Calabria beerAEGEE-Reggio Calabria produces its own beer. “Brewing is a funny, not a difficult hobby”, says Alessandro Nostro, Treasurer of the Italian antenna. “We started brewing in July 2012. Our teacher was Francesco Pelaia, an Italian guy, who started a brewing school in Calabria and was member of the previous AEGEE-Reggio Calabria about ten years ago.”

Making beer requires many items, but is not expensive. “You need a large pot , tubing and clamp, an airtight fermenting bucket, an air lock and stopper, a bottle filler, a thermometer, bottles, a bottle brush, a bottle capper and caps, as well as sanitizing solution”, tells Alessandro. And of course the ingredients: malt, priming sugar and water with very low sodium. Alessandro: “The investment in capital is around 100 Euro.”

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Andrea Nostro (left), President of AEGEE-Reggio Calabria, and beer expert Francesco Pelaia.

But how does it actually work? The AEGEE beer brewers boiled malt extract together with water for about an hour in order to sterilise the extract. The mixture was then cooled to room temperature and transferred to a fermenter where it was combined with additional water. “The mixture started the fermentation process”, explains Alessandro. “We used an airlock to keep the fermenter sealed during fermentation.”

Usually the beer ferments for one or two weeks. Once fully fermented, the beer was siphoned to another container to prepare for bottling. Then the sugar was added. The beer was siphoned into bottles and each bottle was capped. “Afterwards we put the AEGEE-Reggio Calabria logo on the bottle”, adds Alessandro. Once the beer has been bottled, it needs to age for two to six weeks before it can be drunk.

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Alessandro Nostro with friends

And how does the AEGEE beer taste? “It is similar to a lager. It contains about 5 per cent of alcohol.” The participants of the Summer University of AEGEE-Reggio Calabria will have a chance to try the AEGEE beer. “We are ready for our first SU”, says Alessandro, whose antenna signed the Convention d’Adhesion in spring 2012. “And we want our beer to be the best AEGEE merchandising article of the year!”