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We interviewed Luigi Schigi D ’ Amelio, brewer of the year
We interviewed Luigi Schigi D ’ Amelio, brewer of the year

Video: We interviewed Luigi Schigi D ’ Amelio, brewer of the year

Video: We interviewed Luigi Schigi D ’ Amelio, brewer of the year
Video: Luigi Schigi D'Amelio - intervista di @ Birrificio Extraomnes 2023, December

Every time we write about beer on Dissapore we get lynched. How is it possible?

Have patience with us fans. We spent years traveling around Europe, studying, and then we see the journalist who - perhaps taken by sincere enthusiasm - sits on the desk and writes nonsense. When I read the program of the Ais beer course, I shudder. Obviously then the beer geek reacts in a broken way.

Here, beer geek, stay calm: today I'm not talking about beer, but I do talk Luigi Schigi D'Amelio. Who, in case you didn't know (but you know, I tell everyone else), has just been elected Brewer of the Year 2013. The award announced by Fermento Birra intends to reward "technical skill, production philosophy and, ultimately, the ability to excite".

Schigi's was an atypical path: in love with beer since he was a child, from an enthusiast he passed directly to the producer, skipping the classic phase of homebrewing. He met the current owners of Extraomnes (the 2010 brewery he is master brewer of) on a tasting course and "they were so crazy" to believe in his abilities. Despite not ten years of experience, it has already built a solid reputation in Italy. In short, can he go as an opinion leader?

Luigi, you have already messed up my lineup: why do you get chills when you see the AIS courses?

If one is inside the culture of beer, seeing the structure they have given to the course one cannot help but shiver. There are things that are neither in heaven nor on earth. Also, if you take a class on quality beer you have to make things heard that make sense. Not a dead, industrial and pasteurized product on the red Moretti. Would you take a wine course making the tavernello feel in brick? They have two approaches to the world of beer: either they treat it with sloppiness or they are haughty, looking at us passionate as the children of a lesser god.

luigi schigi d'amelio
luigi schigi d'amelio

But now tell us: how do you become a brewer of the year?

Good question. Certainly not because I'm nice and jovial. Indeed, seeing the jury of the award, I was almost surprised: among those 50 characters, influential in various ways in the world of beer, I was certainly not accommodating in the past.

Okay, you don't get it by being nice. What then is the philosophy, if you pass the term, of Extraomnes?

The inspiration is admittedly Belgian. We certainly don't want to make "meditation" beers. Our beers should be drunk, not tasted, and the bottle format also reflects this philosophy. Until a few years ago, craft breweries offered 75 cl ones, we were among the first to use 33 cl ones. And to put them on sale at a popular price.

Well, let's talk about prices? Don't you find them on average excessive?

The intention was that beer was born as an alternative to wine. There was a minimum sale price that you could not ignore, and you did not want to give the impression of devaluing the product. For many years these upward leveled prices held up, also because beer remained a "niche" product, even though you don't like the term. For some years, however, the target of craft beer consumers has expanded and this discourse no longer holds up. Prices have dropped a lot, and with our bottles of only 33 we at Extraomnes want to launch a precise message, and promote a different way of fruition.

extraomnes beer
extraomnes beer

You trained with the canonical path of wine: AIS sommelier, seminars with Luigi Veronelli. How come the love at first sight with beer and not with wine?

I could, in fact, quote a sentence from Veronelli "The worst wine of the farmer is better than the best industrial wine". Beer is a world that exudes passion, authenticity and enthusiasm - or rather, it was true at the beginning. Today, well …

Here, in fact. What do you think of this nouvelle vague of craft beer?

Since 1996, craft breweries have grown like the Telethon. Let's say that Baladin (even if there were other pioneers, such as Agostino Arioli or the Lambrate Brewery) gave birth, obviously in spite of himself, of little monsters. And it is undeniable that many today see beer more of opportunities than anything else. Regardless of skills, I always have respect for those who make the investment to buy a plant. However, I would like to ask brew firms for greater transparency [those who produce beer with a plant that is not their own, editor's note], a phenomenon that is showing a somewhat worrying growth.


0 km beer. Do we like it or do we not like it?

I see it more as a marketing issue than anything else. For now, it makes more sense to go abroad for malts and hops. Beer is less linked to the territory than wine.

The brewer of the year 2014 will be …

Giovanni Campari from Birrificio del Ducato, who reached the final with me this year. I'll tell you more. We are about to have a beer together, a Ducato-Extraomnes collaboration.