We originally posted this on our blog (http://birraitaliana2014.blogspot.com) about a month ago. Were adding the relevant posts over here.
Back in January I wrote about Andre Turco’s Italian Beer Awards for best of 2013. Turco, a journalist, started Cronache di Birra early in Italy’s craft beer evolution. As I wrote before, no one is better at reporting the movement’s every step than Turco who reaches farther, reports more and brings the entire movement together. Turco is truly the choir of the movement. His continued passion is inspiring and refreshing. England and America had Michael Jackson, Italy can be proud of Andrea Turco for his informative blog and his innovative and creative ways of bringing the message to the people.
The Italian Beer Awards was voted using a two tier system involving both experts and craft beer enthusiasts. Seeking to “award the best players on the national brewing scene,” Andrea Turco collected a large list of who’s who of beer critics to head up the first part of the contest. It was Turco’s desire to ‘on the one hand offer prominence to the best professionals in the industry; the other, directly involve those who drink beer every day.’
“We all know that to operate in a market of quality beer is not easy: it takes devotion, entrepreneurial skills, expertise and a deep love for the product and its culture,” says Turco. “On the other hand the whole movement would not exist without the presence of active consumers and enthusiasts: it is therefore right that the latter decide the outcome of the Italian Beer Awards, allowing them to choose the best character for each type in a list drawn up by some experts of Italian beer.”
During the first half of January, the experts composed a personal list of the best brewers of the Italian craft scene under categories Turco chose, which included: Best Brewery, Best Brewpub,Best Beer Firm, meaning, a location that doesn’t have its own brewery but serves its own beer, Best Pub/Brewery and finally, Best Beershop. The brewers had to be working in Italy for at least twelve months.
Well, the results are out and the winners are:
For Best Brewery in 2013:
Birra Del Borgo (Borgorese)
Birra Del Borgo was started by Leonardo Di Vincenzo in 2007. Leonardo was one of the first Roman brewers. Most breweries in Italy are located in the Piamonte or Lombardia area. Leonardo collaborated with Teo Musso of Baladin (one of the forefathers of the movement) in the founding of Open Baladin, one of Italy’s most impressive beer pubs and which only features Italian craft beer. Leonardo collaborated with the messiah of the Italian tap house, Manuele Colonna in Bir & Fud and with Marco Valente’s La Taberna, one of the most important restaurants bringing Italian craft beer to the table alongside high quality food. Leonardo jointly owns NO.AU, a French Bistro featuring Italian craft beer in Rome. Leonardo Di Vincenzo has stood out as one of the most important brewers of the third generation of Italian craft brewers.
For Best Brewpub in 2013:
Lambrate was one of the four founding breweries of the movement born in 1996. A collaboration of friends and family, the five owners made history and advanced the scene with their brewpub. Years of hard work and growing success allowed the group to open a second, larger location not far from their original pub. Their craft beer continues to set a standard in quality and excellence.
For Best Beer Firm in 2013:
Buskers Pub is one of the most recent additions to the history of Italian craft beer, but Mirko Caretta isn’t a stranger to the movement. Owner of the bottle shop, Bir & Fud Bottega (beershop with no relation to the pub Bir & Fud), Mirko doesn’t just dabble in beer making, he’s brewed with some of the best as a gypsy brewer (he prefers, busker brewer). He began brewing at L’Olmaia, but has also brewed at Del Borgo, Etraomnes and several others.
For Best Pub/Brewery in 2013:
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fá (Rome)
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fá (Macche) is the equivalent of the famous Horsebrass Pub in Oregon and Manuele Colonna is similar to the late charismatic founder of Horsebrass, Don Younger. In fact, I’d venture to say that Colonna is the Italian version of Don Younger and just as charming and brilliant. His efforts to tear pubs from the rash of tied houses are allowing independent pubs all over Italy to blossom. His original venture, Macche, is a must-see destination in Rome. His contributions to Italian craft beer continue with his other projects like Bir & Fud and NO.AU. Colonna’s influence to the Italian craft beer scene is so great that it can’t be quantified.
For Best Beershop in 2013:
Bere Buona Birra (Milan)
Milan certainly has its place as one of the regions most blessed with craft breweries, but Rome is by far the engine running the craft beer movement with several well-established tap houses and a plethora of beer shops. Bere Beershop may not have a prominent place in the early history of the Italian craft beer movement, but with beer from all over the world, home brewing kits, three taps and one hand pump, Bere Beershop is making its own mark while dragging Milan out of the craft beer dark ages.
So there you have it. Remember, when you travel Italy today, you no longer have to drink bad beer…so don’t!
Congratulations to all the winners. And thank you Andrea Turco for shinning a light, blasting the horn and keeping the beer thirsty people aware of a gem of a movement.