Birra Aleghe: Piedmontese happiness
The story of Aleghe craft beer revolves around two keywords.
The first is “water”. Coazze, in the Sangone Valley west of Turin, offers “exceptional water”, says one of Birra Aleghe’s three founders, Enzo Canarelli. “It’s very soft, light, and easy to digest mountain water: ideal for low-fermentation beers”.
The second word is “happiness”. “In Coazze’s dialect, ‘aleghe’ means ‘be happy’”, Canarelli explains. “It is used as an everyday greeting, to say hello and to remind ourselves that life is beautiful.”
Thus the brand is a cheerful welcome to the world of craft beer.
Aleghe’s three founders are Canarelli, Roberto Carbonero and Alessandro Mammi, three friends who one night in 2007 sat in a pub in Avigliana, southwest of Turin, and decided to open a microbrewery together. They started making beer one year later.
“We started with a Pils,” says Canarelli. “It was unfiltered and unpasteurized of course: Czech hops, German malt, and water from Coazze. We chose open fermentation to let yeast do its job in the most natural way possible. Then we tried creating a particular aromatic profile through re-fermentation”.
Is happiness still part of your business after all these years?
Absolutely. Nevertheless, our job requires sacrifices and constant effort to achieve solid skills. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to work that hard, and many breweries open with the sole purpose of making money. Their superficiality hurts everyone in the field, even the companies who do work with passion and care.
Market success should reward such companies…
We hope so. The Italian audience is very interested in quality, although sometimes it lacks information – and sadly, there is always someone who tries to take advantage of that. However, the great interest we see in the public is a good sign for our future.
What are your sales goals? Are you approaching the foreign markets?
We want to continue growing at a slow pace, as we have until now, to uphold our products’ high quality. Our smaller, artisanal scale leads us to focus on the local or nearby markets: actually, we would love to work exclusively in Turin. Unfortunately, reality is pushing us in the opposite direction and forces us to expand to other territories and regions. To be honest, we have a hard time understanding why a Piedmontese beer should ever be drunk in Trentino, Sicily, or abroad, and vice versa.
What would be so wrong about that?
Transportation has a negative impact on quality because our unpasteurized and unfiltered beer is like a “live” being. Transportation also increases the product’s carbon footprint. We believe that eating local foods and drinks is good for the soul… and brings happiness!