An Italian entrepreneur has arrived in Sunderland as part of a cross-border exchange programme to learn about brewing and launch a new beer in the city!

Gianni Lombino has been working with Brewlab and sister company Darwin Brewery to broaden his knowledge of brewing in the hope of one day opening his own brewpub in his homeland of Sicily. Senior Manager at Brewlab, Daniel Vecsey,  said: “We were excited to get Gianni on board to help us design an Italian-style craft beer for many of the region’s Italian restaurant owners, who – I’m delighted to say – have already placed orders to have the beer in their restaurants.

Part of Gianni’s tasks involves taking the beer to market so he invited some of the region’s restaurant owners to a blind taste-testing experience – it was a bit like the beer X-Factor!

The testers rated Gianni’s beer as their favourite ahead of major brands like Peroni and Moretti and the feedback we received allowed Gianni to perfect the recipe.

The taste-testing experience also allowed the technical team at Brewlab to demonstrate our competence in training people on how to appreciate the different flavours and aromas of beer.”

Gianni said: “I’ve always wanted to get involved in brewing and the Erasmus programme has allowed me to gain the marketing and technical skills I need to succeed in the brewing industry.

“I learned how to appreciate certain tastes and recognise different flavours, which is a really important part of brewing – if you don’t recognise the taste then you don’t really know what you’re creating.”

The beer, which is called, ‘Birra Brigante’, is set to feature in some major North East Italian restaurants, having been tested by the owners of Angelo’s, Volare, Mamma Mia, Gabriele’s, Marcello’s, Mamma Italia and Luciano’s – who have all ordered the beer.

For further details about the venture and the ERASMUS programme follow this link.

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