About two hours outside Milan is Bovolone, one of the quietest, quaintest Italian towns you are ever likely to come across. There is hardly anyone on the street when we are there. Bustling it is not. It is as far from the normal place you are likely to find a Pilsner Urquell tank bar in as can be.
But the story is one of passion and commitment. Alberto Bergamo, the owner, simply loves Czech beer. Always has. He goes to Czech regularly, some say every month, and before he installed the Tankovna system, he used to drive there in his car, buy kegs of beer and drive back to Bovolone to sell it.
Nine years ago, before tank beer was even a twinkle in the eye of Italy he was already asking ‘when can I have unpasteurised beer?’. And he kept asking until eventually in December 2015 Bar San Pierino, in the tiny town (population 15,000) off the E70 motorway, became the second tank bar to open in Italy.
And it is a huge success. The town’s residents – and customers from other regions who have heard about the reputation of the beer – drink both tanks, all 1000 litres, every week.
It just goes to show the rewards of passion and perseverance; of love and the lure of the original golden beer.