A craft beer that knows how to stand out comes from great recipes and simple but refined ingredients, and above all from its people. Our engine? Passion and craftsmanship, attention to detail and a great desire to grow and improve.
And if we’re talking about people, today we would like to introduce you a special one for Birra Flea: our Master Brewer Enrico, who is here to tell us about his story over a glass of beer.
First of all we would like to ask you how di your passion for craft beer start and how did you approach this wonderful world?
I began to feel this passion during my years at university, initially as a consumer, then I became more and more passionate about production techniques, when a dear friend of mine, involved me in his homebrewing activities. We had many projects and a lot of fascination, I particularly enjoyed finding solutions to mechanize the home production process. I tried to apply what I was studying (mechanical engineering) to the simple pots and ladles we had in our home system.
Do you remember when and how you decided you would do this in life?
The passion turned into a job when a Venetian company specialized in the construction of brewery plants started a microbrewery and called me for an internship. In a few days I had already understood that it was what “I wanted to do when I grew up”. The collaboration lasted 10 years, full of wonderful experiences. The brewery was born as a show room but it soon became a school for future brewers, many boys and girls came for a full immersion experience and teaching the production techniques has been a great opportunity for me. Also living the life of the brewery let me deepen the logistical and management aspects of a company. It was very nice to participate in the development of the cooking rooms, the software and the development of the malting machines. Taking care of the cooking rooms and malting machines was definitely the most satisfying part. I had the pleasure of working with many guys “with many projects and a great passion”, as I did before them, and to contribute to the realization of their dreams.
Then you arrived here in Gualdo Tadino! What characteristics of Birra Flea impressed you and pushed you to work with such dedication?
Birra Flea is amazing. There is an imposing structure, a fascinating project and people who dedicate themselves body and soul to make that project come true. For me it was love at first sight.
Flea beer is a raw beer and refermented in the bottle, can you tell us what does it mean?
It is defined raw because the product is not pasteurized, our beers maintain all the organoleptic characteristics developed during the primary fermentation, they evolve over time, maturing and refining day after day. Refermentation in the bottle is the natural process that gives the right sparkle. Precisely because our beers are “alive”, the very small amount of yeast in the bottle continues to work even after packaging, metabolizing simple sugars and producing the CO2 that the beer needs, in a completely natural way.
A question you will be tired of being asked, what is your favorite beer?
I went through several periods in which I became infatuated with different styles and it was great to always discover new ones. After having also gone through extremes, today I appreciate “light” beers with great taste, those where a minimum defect would be very evident, therefore these are the most difficult to make. Among our beers? Costanza, I love it!
The secret of Birra Flea?
Respect for the production process, scrupulous application of scientific check-ups and the love of those who dedicate passion and commitment to us, without realizing that they are working.
What advice would you give to those who want to start this profession?
Theory is very important and must be taken seriously, internet can be an ally but it can be very insidious. I think it is essential to quickly move on to practice, by any means, even with pots at home. I think it makes the difference to well know the raw materials and to taste as many beers as possible to understand their “secrets”. The purpose must be to identify the contribution given by the ingredients and try to reproduce them, until the desired results are obtained, with an approach that is as scientific as possible.