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Notes from the road: Turin


In Italy for Salone del Gusto, a festival organised by the Slow Food Movement (which champions the opposite of fast food). About 100,000 members of the public, mainly from this car-building city (would it happen in Birmingham, England, and Detroit, Michigan?) attend this five-day fair, with booths offering breads, pastas, cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, wines and in the odd instance (but with great success) beers. Each day, 40-odd tutored tastings and seminars were held, almost all sold-out. My Alitalia flight arrived two hours late, so my tasting of Belgian abbey beers was hosted by Charlie Papazian, from the Association of Brewers, in the U.S. He later joined my seminar on Italian beers and I took part in his lecture on artisanal brewing. Charlie linked up with New York cheesemaker Jonathan White, and I addressed a media-oriented group on the parallels between the Slow Food movement and the beer renaissance. The beer events were coordinated by Italian beer writers Marco Bolasco and Marco Conigliani. Among the beers I tasted at the festival, the following all originate from brewpubs: the refreshing, dryish, Kšlsch-type Montestella, from Lambrate Fabbrica di Birra, of Milan; a malty amber lager called Violin, from Centrale della Birra, of Cremona; the spicily malty, strong (7abv) lager Sangre de Toro, from the Beba brewery, of Villar Perosa, near Turin; a cedary, sedimented, bottle-matured lager (a stylistic rarity), at 7abv, called Amber Shock, from Birrificio Italiano, of Lurago Marinone, near Lake Como; and a Belgian-tasting strong (8abv) bottle-conditioned ale called Super Baladin. This is made at the French-sounding brewpub Le Baladin, in Piozzo, near Turin. Brewer Teo Musso is married to a lady from the city of Lille, in French Flanders. More soon on Italian beer.

Published: DEC 8, 1998

Brew Travel - Beer Event Reviews

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