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A Continuous Love: Taste Workshops on Beer

Beer is an old friend: a relationship stretching back some 9000 years. Its first producers, the Sumerians, couldn’t have possibly anticipated that their brew, which for them was a means of sanitizing water, remaining drinkable for a long time thanks to the alcohol and level of acidity, would later go on to conquer the world.

As we know, that’s exactly what happened, and today there are more styles and varieties on offer than may be counted. Beer got sophisticated. Some years ago, it was enough to walk into a pub and ask for a lager or an ale, but nowadays the subtle differences between a Pale Ale and Brown Ale, a Porter and a Stour, a Dunkel and a Weissbier can create as much confusion as a wine menu to the uninitiated drinker.

If you’re excited to explore the contemporary beerscape, well, you’re in luck, as we have several Taste Workshops at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto dedicated to the business of brewing.

Let’s start with the basics: the essential ingredients of beers are water, wheat, hops and yeast. That doesn’t mean other can’t be added, of course, including some that you’d probably never considered part of the beer world: grapes, for example. That’s right, grapes! The wine-loving Italians, despite recently finding an affection for beer, have brought the two worlds closer together through Italian Grape Ale, star of Italian Beer Trends – Italian Grape Ale. Dedicating part of the grape harvest to beer production is in fact a completely Italian invention that Nicola Perra of the Barley brewery was among the first to practice. Around 2006 Nicola started his experiment, and he wasn’t along for long: after creating the BB10 Stout using Cannonau grapes from Sardinia, other brewers began to get in on the act. The most recent recognition of Grape Ale comes from the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program), which classifies it as one of the world’s emerging “local styles”. Consumers too appreciate the particular taste of this ale, whose flavor is, quite naturally, characterized by the aromas of the different grapes used. The color varies from golden to dark brown and there are no constraints on which malt or hops are used.


We continue our journey through Italy’s newfound national pride in beer with another beer from the boot: Italian Style Pilsner. We’re talking about Agostino Arioli’s Tipopils which we’ll learn about, and of course, taste, at Italian Beer Trends – Italian Style Pilsner. Tipopils revisits this most traditional of beer styles with a success that been noted both at home and abroad, demonstrating Italy’s growing importance in the international brewing scene.

Of course, Pilsner is not Italian, but Bohemian: it was born in 1842 in the city of Pilsen (then part of the Austrian Empire, now in the Czech Republic), is a bottom-fermenting beer, made with yeast that are active at around 10° centigrade. Pilsner is both clear and light, with a flowery and bitterish aftertaste, owning to the Saaz hops used to make it.

The third in the series concerns Lambic, a real connoisseur’s treat, produced exclusively in the region of Pajottenland in Belgium. In the Taste Workshop Master of Food – Lambic vrai ou faux, Jean Van Roy of the historic Cantillon brewery will reveal the secrets of this special beer, though we can already say a word or two about its unique personality, which is distinguished by two factors: the use of unmalted wheat and the use wild yeast, from the local area (carried by the wind) and from yeast cultures that grow within the brewery itself, rather than using specially selected yeasts.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg: if we’ve tickled your curiosity, and you’re ready to dive in, book your place now at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016!

Francesca Monticone

An Event by
 Città di Torino
 Slow Food
 Regione Piemonte
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