Bura Brew Interview
Bura Brew is a relatively new craft brewery whose products are yet to come on the Croatian market . It is situated in Porec , people behind this project are Alessandro Zecchinato , Veronika Becker and Claudio Rossi . You can read more about them and their project in our interview .
P:Can you please introduce yourself?What is Bura Brew and how it all started?
Bura Brew d.o.o. is owned by 3 people: Alessandro Zecchinati, Veronika Beckers and Claudio Rossi.
Alessandro is from Milan area. He studied Law in the faculty of Jurisprudence in Milan and worked 3 years as practicing solicitor for Law firms in Milan.
In 2007 he moved to Dublin, Ireland for a new challenge. He was fascinated by the vibe and atmosphere of the Irish capital where he lived for 8 years working as sales manager for important companies in the IT sector like Accenture within a Microsoft project and PayPal.
Beer lover and beer geek he started following the Irish craft beer movement and immediately understood since 2007 the big economic potential of the Irish Craft Breweries which products were increasingly becoming available in many pubs. While living in Ireland Alessandro was an eyewitness of the expansion of the handcraft beer movement that was clearly visible as more and more micro breweries were opening despite of the already existing and strong monopolies of the main industrial beer brands e.g. Guinness, Beamish, Carlsberg, Heineken.
For this reason Alessandro Zecchinati investigated personally the potential of this market directly by contacting the owners of Irish micro-breweries and important pubs. In order to confirm the same trend in other EU countries and verify the same potential of the Craft beer market Alessandro Zecchinati visited the UK, Belgian, German, Italian and Slovenian market meeting people from this specific sector.
While living in Dublin Alessandro met Veronika who then would become his wife.
Veronika has Istrian origins by her mother’s family and German by father’s family. She grew up in former Jugoslavia in Izola d’Istria and at the age of 8 moved with the family to Germany. She studied foreign languages in Berlin and Rome. She lived in the Italian capital for 6 years and worked for Venere.com, one of the first start-ups in Italy, and then Expedia & Hotels.com, world’s largest online travel company, as account manager before moving to Dublin where she kept working for the same company gaining big knowledge in the tourism sector.
Claudio a long time friend of Alessandro, worked 10 years as an architect in Monza. His biggest passion has always been quality beer and wine. Homebrewer for the last 20 years and wine sommelier, he was rewarded 3rd best sommelier in Italy in 2012. He also made useful collaboration with important Italian microbreweries. He immediately liked Alessandro’s project idea and with him and Veronika founded Bura Brew d.o.o. in March 2015. He is now our brewmaster, creating for us his own original recipes.
Veronika and Alessandro moved to Istria in 2014 where they started planning their business in a very detailled manner making a deep market research on the brewery sector in Croatia. The micro-brewery trend in Croatia has just begun with very promising results.
The ideal location of the Bura Brew brewing activity was identified as Poreč in Istria, a beautiful town with high life quality and many commercial activities. None of us is from Poreč neither from Croatia, however Veronika speaks fluently Croatian (other languages are German, Slovenian, Italian, English) and Alessandro and Claudio can easily interact with people because everybody in Istria speaks fluently Italian and English, although they are learning Croatian.
We are proud to have been adopted by Poreč which is an amazing town and a beautiful place to live and run a business. It’s in a strategic position, very well connected to Italy and the rest of Europe.
Bura Brew’s aim is to become a well-known local quality brand in the Craft brewing business in Croatia.
We have a beautiful warehouse of 160 sqm indoors and 240 sqm outdoors completely restored and adapted for being a brewery. We invite everybody to come to visit us and have a free tour and free taste and buy bottles directly in our selling corner.
The entire process is very manual, especially the bottle filling, the corking and labelling. However we are proud to be “manual” because we want to appear like a very craft microbrewery. Our products are really hand made with big attention to detail especially to the sanitation process.
P:What kind of beers are you brewing?
Bura Brew produces Craft beer top-fermented, unpasteurized, unfiltered, bottle-fermented, no additives or preservatives, only natural ingredients. Brewed with passion and expertise by our Brewmaster.
We will be available on the market by March 2016 with 0,33 and 0,75 bottles and kegs for draught beer.
We produce 3 types of beer:
Optimist Golding Ale, a Golden Ale with Styrian Golding as hop. Optimist is the small boat that kids use when they want to learn sailing. It goes slowly but surely far away.
Redsand Amber Ale, an Amber Ale with the colour of Istrian soil.
Tornado IPA, the first Istrian Pale Ale. In this IPA we make the dry hopping
We want to underline that all our beer have 7 to 8% of wheat malt that gives the matt (opacity) and consistent foam. This is something very important for us. We don’t want clear and transparent beer.
Our slogan is IN BURA VERITAS!
P:How are people from Poreč, even your friends that had no chance to try craft beer before and are used to industrial beer, reacting on your beer?
People from Poreč are reacting very well. They are surprised and proud to have a local brewery. They also are very satisfied about the quality of the beer. People are also happy because they understand that our brewery is also “their” brewery: they can come whenever they want, see the process, taste the beer with us and talk together like good neighbour friends. Our brewery is always open for anyone that is curious to see how beer is made.
P:Do you think that craft beer scene has his long term future?
I think that Craft Beer scene has a bright future for many reasons: people are getting more and more aware of the quality and the particular taste that they can find also in a beer. Along with flat not-tasty industrial beer they are willing to pay a little bit more to have a genuine craft made product.
Another reason can be seen comparing beer to wine scene: why the consumer has billions of choices of different wines, local or industrial, and with beer he could only have 5 or 10 choices (mainly industrial)?
Craft beer movement is not a fashion trend but is a revolution that industrial beer company can not stop, unless governments intervene to create some regulations to put limitations to Craft Beer expansion (but I can not see this in the future)
However this expansion will might have some limits and it might go up and down in the future because industrial beer will try (they are trying already, also here in Croatia) to become “crafty” which means they want to appear craft too and they will try to confuse the consumer.
In addition to that a microbrewery has to be run as a proper business, with attention to any single details, quality must be top level, good marketing campaign is needed and a very detailed business plan is mandatory in order to understand the cash flow, the market forecast, understanding the limits and knowing the brewery’s capacity and making a deep market analysis. It’s no longer a business for an homebrewer who is simply approaching the market with a good and tasty beer. He has to manage numbers, he has to know how to deal with bureaucracy, how to sell. I can not say if we are doing it in the right way here in Bura Brew. We have just started recently but we are trying to follow this approach because it’s the only way to survive in a very challenging and demanding market.
P:What are your future plans? What types of beer will you brew? What is your current capacity of brewing and is your plan to grow it up in the future?
Our future plan is to work step by step, trying to follow our business plan. If we will have a good cash flow we will buy more fermenter tanks. We can produce from 500 lt up to 1500 lt per day, it depends on the number of fermenter tanks which at the moment has a capacity of 3000 lt.
I would like to see my beer not only in bars and pubs but restaurants too, following a trend that is very successful in Italy which sees craft beer going along with good food and in this way, with a good bottle of 0,75, the craft beer could be a good alternative to wine.
We are on facebook https://www.facebook.com/burabrew
Website is not available yet