Approximately six decades ago, newlyweds Ermida and Palmiro Marchesini, immigrated from Italy and settled in Queensborough, New Westminster. Shortly after that, my mum was born and they moved to Surrey, continuing to live life as if they were in “the old country”. My Nonni cared for my brother and I from the moment we were old enough to go to school. We would go to their house after school, watch TV, draw, or try to learn how to bake. Whenever I tried to help my Nonna with pie dough, she never gave me measurements, and when I inquired about how much shortening to knead in, she said “you just know”. Their home smelled of fresh baked cookies or bread –apple pie if it was close to a holiday, or broth if it was just a regular ol’ Tuesday. Their house always felt like home and I got that same feeling of comfort when I walked into Luppolo Brewing.
La Stanza: Benvenuto!
Luppolo is one of East Vancouver’s newest breweries. The name Luppolo translates to “hop” in Italian, which is fitting as they are an Italian-inspired brewery. The tasting room is a mix of wood and tile with splashes of colour (blue, green, orange). The walls are lined with paintings by local artists (that are for sale) of very important food: tomatoes, salami, proscuitto.
The chairs are similar to the homely wooden chairs that my Nonni had, but these were painted in muted blue and green.Their geometric triangle wall is my favourite detail. It’s mostly cream, with a few shades of blue, and bursts of golden yellow and orange.
The triangle theme carries on throughout the tasting room: triangle tasting trays and branding on their growlers.
Il Cibo: Mangiare!
Luppolo has an impressive array of food for a tasting room and all of it is Italian.
Mixed olives, Taralli (Italian pretzels), pane e prosciutto, formaggio e carne, antipasto, bresaola salad, as well as four sandwich options. Luppolo also serves coffee and has a few fresh pastries to pair with your espresso.
La Birra: Saluti!
When I think about Italy, I think about wine. Other than Peroni and Moretti, I can’t really think of any other beers off the top of my head (check out this list for top ranking Italian beers). My experience with Italian beers have always been light, effervescent, easy to drink lagers. My Nonno would open up bottles of lager (stuff like Miller Genuine Draft…definitely not Italian) and would nurse a bottle over the course of a few days. He would just need a splash with lunch or dinner. Thankfully Luppolo’s beers are full of flavour and they give you the option of ordering glasses or flights. As they had 8 beers on tap, I ordered two flights and got to try one of everything.
The beer styles at Luppolo are diverse, meaning you’re bound to find something to please your palate. If you like English beers, they pour a robust porter (my favourite of the day) as well as a mild. The porter has tons of roasted chocolate notes, a really great beer for this time of year to pair with your holiday desserts or roast beef. If you like Belgian styles, they have a spicy saison and a West Coast farmhouse ale (with ample bitterness). They also have a Dunkelweizen for German beer lovers, as well as a pale ale, a double IPA (another favourite of mine), and a kettle sour as well.
They offer growler fills and have 1L flip tops and 2L jugs available for purchase.
The tasting room staff are incredibly friendly. One staff member was on the lookout for a table to clear for my mum and I, so that we didn’t have to stay at the bar. When our food was dropped off, someone let us know to flag them down if we needed more bread. Everyone was smiling and ready to answer any questions. I overheard a staff member helping someone decide what they wanted in their growler. They gave them several samples and took their time explaining each beer’s story, which is something that I really appreciate.
To sum up the experience, Luppolo feels comfortable and honest. I felt relaxed and serene while my mum and I enjoyed our food and beers. The music wasn’t loud, so conversation was easy. The tables are also close enough to each other that if you want to make new friends, you can, but far enough away that you still have some privacy. Go visit the lovely people down at Luppolo: that triangle wall is just asking for you to take a photo in front of it!