beer Bars

Key Takeaways

  • Milan’s craft beer scene complements its traditional wine culture with a variety of local brews.
  • The atmosphere of Milan’s craft beer bars is as diverse as the beer selection, with each venue contributing to the culture.
  • Tasting and food pairing are essential elements of the beer experience in Milan’s craft beer bars.

The History of Beer in Italy

In Italy, the story of beer extends back to ancient times and transitions into a vibrant craft beer movement today.

Ancient Beginnings and Craft Beer Evolution

Beer in Italy has a storied history, with origins tracing back to the Phoenicians who brought it to Sicily in the 7th century B.C. In the northwest regions, like Piedmont, archaeological discoveries such as a mug containing hopped beer confirm its presence during these earlier times. Over the centuries, the Italian peninsula saw the consumption of beer mostly overshadowed by wine culture, until the rise of craft beers and microbreweries in the late 20th century.

The first microbrewery in Milan, Birrificio Lambrate, emerged in 1996, marking a significant shift towards artisanal brewing practices. This sparked the gradual evolution of domestic craft beer production, with breweries like Birrificio Italiano laying the groundwork for a burgeoning beer scene. The proliferation of these local breweries reflected a growing appreciation for craft beer’s diversity and quality.

Influence of the Craft Beer Movement

The influence of the craft beer movement in Italy mirrors that of other countries but maintains a distinct Italian flair. Italian breweries have gained recognition for infusing traditional methods with innovative approaches, often incorporating local ingredients and flavors to create unique craft beers. As opposed to mass-produced beers, these craft offerings emphasize the artistry and craftsmanship behind brewing.

In Milan and beyond, the craft beer movement has led to a rising number of bars and birrificio dedicated to these artisanal beers, exemplified by the eclecticcraft beer selections at venues such as Buttiga Beer Room, enhancing Italy’s reputation in the global craft beer industry. Through this embrace of both heritage and creativity, the craft beer movement has woven itself into Italy’s cultural fabric, establishing Italy as an emerging force in the worldwide beer landscape.

Exploring Beer Culture in Milan

Milan’s beer scene, while historically overshadowed by its wine and aperitivo culture, is now thriving with an array of local breweries and specialized beer bars that showcase the city’s growing passion for craft beer. Our exploration takes us to the finest locales where the beer flows with craftsmanship and creativity.

Local Breweries and Beer Bars

The city’s beer culture is particularly vibrant, thanks to places such as Birrificio Lambrate, one of the first craft breweries in Milan that has been setting the standard since 1996. This establishment has played an instrumental role in Milan’s craft beer boom, offering a variety of unique beers that highlight Italian brewing artistry.

Another notable mention is Baladin Milano, situated in the heart of the city, showcasing not only its homegrown beers but also featuring a wide selection highlighting Italy’s craft beer diversity. Bierfabrik Milano, although not as widely known, contributes significantly to the local scene with their exceptional brews enjoyed by discerning locals and intrigued visitors alike.

Milan’s Signature Beer Spots

For those seeking a dedicated craft beer experience, La Birrofila offers a curated selection of Italian and international beers, setting the bar for quality and taste. In addition, Buttiga Beer Room, a gem tucked away in Milan’s Chinatown and additional locations such as Porta Romana, represents the city’s burgeoning interest in craft beers. Their expertly curated selection can be appreciated at their spaces throughout Milan.

Tap Milano, another eminent spot part of Milan’s beer repertoire, deserves a visit from anyone interested in the evolving taproom culture within the city. Here, the focus is on a dynamic array of draft beers sourced from the finest local and international breweries. The area of Porta Romana is noted for its contribution to Milan’s beer culture, encouraging both locals and tourists to engage with the city’s craft beer movement more intimately.

Discovering the Best Bars and Pubs

People enjoying craft beer in lively Milan bars and pubs. Unique decor, cozy atmosphere, and a wide selection of local and international brews

When searching for the perfect pour in Milan, one can expect to find an array of bars and pubs that boast an impressive beer selection alongside a captivating atmosphere. Each establishment offers a unique experience that caters to the discerning tastes of craft beer enthusiasts.

