Among the many gastronomic events around, there is one we have always felt particularly attached to, launched the same year as the farm brewery Baladin Birrificio Agricolo. We are, of course, talking about Salone del Gusto - Terra Madre, the most important biennial on food culture, which, since 1996, brings to Turin everything that is worth knowing, tasting and telling in the world.
It is the event of all Slow Food events and we have always tried to approach it with the same spirit: we are not there to only talk about craft beer, but about everything that revolves around it, be it cultural, educational or just fun.
The milestones in the history of Baladin have always coincided with the (even) years of Salone del Gusto: Experimental workshops, new beers and discussions on the world of Italian craft beer, which began to take shape in 1996 and has become stronger and bigger edition after edition.
At the last September 2018 edition, we told the world of Baladin as it is today and we highlighted the many facets that craft beer currently has. A product that attracts growing attention, it deserves to be handled with care, combined with food tastefully, and mixed considerately, when it becomes an ingredient for other drinks. We are talking about mixology and beer, a topic we explored during Salone del Gusto with barman Dennis Zoppi - a leading figure in the field of cocktail design - and his recipes, adapted to different beer styles. We explained how to serve beer correctly - an aspect that is often overlooked - with the help of publican Michele Galati (Abbazia di Sherwood, Caprino Bergamasco).
We presented pairings between beers and Slow Food Presidia, from Italy and the world; we had meeting with journalists and sector associations; we organized the premiere presentation of Xyauyù Kioke, the new version of our “couch beers” fermented in the Kioke barrel where, traditionally, soy sauce is produced.
For the first time, we were at Salone del Gusto with two spaces: the usual one at the "Italian and international market”, dedicated to our brewery, and an Open Baladin stand (managed by the Turin pub) where we served our draft beer, located in the area dedicated to craft breweries and street food.
The Open pubs in Rome, Turin and Cuneo, represent the spirit on union that craft beer needs: we serve the beers of other Italian breweries along with ours, spreading the message of quality and craftsmanship, the two criteria that we use to select the products we serve.
The reason the importance of having the Open name among many friend brands is easily understood. Maybe - and this is the only criticism we may have on Salone del Gusto 2018 - that area was a bit too isolated from the rest of the party: too distant and not too clearly indicated. A real shame, and we hope this will change at the next edition: craft beer needs the support of Salone del Gusto.
In the meantime, let’s think about what we can come up with for 2020, as we always do.