Master Brewer of the Month: Leonardo Ferrari
The team of the “Cerveceria Antares”, a young and dynamic brewery in Mar del Plata – Argentina, is composed of
more than 80 craft beer lovers that strive every day to make the beers richer, improve quality, be innovative, creative and give to customers more than they expect.
The name Antares comes from the brightest star of the Scorpio constellation, which has been used for centuries by sea-going sailors to find their route. The history of Antares speaks about search, passion and friendship. Today we are glad to know more about Antares thanks to this interview to one of its 3 founders, Leonardo “Leo” Ferrari.
Leonardo, when did you start your career as a master brewer? Are there any funny stories you would like to tell us about this period?
I started homebrewing with my wife Mariana in 1994. Back then, there was no craft beer in Argentina. We never imagined we would make a living out of beer, as we thought that selling our beer was sort of a crime, like selling our soul to the Devil!! Well, at some point we gave in…
Which beer do you enjoy making best? And why?
I enjoy the process of creating new beers because it is very challenging from an artistic and technical perspective.
You enter a beer store and can only buy 3 different beers that do not come from your brewery. Which would you choose and why?
- Schneider Weisse
- Odell IPA
- Juguetes Perdidos Galaxytra
Outside of the brew house, what do you enjoy doing? In other words, what are your hobbies?
Outside of work I like to hang around my family. Now that our kids are adults I also find time for surfing and running marathons.
Do you think the aesthetic aspects of a beer bottle or can is important?
Yes. I think the aesthetics of the bottle is very important because it must convey the message of the brewer before the customer has tried the beer. What does your beer stand for? What do you want to tell your customer about you and your brewery? That is all in the label and the bottle.
Which other brew master would you like to work with? Can you explain why?
I have had the chance to meet and do collaborative beers with many brew masters. I have an enormous respect and admiration for Matt Bryndilson from Firestone Walker, he is a really cool guy who makes amazing beers.
Which advice would you give to someone willing to choose this profession?
As with anything you do in life, you must enjoy it and do it right. And there´s no one without the other. So I suggest you have to study, work hard and master the art of brewing to achieve your dreams.
Is producing beer technique only, or is there room for improvisation?
I do not rely in improvisation when brewing professionally. I like to leave space for creativity, but I think it has to be planned to achieve a goal.
Of all the beers that you have tried, which would you choose for these occasions:
- Christmas with the family: in Argentina it is very warm in Christmas, so I would have a Hefeweizen.
- Your birthday: Session IPA
- A day at the swimming pool: Antares Kölsch
What is your first memory about beer?
My first memory about beer is my dad letting me take a few sips from his glass when I was around 10 years old.
Can a machine “make the difference” during the production process of a beer? In which way?
Yes, machines make a lot of difference! You have to be very gentle to your product during the whole production cycle in order to achieve the best results. You want your customers to drink fresh beer, full of aromas and flavors. In order to do it you want to be very careful to avoid overheating and oxygen pickup, for example. Good engineering and construction are a must to protect your beer.
Which is the CFT Group’s machine you are using? Which are its main advantages for your production process?
We have 3 machines:
- A semi automatic keg washer-filler for 30 kegs per hour.
- An automatic keg washer-filler for 75 kegs per hour.
- A bottle line with tunnel pasteurizer for 2.500 bph
They help us to achieve great results in terms of automation and quality!
Cerveceria Antares online: