7 Questions: Raffaele De Nicola, founder of Fermento Brewery
How did it start?
Brewing became a genuine interest while studying microbiology at University in Italy. In Scotland and Switzerland, I specialized in fermentation, my absolute passion for brewing was born. (see the article “Fermento, Tastefully Balanced“) I started Fermento Brewery because there is a genuine need for well-balanced craft beers. I can taste artfully balanced intensity and the ingredients that make beer: malts, yeast, hops, and water. While commercially mass-produced beers have a bland taste alternatively many craft beers concentrate on one ingredient (e.g., hop or malts), resulting in unbalanced beers.
What is your favorite day of the year?
Our most celebrated day is May 5th. Most importantly, it is my daughter Sara’s birthday and next because the adventure of Fermento Brewery began on that day, although several years later. May 5th, to us, represents the beauty of new life, the power of pursuing dreams with your heart, the unlimited possibilities of the future, and, simply put, celebrating passion.
What is your dream for Fermento Brewery?
To make great beers! Everyone can appreciate fine, well-balanced, crafted beer instead of mass-produced beer. Offering the enjoyment of tasty and balanced beers is very satisfying. I share my experience, knowledge, and passion as a professional in fermentation and brewing and as a beer drinker too. I also believe beer could be a healthy choice when enjoyed responsibly.
What do you look for in a beer?
I appreciate the craft of any brewmaster who intelligently expresses ingredients. I like beers that are well-balanced in taste. I consider the details of the occasion or the best food pairing for a good beer, which gives me the greatest pleasure, rather than liking or disliking a particular kind of beer.
What does Tastefully Balanced mean to you?
“Tastefully Balanced” was chosen to highlight our focus on developing a taste balance using the ingredients wisely. At Fermento Brewery, we believe in a balanced lifestyle most of all. For us, beer can be part of well-being and a healthy quality of life and joie de vivre. (see also the article “Is beer healthy?”)
Our key value is to enjoy tasty beer responsibly, which is why we always encourage responsible drinking behavior.
Why is food pairing essential to Fermento Beer?
Beer is a compelling alternative to wine when considering food pairings. Beer is lighter in alcohol, which results in a fresher experience. Some beers pair fantastically with cheese or chocolate, for example, and are a much better choice than wine. In other instances, beer is the only choice, like spicy foods or food with higher acidity levels (e.g., pickles). (see Fermento blog articles on “The Godly Combination of Chocolate and Beer” and “Fermento Beer: Best Pairing Suggestions“).
What is the future for beer?
I believe more people will discover and appreciate the authentic taste of high-quality beer. There is a movement to be more deliberate in our choices and live a more curated life rather than participate in the mass consumption ideology of past generations, leading to an elevated experience in artfully made craft beers. I see a bright future for breweries like Fermento Beer that will continually strive to brew the best tasting and most well-balanced beer.