A journalist, Turco’s writing skills and the Italian craft beer movement seem to have been a marriage. Turco started Cronache di Birra early in the movement. He began with video interviews of the brewers themselves, asking their opinions and tapping into their psyche. He interviewed both critics and pub owners as well, catching them at festivals, tastings, and award ceremonies. No one is better at reporting the movement’s every step than Turco. So it’s no wonder that Turco and his blog, Cronache di Birra, are hosting its own awards, the Italian Beer Awards for the best of 2013.
The Italian Beer Awards are the first and only awards that will be voted in a two tier system involving both experts and craft beer enthusiasts. Seeking to “award the best players on the national brewing scene,” Turco has 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 the month, 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. The list will be whittled down to a list of ten finalist breweries.
The list drawn up by the experts has already been posted.
The nominees for Best Brewery in 2013:
Birra Del Borgo (Borgorese)
Del Ducato (Roncole Verdi Di Busseto near Parma)
Del Forte (Pietrasanta near Lucca)
Extraomnes (Varese in the Lombardy)
Foglie d’Erba (Udine)
Montegioco (Alessandria in Piedmont)
Toccalmatto (Fidenza near Parma)
The nominees for Best Brewpub in 2013:
Birrificio Italiano (Como)
Birrificio Settimo (Varese)
The nominees for Best Beer Firm in 2013:
Cerevisia Vetus (Frosinone in Lazio)
Via Priula (Bergamo in Lombardy)
The nominees for Best Pub/Brewery in 2013:
Abbazia di Sherwood (Bergamo)
Arrogant Pub (Reggio Emilia)
Brasserie 4:20 (Rome)
Locanda Del Monaco Felice (Bergamo)
Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fá (Rome)
Open Baladin (Rome)
Ottavonano (Avellino near Naples)
Sherwood Music Pub (Pavia in Lombardy)
The Dome (Bergamo)
The nominees for Best Beershop in 2013:
Astral Beers (Bologna)
Bere Buana Birra (Milan)
Bir Sciò (Naples)
Bir&Fud Beershop (Rome)
Domus Birrae (Rome)
Il Birratrovo (Como)
The most interesting aspect of Turco’s nominees is that amongst the founders, and the usual historic players of the movement (Baladin, Lambrate, Birrificio Italiano), are a few newer breweries (Extraomnes, Forte). It’s a sign of a healthy, growing beer community.
Now the vote for the winners in each category goes to the consumers. By accessing Cronache di Birra’s Facebook page beer lovers can place their votes.
Turco’s 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.
So if you find yourself traveling to Italy, even without the final vote, you’ll be more than pleased with an encounter with any of the nominees. I will post the winners when the results are released by Turco.