I’m a beer writer, taster, educator and a beer judge
My name is Francesca Morbidelli, I live in Firenze, Italy. I’m a beer taster, educator, writer, advocate, and international beer judge with over fifteen years of experience. I have a degree in philosophy and I’m passionate about 20th-century art, and of course, craft beer.
In 2006, I co-founded the La Pinta Medicea Beer Tasting and Homebrewers Association with a group of friends. At that time, the Italian beer scene was quite desolate. We were pioneers in Florence, and among the few across Italy, to organize homebrewing lessons, meetings, as well as various events such as dinners, tastings, markets, public presentations, and online articles. All our initiatives were dedicated to promoting and spreading the nascent culture of Italian craft beer.
Over the past twenty years, I have attended any tasting courses that were available (or possible) in Italy: MoBI, Unionbirrai, Slow Food, Fermento Birra and even at our Pinta Medicea when we had guest teachers. I’m an UBT aka Unionbirrai Beer Taster too. I attended the lessons of the best beer experts in Italy: Lorenzo “Kuaska” Dabove, Flavio Boero, Leonardo di Vincenzo, Agostino Arioli.
Over the past decade, I actively participated in numerous tasting courses throughout Italy, including those organized by MoBI, Unionbirrai, Slow Food, and Fermento Birra. Additionally, I seized every opportunity to attend sessions hosted by renowned beer experts, such as Lorenzo ‘Kuaska’ Dabove, Flavio Boero, Leonardo di Vincenzo, and Agostino Arioli. I also took part in instructional sessions at our Pinta Medicea, when we were fortunate to have guest teachers.”
Since 2008 I have been running a pretty popular website about “quality beer culture”: www.pintamedicea.com. I am probably the first Italian female beer blogger. In Pinta Medicea’s blog I write and edit all the articles and sometimes I translate, too – to name a few, I have worked on the Italian translation of articles written by-or regarding Charlie Papazian, Sam Calagione, Randy Mosher, Lotte Peplow (the current Brewers Association’s Craft Beer Ambrassador in EU), Roger Protz, for example.
During the years I helped to write the lecture notes/handouts for all Unionbirrai beer education courses. I contributed extensively to writing the lecture notes/handouts for the beer education courses held by Unionbirrai. I have also produced some reviews for various beer guides, for example the Mobi “Guida ai locali birrari”.
Teaching + other activities
I currently teach beer tasting and beer history/culture, and I have offered several public presentations many times; here the one on April’22. I have organized many beer courses in Florence for Pinta Medicea, and also for Unionbirrai.
I was hosted at some local tv shows to talk about beer (a really terrible picture).
Every year in August I usually volunteer at the Bière sans Frontières bar at GBBF London, to present Italian craft beers to the English public. I’m a (proud) CAMRA member.
You can find out more info and pictures about these activities on my website pintamedicea.com.
I’ve been a judge 11 times at Unionbirrai‘s competition Birra dell’Anno, (and Birra dell’Anno Winter Edition) plus at dozens of other homebrewing competitions, including: Una Birra in Versilia, Il Villaggio della Birra (many times, here 2022 edition), IGA Beer Challenge, Birra Dell’Anno Winter Edition, the World Beer Awards, Premio Cerevisia of Perugia University, (the other) Cerevisia–contest of artisanal beers from Trentino, some stages of the Italian MoBI championship and many others.
Moreover I was summoned by the American Brewers Association to judge at the World Beer Cup 2020, which was supposed to take place in San Antonio (Texas) in April 2020. Unfortunately it was canceled because of the pandemic; I am so sorry it would have been a great honor to be a part of the jury. But -spoiler- I did in 2023!
Beer judge in the last couple of years
In 2022 I served as judge in the national beer competition Premio Cerevisia 2022, organized by the University of Perugia and in August at The World Beer Awards in London, UK. In September I judged at Villaggio della Birra, and in October at IGA Beer Challenge in Turin.
In 2023, I was part of the jury at the Barcelona Beer Challenge 2023, and shortly after, I went to the United States to judge in two phases at the World Beer Cup 2023 (badge, judges’ group one and two, proudly in front of the BA wharehouse, with the fantastic volunteers of Brewers Association… and we had snow too!). In June, I was invited to be part of the tasting panel at the Premio Cerevisia of the University of Perugia and then at the World Beer Awards in London.
Social and other stuff
My @WorldBeerCup online profile
My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/francesca-morbidelli
My Twitter: @PintaMedicea
My Insta: https://www.instagram.com/birraitaliana/