A Company does not achieve the success it deserves in a short time, if it cannot rely on mature experience and a well-studied and meditated winning idea. This is demonstrated by ‘Extraomnes’, at Marnate, in the province of Varese, which started its activity in 2010, and with its ‘Zest’ already won the award as best beer to ‘Italia Beer Festival’ in Milan the following year. And it started 2013 by obtaining another acknowledgement, the one of ‘Mastro Birraio (Brewmaster) 2013’, awarded to Luigi D'Amelio. He is both mind and arm of this company, specialized in the production of highly fermented, not pasteurized beers (ale), which, although inspired by the Belgian tradition, are enriched by a touch of creativity that makes them a unique example of Made in Italy already appreciated in Switzerland, France, USA, Australia and... Belgium, thus certifying its high quality level.
First Appreciator, then Manufacturer
But why D'Amelio, who in a couple of years will celebrate his first half century, has waited so long before deciding to brew beer? «Because since when I was a teen-ager I have been fascinated by beer, but at a cultural and tasting level. When in Italy the first Italian imported beers began to be proposed, especially ales and trappist beers of Northern Europe, I realized the substantial differences in comparison with the most widespread labels, which were available everywhere. Then I tried to learn more about, even travelling and tasting them in their production places».
So, D'Amelio became one of the most popular Italian tasters of beer. In order to probe it, up to its finest gustatory details, he initially attended courses for becoming a sommelier, and then arrived to keep himself courses concerning Ceres’ nectar. Indeed, even today he teaches in courses concerning beer organized by Slow Food.
D’Amelio passed from the status of appreciator of beer to the one of producer by meeting the owners of the Lombard roasting ‘Elmundo’, who sought the right person with whom they wanted to apply to beer the quality criteria they had tested for coffee. «We started with a small 30 litres plant, trying again and again. I can say that after tasting for years what others were doing, for me it was not difficult to recognize what was not right. Of course, I had and still have my own taste, which however meets the one expressed by the appreciators who in a beer look for a not banal drink, characterized by a complex and at the same time a pleasant taste, which can accompany an important course or be sipped during a conversation among friends».
Therefore, these beers are not common, and for them D'Amelio chose without false modesty a name so little comparable with other ones: ‘Extraomnes’ (‘all out’). «This is a way for exorcising the fear of evaluation, after assessing myself, even severely, the products prepared by others’» shies away D’Amelio. The balance of this experience is successful. From the initial batches of 30 litres, the production passed to 1,000 litres, with suitable fermentation vats, for an annual production which reached 1,200 hectolitres, thanks to a growth rate of 20-30% per year.
The participation in brewing events and awards has allowed Extraomnes emerging and being considered by importers and distributors of Countries with a much higher vocation for brewing than Italy. This says a lot about the achieved level of quality. This happens also thanks to the production methods which allow, alongside with an adequate alcohol component typical of the valuable ‘ale’ beers, overcoming long distances, even if they are not subjected to pasteurization. On the other hand, a second, following fermentation in bottle, which increases its value, gives them the necessary stability. D’Amelio has brought about an increase in export of Extraomnes thanks to the choice of packaging his beers in Key Keg, the light, not returnable 30 litre drums which allow reducing the costs of transport.