Craft Beer Selections and Exclusive Finds

In the vibrant neighborhood of Lambrate, the pioneering Birrificio Lambrate sets the standard with its local craft beer offerings. Here, beer aficionados can indulge in an array of distinctive brews from one of Italy’s first microbreweries. For those looking to explore beyond traditional flavors, Lambiczoon presents an exciting collection of sour and wild ales that push the boundaries of beer crafting.

For exclusive finds, Baladin Milano is a treasure trove for rare and complex beers. Nestled in a cozy yet modern space, this bar offers an exquisite variety of both home-grown and international labels. From strong ales to rich stouts, Baladin Milano ensures a memorable tasting adventure. Meanwhile, La Belle Alliance delights with a meticulously curated selection that shines a spotlight on smaller breweries with big flavors.

The Unique Atmosphere of Milan’s Pubs

Among the city’s beer bars, The Wall is well-known for its dynamic and music-infused environment. This space captures the heart of Milan’s youth culture, pairing great music with an impressive array of beers. Over at Rita & Cocktails, one can experience a fusion of craft beer culture and Milanese style, offering a sophisticated nightlife experience served with a side of premium hops.

Frida brings a bohemian flair to Isola, one of Milan’s trendiest neighborhoods, making it the perfect spot to enjoy quality drinks amid art and greenery. BQ – Birra Artigianale di Qualità stands out with its dedication to offering an extensive menu that highlights the diversity of Italy’s brewing scene, featuring both well-established and rising stars in the craft beer world.

Belgrano, on the other hand, takes pride in delivering an Argentinian twist to the Milanese pub scene, blending South American passion with the craft of beer brewing. Whether you’re after a bustling vibe or a more intimate space to savor a pint, Milan’s landscape of bars and pubs offers something special for every beer lover.

Food and Beer Pairing

A table set with various dishes and glasses of craft beer, with the backdrop of a trendy Milan craft beer bar

When visiting Milan’s craft beer bars, the experience is elevated by pairing each brew with the perfect bite. We’ll explore both classic Italian fare and innovative dishes that draw out the flavors of the local beers.

Culinary Delights to Accompany Your Beer

Milan offers an array of culinary delights that marry beautifully with craft beer. For a truly Milanese experience, we recommend starting with an aperitivo. This pre-dinner drinking tradition typically includes a spread of small bites — think meats, cheeses, and olives — and it’s a fantastic way to prime the palate for more substantial pairings.

  • Burgers: A hearty burger, with its rich flavors and juicy patty, pairs splendidly with a hoppy IPA or robust stout. The contrast of the savory meat with the beer’s bitterness creates a balanced taste experience.
  • Sandwiches: Classic Italian sandwiches, or panini, offer a lighter yet flavorful option, ideally enjoyed with a crisp lager or pale ale to complement the sandwich’s fillings.
  • Vegetarian Options: For those preferring vegetarian options, beer bars in Milan feature an array of meat-free appetizers and mains, such as grilled vegetables or cheese platters, that go hand in hand with the more aromatic and fruity notes of wheat beers or saisons.

Milan’s Favorite Beer-Friendly Eats

During aperitivo hour, as mentioned earlier, the complimentary snacks pave the way for more indulgent choices:

  • Pizza: Nothing speaks to the Italian soul quite like pizza. A charred Neapolitan-style pizza with its blistered crust and tangy tomato sauce pairs flawlessly with the acidity of a sour beer or the crispness of a pilsner.
  • Fried Snacks: Milan’s bars often serve a variety of fried snacks, from arancini to calamari. Choose a refreshing, light-bodied beer like a kölsch or a blonde ale to cut through the richness of the fried food and cleanse the palate between bites.

Remember that the ultimate pairing is one that brings you pleasure, so we encourage you to explore these combinations at Milan’s bespoke craft beer bars to find your perfect match.

