Family, food, community, and beer – What could be more Italian? Maybe beer is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the “Old Country”, but Vancouver’s soon-to-open Italy inspired brewery, Luppolo Brewing, will have you thinking of the Tuscan hills glowing with golden hops instead of grapes. Co-owner Anique and her husband Frederico were first inspired to start this endeavour when they lived in Milan and found they frequented the region’s oldest microbrewery more often than anywhere else. Thanks to their love of that brewery, they came back to Vancouver and shared their enthusiasm with Ryan and Eleanor; the idea of Luppolo was conceived.
Just as the Coliseum was not built in a day, Luppolo is still under construction, but I got a sneak peek, and let me tell you, I am excited for this brewery to open. If all goes according to plan, they will be open in mid-September for growler fills, a tasting room and lounge, and my favourite thing, food! Again taking inspiration from Europe’s high-heeled boot, there will be a kitchen on site making charcuterie plates, flatbreads, and other snacks which will pair nicely with their beers. They plan on having bar seating, tables with bench seating, and even a slightly private space – similar to Brassneck’s hidden table at the back. Stay tuned for a cool idea they have for this space, but I won’t give it away just yet. They are happy to reserve this nook for larger parties and semi-private events.
From the street you wouldn’t know it to be anything other than maybe an abandoned building right now, but step inside and hear what they have planned. The doors will be replaced with more inviting, clear glass, two small South-facing windows are already partially marked and cut for enlargement, allowing natural light to spill in on the Growler Bar. There is plenty of street parking and a shared lot, which will have space for bicycles. Since it backs on the Union Street bike route, there are plans for the big roll up garage door to have room for cyclists to dismount, remove their wet gear, and pop in for a pint after work. The four owners are working with a few good friends to grind down the floors, paint the walls, build the concrete bar, and install all of the brewing equipment. There will be an accessible washroom as well as two smaller ones, and large picture windows into the room where it happens. The brewing magic that is.
Luppolo was born of a collaboration, and head brewer Ryan already says he plans on working with other breweries in the area to make special beers. The beers they plan on making will run the gamut of what we are used to, with a few Italian styles coming to the taps. Once the favourites become clear, he plans to keep a balance of those and rotating kegs of special brews. Keep your eyes open for casks as well. You better believe I will be there opening day!