In September, I finally married my long-time favorite Italian on a wonderfully sunny day in the church where his parents were also married in. We went to Africa for our honeymoon and this past week has been the first full one back at work. It's all extremely bittersweet, to think that a day that is so revered and so anticipated for years (on my part) goes by in the blink of an eye. We had the perfect day. Almost half of our guests were my beloved friends and family that made the long trip over the Atlantic to be celebrate with us. Our priest was sublimely spontaneous, the gospel choir sang their hearts out, and we were even blessed with a too-good-to-be-true sunset over Lake Iseo. I'll be posting more photos either here or on the Facebook page when possible as we do not yet have the ones taken by our photographers with the exception of this snippet below! Have a great weekend everyone!
This post has been a long time coming which I apologize for, but in all the havoc the weeks leading up to the wedding, entertaining out-of-town guests, and then jetting off on our African honeymoon, I had absolutely zero free time to write about the latest and greatest food (well, beer) tour that I went on. This is the second of the official Milan Food Tours that I've taken, the first you can read about here: The Absolute Best Tour You Can Take in Milan: MILAN FOOD TOUR.
So I had the brilliant idea of doing the Beers and Bites Tour with all my Canadian friends who had arrived the weekend before the wedding in Milan, I thought it would be the perfect low-key pseudo-bachelorette/welcome to Italy shindig, and I did I ever hit the nail on the head! We ended having a private tour, in the sense that there was no one else except my girlfriends and I that had signed-up. This was ideal for us, but I can definitely say a shame for everyone else. The Beers and Bites option is new and hasn't quite got up to speed in popularity with the traditional food tour but it should not be overlooked. I think it's a fantastic way to spend a non-traditional evening in Milan if you're not overly familiar with the city. It's essentially a great way to get a buzz and have someone to hold your hand, guiding you through the maze of Italy's up-and-coming craft beer scene (while also supervising you so no one ends up in the canal from one too many!).
The tour starts off as all tours do, with a meet and greet with the guide and as you'll see in the first photo above, the girls were all stoked about ours. I feel terrible, but I've completely drawn a blank on his name during the moment of writing this. I really want to say that it was Marcello or Luca, but then again, I think every Italian man is named Marcello thanks to the million times I've watched "Under the Tuscan Sun". Anyways, names aside, ours was STELLAR. He did the tour in English, naturally, and just had a wonderfully laid-back nature about him. He wasn't overly oppressive like some guides can be, nor annoyed or condescending when we asked for the umpteenth selfie or photo of the evening or when we asked a hundred non-beer-related questions. My friends visiting from Canada commented on this afterwards and particularly appreciated the fact that he was conscious of letting us girls catch-up with each other during the tour.
The photos above are from the first stop where the brewing company was named "Minchia"- want to know the meaning of that? Take the tour to find out! I'm not going to describe in detail each beer or bite, also because being on the smaller side, I'm not sure I can even remember past beer #3 which is always an excellent indicator of how much fun I had. I should mention that what's great about doing a beer tour in any European city like Milan is that you can take your beer with you as you wander around, so it's not that you're required to throw back an entire beer in a manner of minutes each time. I think there's no beating a warm summer day and an ice cold beer in hand while you take in the sights and sounds of one of Italy's most underrated cities. I say this because every time I take a Milan Food Tour, I find myself enjoying Milan more and more. Your guide will weave you in and out of nooks and crannies that you'd never find on your own and that's the beauty of doing these tours.
I'm not a beer expert by any means, but I'm definitely a food expert. I mean, eating expert. And the "bites" on this tour were beyond expectations. My favourite was the little cone of seafood (below) we each got to nibble on as we perused the crowds along Darsena. The fish came from Milan's seafood market, often said to be the best in Europe, it supplies some of the biggest names and Michelin-starred restaurants across the unofficial capital of finery.
The tour lasted from 5pm until past sundown, to be honest, we all lost track of the time. Our guide was ever so kind and at the end of it, even called around to his favourite Milan restaurants to get us a table. I'm consistently impressed by the hospitality shown by the Milan Food Tour hosts and this was just a small gesture that really translates into much more for anyone visiting the city, whether it's your first or fiftieth time. Another plus of the Beer and Bites Tour is that it's a nice combination of walking and the occasional sit-down, it's not overly heavy in history-book facts, which I prefer. It's really, truly how a beer tour should be: laid-back, informal, and loads of fun. Even my girlfriends who don't like beer, loved this tour. I'll sign-off now and leave a smattering of photos. Go to the website by clicking on the hyperlink you have any specific questions about the Milan Food Tours or the Beers and Bites Tour. Cin cin!
Jasmine is a former pharmacist turned freelance writer, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.