Different Types of Beer Available

Various beer taps line the bar, each labeled with different types of craft beer. Customers sit at high tables, enjoying their drinks in the lively atmosphere

In Milan’s thriving craft beer scene, enthusiasts can savor a diverse range of beer styles from hop-heavy IPAs to unique local brews like Lambic. We’ll explore the variety you’re likely to encounter on tap or in bottles at the city’s best bars.

Navigating Through Various Beer Styles

When we immerse ourselves in Milan’s beer culture, we’re confronted with an abundance of styles. Craft beer aficionados can appreciate everything from bold and bitter IPAs to the complex and sour notes of Lambic beers. Brewpubs often feature a rotating selection on tap, ensuring that there’s always something new and exciting to try. For those with a penchant for hops, the aroma and bitterness levels can range from subtle to intense, offering a sensory exploration with every pint.

Discovering Local and International Labels

We also take pride in the variety of both Italian craft beers and international offerings. The local scene includes everything from rich, malt-forward ales to lighter, crisp lagers. For a true taste of Italian craftsmanship, beers infused with indigenous ingredients like grappa-soaked wooden chips or local botanicals offer a delightful twist. Beer bottles in Milan’s bars may also contain hidden gems from around the world, bringing whiskey and rum barrel-aged brews right to our fingertips. The city’s commitment to diversity means that whether we’re in the mood for something traditional or experimental, Milan’s craft beer bars have us covered.

Enhancing Your Beer Experience

A bustling craft beer bar in Milan, with a variety of taps and bottles on display, patrons engaged in lively conversation, and a cozy, inviting atmosphere

In Milan, the craft beer scene is brimming with opportunities to deepen our appreciation for birra artigianale di qualità. Whether we’re looking to engage more actively with the community or expand our knowledge on the brewing process, there’s a wealth of events and establishments catering to our needs.

Events and Tastings for Beer Enthusiasts

We find that beer events and tastings are pivotal in elevating our beer experience. Participating in brewpub hosted events introduces us not only to new flavors but also to fellow beer enthusiasts. This sharing of experiences and reviews aids in building a community we can trust and continually learn from. For those of us eager to explore the local craft beer culture, checking out places like Birrificio Lambrate offers a look at a pioneering Milanese microbrewery with a robust events calendar.

For a more social environment where mingling with locals and travelers is part of the charm, the Buttiga Beer Room is an ideal spot. Their various locations in Milan, such as the bustling Chinatown and lively Porta Romana, host beer tastings where we can refine our palate and exchange thoughts on different beer profiles.

Learning About Beer: Breweries and Tours

Enhancing our beer experience goes beyond the glass; it’s also about understanding the craftsmanship behind each brew. We recommend visiting breweries where comprehensive tours are offered, allowing us to peek behind the scenes of beer production. A tour gives us insight into the dedication and family ethos often entwined with the process of creating quality craft beers.

At locations such as Good Beer Drinking, not only do we get to taste exceptional local and international beers, but we also learn about brewing techniques and ingredient selection, which enriches our understanding and appreciation. Trust us, the experience of seeing the origins of our beer adds a richer dimension to every sip we take.

Pairing Beer with Spirits and Cocktails

A bartender pours a craft beer next to a lineup of spirits and cocktails at a stylish bar in Milan. The bar is bustling with patrons enjoying the vibrant atmosphere

In Milan, the art of pairing beer with spirits and cocktails is becoming as nuanced and sophisticated as the city’s fashion sense. We’re exploring how mixology is enhancing the craft beer experience and uncovering the most tantalizing combinations for your taste buds.

Mixology and Beer: A New Trend

Craft beer and cocktails in Milan are no longer separate entities; they’re being combined in innovative ways. Trendsetting bars are taking cues from the craft cocktail movement in Milan, seamlessly integrating beer into mixed drinks. We’re seeing pale ales being topped with Aperol for a bitter kick, or stouts being used as the base for rum-infused concoctions. It’s a brave new world where hops meet whiskey sours, and IPA froth is garnished with a twist of citrus zest from the realm of spirits.

