Lunch & Learn: General Manager Michael Franco & the Handmade Italian Beer You Must Try! -

Find out more about this beloved beverage


Join CORE: General Manager Michael Franco for his second Lunch & Learn, this time discussing the Italian artisanal beer brand La Birra di Meni!

Featuring La Birra di Meni: From Mortar to Malt
La Birra di Meni exemplifies the quest for purity in beer. It is unfiltered, unpasteurized, bottle conditioned Italian artisanal beer packed with probiotics, all natural minerals and B-vitamins retaining all of the nutritional benefits found in lovingly brewed beer liberated from commercial preservatives and additives. Domenico "Meni" Francescon and his son Giovanni bottle condition each beer with live, active yeast slowly fermenting in the bottle creating delicate all-natural carbonation enhancing the complex flavors and aromas of fine artisanal beer with age.

La Birra di Meni is handmade with fresh mountain water from the Dolomites one tank at a time by Meni and his son Giovanni in the Northeast of Italy in Cavasso Nuovo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia. They can only sustainably produce 50,000 bottles of sparkling liquid art per year. The beer that Meni brews has been over 35 years in the making and it is a beautiful, rare and very real story of passion and determination. Meni, at 70 years young, and his son Giovanni still touch every bottle and hand pack every case. Meni is not just a brewer or a brand, he is an artist. Drink La Birra di Meni and be transported to experience the bright colors, aromas, flavors, places, and people of the storied region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

About Michael Franco:
Michael Franco has been invested in hospitality for most of his life, with deep familial roots in the industry as well. He spent six formative years under the tutelage of legendary Chef Georges Perrier at Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia as a Fromagier, Sommelier, Events Coordinator and eventually the general manager. During his employment he and the chef were asked to consult at the Sands Parisian in Macau, cook at Sundance Film Festival, and host Naples Wine Festival. The Carneros Wine Alliance recruited Michael to take part in "Cru Carneros." 30 Sommeliers under 30 years old were brought together from across the country to take part in a two week “harvest to bottle” wine making competition.

After Le Bec-Fin Michael joined the ranks at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in Manhattan. He was honored with the TKRG 2013 Scholarship, where he took a 17 day trip across the United States to further his knowledge of cheese making. During his trip Michael worked at some of America’s most celebrated creameries, such as Andante Dairy, Rouge Creamery, Cowgirl Creamery and Cato Corner. His most recent venture was owning and operating his own Provencal-inspired French bistro, Baril, in the heart of his hometown, Philadelphia. Franco’s career combines the disciplined creativity of a chef with welcoming, warm front of house hospitality.