La Piazza: a brewery for skills and second chances
Birrificio Artigianale La Piazza – located at the heart of Turin, in Via Durandi – opened in 2007 within a broader project, named “Piazza dei Mestieri”.
Can you tell us more about the project?
“La Piazza dei Mestieri” was established to bring together elements from the worlds of education, manufacturing, and culture, to provide professional training to young adults who had not been successful in school. It is a place where those who “didn’t make it” have a second chance.
What does the name mean?
It means “Square of Trades”: in Italy, a town’s square used to be its most lively place, where people could meet, negotiate, hold cultural and social events. It was also where craftsmen taught apprentices. Our Piazza dei Mestieri evokes that traditional model.
What are the project’s main activities?
It includes various manufacturing and entrepreneurial activities. There is a restaurant, a pub, a chocolate workshop, a printing press…
… and a brewery, which opened a decade ago.
That’s right. We decided to start producing an excellent craft beer. Our mission is to pass on and give new life to skills that are part of our territory’s tradition. Did you know that in 1865 Turin had 114 breweries?
What is the philosophy that sums up your work method?
We want to keep our process completely artisanal, and to transfer knowledge and skills from teachers to students in a continuous cycle of growth – in terms of both professional ability and responsibilities. Master brewers are made through a personal relationship of trust, which needs to be built day after day. You have to know the whole productive cycle, from recipe to tap. Our goal is to make a beer that can tell “its story” through taste.
Is it difficult?
It’s a hard job that requires great dedication. Certain phases of production need twelve-hour shifts with no interruption. You need physical strength and organizational skills, but most importantly you need creativity, know-how, and a desire to always innovate, in order to capture new trends in the market. Never forgetting the legacy of traditional methods.
How does the Italian market respond to your products?
Our beers were an instant success with clients in and outside of Turin. Our brewpub is doing better and better as the appreciation for high-quality beer becomes more widespread.
What are your sales goals?
First of all, we would like to expand nationally in order to share our story and promote our social goals through the points of excellence of our products. Our biggest challenge is to place ourselves among high-quality beers in a very competitive market, while also communicating the broader project that is behind our great quality.
Are you considering the foreign market?
We are approaching some of the most interesting countries, where “Made in Italy” is considered particularly appealing and great importance is given to projects that merge social goals and excellent products. We hope to define some important agreements by the end of this year…