The Best Combinations For Your Palate

Discovering the best beer and spirit combinations is about balancing flavors and aromas. Here’s a guide to some stellar pairings we’ve encountered:

  • Whiskey & Ale: The caramel notes of a good whiskey blend with the maltiness of an amber ale, making for a rich, complex flavor profile.
  • Rum & Stout: Combining a dark, chocolatey stout with the sweet, tropical notes of rum creates a dessert-like experience that’s truly indulgent.
  • Grappa & Pilsner: Grappa, with its potent grape essence, adds a fiery contrast to the crispness of a light pilsner.

Experimentation is key, and your own preferences should guide you. But in our experience, we find that the best pairings elevate the characteristics of both the beer and the spirit.


Craft beer bars in Milan bustle with patrons enjoying diverse brews and lively conversation. Shelves are lined with colorful bottles and tap handles, while chalkboard menus display the latest offerings

In our exploration of Milan’s craft beer scene, we have discovered a range of bars that delight the palate of every beer enthusiast. From the vibrant atmosphere of Chinatown to the trendy neighborhoods of Porta Romana, we are confident that these establishments cater to both the casual drinker and the beer connoisseur.

Lambiczoon specializes in Lambic style beers, offering a unique sour taste that stands out in the local beer landscape. Their selection includes both local and international craft beers. For those who relish a chilled terrace in the summer, this is the spot to visit.

Should you find yourself in Chinatown, La Buttiga is an ideal retreat with its extensive beer selection. With multiple locations, they’ve become a local staple in providing quality craft beer within a welcoming environment.

And for those in pursuit of a historical perspective, Lambrate Brewery stands as a testament to Milan’s brewing heritage. As the original microbrewery in the city, they’re known for both their range of raw beers and their exceptional brewing team.

We take pride in our city’s craft beer offerings and invite you to experience the best craft beer bars in Milan. Each visit promises not just a drink, but an authentic taste of Milan’s evolving beer culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bustling craft beer bar in Milan, with patrons chatting at high tables, shelves lined with colorful bottles, and a bartender pouring a frothy pint

In this section, we cover the most common queries about the craft beer scene in Milan, from the best bars to visit, to brewery tours, and the pricing of craft beers compared to other Italian cities.

What are some of the best craft beer bars in Milan?

When exploring the vibrant craft beer scene in Milan, we highly recommend visiting Birrificio Lambrate, a pioneering brewpub that’s been a cornerstone of local beer culture since 1996. Another must-visit is the La Buttiga Beer Room, especially the cozy locale tucked away in Milan’s Chinatown.

Which breweries in Milan offer brewery tours?

For a firsthand look at the brewing process and to sample fresh local craft beers straight from the source, several breweries in Milan offer tours. Birrificio Lambrate is known not just for its beers but also for its engaging tours that dive into the craft of beer making.

How do beer prices in Milan compare to other Italian cities?

Craft beer prices in Milan are generally on par with other major Italian cities like Rome or Florence. However, due to the higher cost of living, you might find that craft beers are slightly more expensive in Milan compared to smaller towns or rural areas in Italy.

Can you recommend some Italian craft beers to try in Milan?

Certainly! When in Milan, we suggest trying local favorites such as Tipopils from Birrificio Italiano, which is a crisp and refreshing Pilsner, or any of the innovative brews from Lambrate, known for their quality and creativity.

What is the history of Birrificio Lambrate and their influence on Milan’s craft beer scene?

Established in 1996, Birrificio Lambrate pioneered the craft beer movement in Milan by opening the city’s first brewpub. Their presence and growth have been instrumental in shaping Milan’s current craft beer scene, setting a high standard for quality and innovation.

Why might craft beer prices be higher than standard lagers in Milan?

Craft beers tend to be pricier than standard lagers due to the higher costs associated with small-batch brewing, quality ingredients, and more complex production methods. In Milan, where artisanal products are highly valued, residents are often willing to pay a premium for these specialty beers.