When Teo Musso opened Le Baladin (it’s an old French word meaning “storyteller”) in a converted old inn. It had 200 different beers and is regarded as one of the catalysts in the
Italian craft beer movement.
In 1996 a more significant thing happened: Teo opened a brewery and Italy’s first brewpub. Having worked in some Belgian breweries and with help (both physical and philosophical) from Jean-Luis Dits from La Brasserie a Vapeur, Teo built the brewery himself from old milk vats, producing a blond and amber beer for draft in the bar—an abbey-ish beer called Super followed the year after, packaged in bespoke wine-like bottles (an extravagance for a new brewery).
Visit To Baladin In Piozzo Enter The World Of The Vanguard Of Italian Craft Brewing Photo Gallery
Teo’s philosophy was to introduce Italians to a new way of thinking about beer and to approach it with food—Italy was very much a wine-drinking country. In fact, the opening of the brewery was a way of sticking a middle finger up at wine. Teo persevered through the early years to become the voice and face of Italian craft beer. He’s since gone on to build a small Baladin empire, which includes the original bar, a restaurant, and a hotel; a barrel-aging space (in the old brewery, which was previously a large chicken coop); numerous Open Baladin bars around Italy; plus a link to the Eataly chain. There’s also a larger production brewery now (the milk vats were emptied long ago), which is an “agricultural brewery” that works closely with growers to get local ingredients, as well as a new farmhouse space that Teo calls Open Gardens. This will be a large space with markets, a “beer park,” and a 17th-century farmhouse, which is being renovated to work as it would have originally done over 300 years ago. And of course there are the beers, too: over 30 of them, ranging from a mix of spicy, dry beers to richer, malt-forward beers and some funky, fruity, barrel-aged brews.
A visit to Baladin in Piozzo is like being whirled into a varied and exciting world, as different as the circus-themed Le Baladin, the five-room hotel with Turkish baths, and the high-quality beer cuisine at Casa Baladin, where you can have a sixcourse dinner with a glass of beer with each course. Then there are the Open Gardens and the brewery, a space unlike any other brewery—one that is again changing what beer is, and what it can be, in Italy. Teo Musso is Italy’s greatest beer renegade and innovator, and continues to be progressive in Baladin’s own pioneering, single-minded way.
Find out more about the Baladin empire at www.baladin.it.
All of the ventures in Teo Musso’s empire are underpinned by a creative vision that’s unique in the beer world.