Gilberto Acciaio Bier Sommelier
He comes from Pompei and aims to become a brewmaster, the Bier Sommelier who was a representative of southern of Italy during the World Beer Cup organised by the Akademie Doemens in Munich (University of Beer born in 1895 in Munich). They are talking about Gilberto Acciaio, a 40 year old man responsible for the GMA Import Specialities, historic company leader on imports of high quality beers and global specialities. The 2013 World Beer Cup, Acciaio got to the semi finals: a great performance of the only one man of the southern Italy who took part in the competition, for this reason he got the participation in the next edition on 2015 in Brazil. He also got an award as the Doemens vocational teacher for the southern Italy, starting his first training courses in Pompei. “The event consist on blindly beer tasting, without knowing who made it or where it comes from. They also need to prepare themselves to the food pairings: During the last edition, a beer aged in barrels was served at 38 grades. When I started the competition I won a “one on one” challange and then I had to fill out a form about the beers and other products we had tasted before. There was about 500 journalists and when I came back home I bought people beers at Tallioo in San Giorgio a Cremano”.
Doemens Akademie is very similar to the Italian University. It shares 3 centuries of history and a lot of graduate brewmasters which today are still representing some of the best firm in the world. “The Beer Sommelier is a little known position in Italy,where the culture for wines prevail over beers, but it lets one understand the world of beer, starting from ingredients to tasting and food pairings”. “All the lessons take place in Germany and they need to pass a final exam to get the certificate. Today there are 50 Bier Sommelier in Italy and I can show off the first certificate in the southern Italy. That is a 25 years old passion since when I was a child”. I have also tried telling my story to people who joined in the training courses with Doemens in Pompei. “Here in Italy we are focused on the food/beer pairings helped from specialised chefs”. Furthermore, in terms of education, Acciaio has organised training courses for Bier Taster and Bier Trainer, news of the world of beer. Those are based on training and tasting, practice and internship.
We were talking about my passion… “A natural walk of life thanks to my dad. We started commercial trading in beers when nobody knew much about beers. I had to taste: luckly – he jokes – I don’t get fat easily”. This job was very funny, “then I started working seriously, comparing myself to the leading experts in the sector and our own culture. I’m used to work outside of Campania and today I have a dream: I want to become a brewmaster. This is a 19 years long study: 7 years agriculture courses, 5 of specialization and 5 other in a brewery. The study about the product my company offers is my first priority”.
Acciaio is also a beer brewer. His latest creation is the “Titanum 11”. “It takes name from our last name. It raises in Belgium where we found a brewmaster with 30 years of brewery experience. Titanum 11 is a type of beer one could be tasted with any meal. It may be drunk cold as a pre dinner drink or pairs well with meat and fish, or together with a cup of fruits and dessert. It is a quad Belgian beer which has an additional fermentation in bottle; this is termed: “dray opim”, because of the fresh hops basket added the 40th day in order to get more flavour of hops. So, a multi flavour beer, we are very pleased with it”. They, on the other hand, get a lot of experience in gastronomy. “We knew where we had to invest: our “core business” aims to the breweries and gastro pub, but high quality restaurants too. One years ago we started a new format “pizzerie gourmet”; no more the same old pizza, but a new pizza made up of high quality products. We work on this sector with a big selection of gluten free beers and other high selected products”.