Visited on: Sunday 28th June 2015
This is almost certainly the largest brew-pub I have ever visited. It was a former textile factory built in the early 1900s. Accommodating 1,200 people at any one time, including the garden, it is simply massive. It’s situated about a mile and a half (two kilometres) from the centre of the city of Como, on the banks of its well-known lake.
I was there that day with Neil and Wendy and we were late arriving as we had earlier gone to the wrong station. We had to go to Camerlata station, oblivious that there are two of them. We realised quite quickly that this was not where we wanted to be so caught a train back to Como and a taxi to the pub. I would guess that this has happened before and note that they are now named Como Nord-Camerlata and Albate-Camerlata. You want the first one! We were lucky inasmuch that Sunday is the only day with all afternoon opening.
Inside it was like a cathedral with the shining copper brewing equipment in one corner with a counter around it.
So on certain days you can have a beer whist watching Andrea Bravi, the brewer, making another batch. It produces 15,000 litres p.a.
The stainless steel fermentation tanks are in a line looking out to the street. The service counter has four sides and is in the middle of the room.
The furniture is all wooden mostly laid out in tables of four. There is a second floor which takes the form of a balcony. Additionally there are two room that can be hired for functions, meeting and the like. The garden is proportional to the pub as it is also very large.
The pub was opened in 2004 by the father of Simone Orsenigo who soon handed it over to his son to manage.
The pub was popular from the start yet I still wonder where all the people come from, it must have had an effect on the local restaurants, when it opened.
Note: in 2019 it was taken over by the Ethos group who own and operate nine restaurants around the Milano area. They promised no major changes.
There was an eclectic range of draught beers to be had all under the Malthus name consisting of Kannella (6.5%), a red ale flavoured with star anis, honey and cinnamon; Belinda (3.2%), a fruit beer made with passion fruit, lychees and blueberries; Breva (5.8%), a West Coast style IPA; Roxanne (5.8%), a bockbier.
Plus: All Black (6.4%), a stout with a coffee and chocolate flavour; No 10 (6.4%) a light coloured lager with added honey; Weiss (4.9%), a wheat beer and Marilyn (4.9%) in the style of a Münchener Helles.
I eschewed the exotica and had Breva and Marilyn. Breva was good, having all the right citrus tastes of a West Coast IPA. Marilyn was also true to type being a session lager with a low hop rate, as is the case with a Münchener Helles.
This is an interesting pub to visit if you are around Como, especially if you like flavoured beers.
Il Birrificio di Como, via Pasquale Paoli 3, 22100 Como. Tel: 031 505050. Web: ilbirrificio.it
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 12.00-14.30/19.00-01.00;
Friday-Saturday: 12.00-14.30/19.00-02.00; Sunday: 12.00-01.00
From Como Nord-Camerlata station turn right into and walk up Via Giovanni Battista Scalabrini.
Just before the roundabout in the centre of Camerlata you will see the rear of the pub on the left.
A large number of bus routes serve Camerlata including the following:
C10 C12 C45 C50 C52 C60 C62 C70 C71 C74 C77 N1 N3 N6 N8 N12