FOUR speaks to the co-founders of Hopfully Brewing, Alberto Pernas, Vilson Junior and Cristiano Gasparoti, about the brewery and their newest series of brews using Baniwa Chillis.
How did you find your way into the world of beer brewing?
The love for good beer comes from back when I was working as a computer engineer in Curitiba, Brazil around 2005. When I moved to São Paulo in 2007 I believe, I found a very small beer shop, owned by a Belgian guy, with a great selection of Belgian beers. That hooked me and from that day on the idea of working in the beer industry followed me.
Can you tell us a bit about the story behind Hopfully Brewing – how & why was the company founded?
The idea of setting up a brewery came from house parties in the backyard of our house in Dublin city. We used to invite friends over to do some home-brew experiments, graffiti and jam sessions. We started getting calls to bootleg those home-brews to underground parties in Dublin – this is where everything started, and the idea sparkled when we realized that our beers in connection with art would be something new in the Irish scene.
Tell us more about the Hopfully Brewing brand, and what your vision for the brand was when it started?
We have always been involved with the art and culinary scene, our group of friends are also involved in the field of art and music, so we decided to create a brand that would bring all of these together. Our vision has always been able to experiment new things and explore the world of creativity. We decided not to follow any pattern when developing our brand as we wanted something unique, a different experience from a beer to another. Each one of our beers is designed by a different artist and has its own visual identity.
Tell us more about the process of how Hopfully Brewing makes its craft beers?
It’s hard to trace back every and each of our recipes. I love cooking, so it’s natural that I use some cooking ideas and techniques, but I’m also intrigued by how different ingredients never used in brewing would fit the bill for a particular style. Right now, I am using a lot of complementary and balancing flavours for my new recipes.
There are some interesting beers, such as the Beet Juice Beetroot Saison, what inspires these?
I’m cooking, I’m thinking beer. I’m brewing, I’m thinking food. And the best part is always the final act, but it’s more than just pairing the two, it’s using kitchen and brewing techniques together, ideas and ingredients to come up with new recipes. Beetjuice, in particular, is inspired by traditional Belgian cuisine, and it’s our first attempt to bring a dish into the beer bottle as opposed to using the beer in a dish.
In your opinion, what makes Hopfully Brewing and its beers so special?
Well, we aim to explore the world of brewing good and unique beers, and this is what we’re striving for. From the ingredients to the branding. We get inspired by talented artists and chefs and it helps us to create new recipes and to bring something special to our brews every time.
What do you enjoy most about working as a brewer in the craft beer business?
Achieving the quality we want for our product and the satisfaction of the people when sipping our brews.
What do you think was one of the biggest surprises or lessons you learn along the way?
It’s realizing how much money and effort is required to open a business like that. We have also learned how important it is to have networking.
What interesting trends/themes are going on in the world of craft beer brewing?
It depends what market we’re talking about, but in general, I would say that cans are taking over, and breweries are risking more when developing new recipes. Also, hoppy, hazy and juicy beers are always good sellers.
What inspires the design of the cans and packaging?
Every beer has its own story behind, and we try to represent it through its artwork. That’s one of the reasons we decided to choose different artists to design the labels. The beer has to be unique, from the liquid to the branding.
We have been told about your project with the Baniwa Tribe in Amazon, could you tell us more about this?
We got inspired by the renowned chef Alex Atala’s projects with indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon and we decided to brew a beer using Jiquitaia chilli peppers. We brewed a Saison with pineapple juice, mint and the chillies, and part of the proceeds made from the beer was donated to the Baniwa community through ISA – Socio-Environmental Institute. After a visit to the Baniwa community in the Amazon in October 2018, we decided to keep the collaboration between Hopfully Brewing Co and the Baniwa community, so we came up with the Baniwa Chilli Series, which is a series of beers brewed seasonally using the Jiquitaia chilli peppers. The next recipe to be launched in March 2019 is the Baniwa Spring, a Belgian Wit Beer, with white chocolate, coconut and the chillies.
What’s lies in Hopfully Brewing’s future?
Our goal is working in collaboration with fresh talents from all over the globe, experimenting with different ingredients and promoting creative consciousnesses.
To find out more, visit Hopfully Brewing’s website.