I am Raffaele, a city boy, from Rome. Most beautiful memories of my life bring me back to my childhood, hot summer days that I spent with my grandparents in the countryside. My “Nonno” (grandfather) was a country gentleman, a wheat farmer. After this magic time of harvest, the crops were kept in storage buildings, at our farm. My little secret at that time that I still remember fondly today, is that I would have sneaked into the granary, and swam in that golden sea of grains. A warm comforting hug and that wonderful calming smell of wheat grains have been embedded in my mind and spirit forever. My grandmother would inevitably have looked at me full of surprise when off to a bath I would go, with pockets full of grains trailing behind.
Italian farmers often make their wine and my Nonno was no different. His homemade wine was served at our family dinners and for the kids, a sip diluted with a splash of sparkling water. The first spark of my passion for Fermento Brewery comes from these dear childhood memories.
A young man studying microbiology and fermentation
The love for nature instilled in my heart during these hot summer holidays stayed with me. Some years later, I joined the University of Agriculture in Perugia, and dedicated myself to the research of fermentation. Interestingly enough, the university laboratories have been situated in a 1,000-year-old Benedictine monastery, and as a young student, while working with my fermenting bubbling juices, I often conceived as if I was back to ancient times, when monks were brewing their beer.
A couple of years later, I moved to Scotland, continuing my research and working for one of the major beer brands.
I learned so much about the craft! My love for ale blossomed! That ale had foam as smooth as cappuccino and bubbles fine like Champagne!
Ale became not only my professional life, but also my social life centered around a pint of that wonderful beer, which we enjoyed together with my friends at the local pub in Dundee.
I was truly inspired.
The adult enjoying friendship and brewing
Afterward, destiny brought me to Switzerland, and I started working for a biotech company. On one Saturday afternoon, a good friend of mine, came to me with his home brewing kit, telling me that his wife banned him from using it in their kitchen.
Curious and excited, I volunteered my kitchen and this is how it started...our weekend “fermenting adventures” together and with invaluable help from my dear, sweet daughter Sara.
During these long afternoons of brewing and discussions about beer and life, our snacks were Pata Negra ham, and assorted cheese from Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. And that's how we discovered that our beer pairs perfectly well with fine meats and cheeses.
Passion, patience, knowledge, friendship, and love for fine food has been the foundation for the creation of the Fermento Brewery beers.