Beer Culture: how nice to go to school!


Gambrinus friends, as we have seen in the various posts of this blog, beer has concealed within itself a sea, or rather an ocean of facts and anecdotes, not to mention the more technical skills necessary for a proper tasting and identification of the specific characteristics of a particular beer or more in general of a specific brewing style. You will wonder then where you can find all this, and if there are courses related to what which we could easily call “beer culture”. The apostle of Gambrinus has therefore decided to go and ask some questions to a person respected in the world of beer and its culture: Stefano Baladda, a multifaceted individual from UniBirra, an organization in the Varese area where you can enjoy quality beers on tap and served according to the characteristics of the beer style, and more: accompanied by the most adequate beer succulent dishes are served. And in addition to all this, UniBirra provides training for what was the end of the “Maestro” Franco Re: the diffusion of beer culture, because beer is a drink that allows you to socialize!


N: Hi Stefano, thank you for your time! What courses are UniBirra proposing?

S: Hi Niccolò, it’s my pleasure! UniBirra training is very diverse, in fact we offer courses for craft workers, professionals such as bar managers, bar employees, but also brewing companies and sales agents: the courses specified for them are called “Publican”, we offer a basic and a specialization course. For fans, in other words, all those people who want to enter the world of beer but do not work in this area, we have inaugurated different types of courses, such as a wine tasting, a thematic course on Trappist beers and one on brewing. The courses are many, for more information you can visit our website (

N: Interesting! But after the course, do students receive a diploma or certificate? Does it have national and / or international value?

S: A certificate of participation in the course is given, but it does not have the value of a true certificate, because such courses should be accredited by a body, for example by the Region. We are aware that this is limiting, but for now in Italy there is no accredited brewing training courses.



N: Surfing the Internet I saw that there are many associations that offer tasting courses or otherwise of beer culture in general, but if there are no accredited courses, who guarantees the quality of teaching?

S: I cannot speak of the other associations since I do not know the programs and teaching methods, but I can tell you that UniBirra teachers have all followed a training course accredited by the Lombardy Region to become trainers, and faced with uncredited courses (like all courses in Italy) teachers are accredited to train people, which is the most we could do. This of course is not enough to ensure a quality education: experience, desire to continually improve and passion for beer has to be there, without forgetting that we also had the luck to have as our teacher Franco Re, who started to explore the universe of beer in the ’80s, studying language books, through personal visits to bars and breweries around the world and he has given each of us a passion for this drink, focusing our attention not only on the product but also on all that is related to it: tapping, use of the correct glass, service techniques, food pairings, and cooking with beer. Everything always seasoned with hard work but also a lot of irony and lots of laughter.



N: Thank you Stefano for talking to us and all of this information!

S: Of course, when you want to talk about beer, everyone at UniBirra is here!

Pace e Birra!

Niccolò Maggini

Magazine eChiantiShop, le eccellenze delle Toscana