In 1963 Fernando Zecca, Maurizio’s father – today, Maurizio is at the head of Birra Salento – wrote to his family and friends in Salento from Fribourg, in Switzerland. He was working at a local brewery and dreamt of going back to his wife and sons, whom he left in Leverano.
“I work at the beer factory together with my brother Romano and other people and women from the same village. Our work is loading and unloading all the beer casks, those full and those empty…”.
Daddy Fernando could have never imagined that a thin line connected that single moment to the present, running across space and time. Those sacrifices strengthened not only his arms, but also the will of his eldest son.
20 years after that letter, Fernando was not there anymore. Maurizio Zecca was a teenager with an entire family on his own back. Luckily, his father passed him along a strong will and a straight back. Maurizio went on by working handcrafting jobs alongside with his studies, sweating, developing a profound sense of responsibility, and a willingness to dare. In 1986, he got his first promissory note to set up a beverage distribution business.
"Time, the stories of each of us, intertwine the threads of destiny. The branches might get broken, yet the roots will stay well anchored to the ground".
Maurizio Zecca gets close to the world of breweries while developing his own beverage business. It is surely not by chance. Someone from the above was caressing those roots, awakening their strengths and their sense of identity. Thanks to a couple of travels between Germany and Switzerland, where the history of his family occurred, the frothy foam and the magical smell of yeast, barley and water turned in the ink necessary for writing the exciting pages of a new challenge.
The step from distribution to production is short. As the result of Maurizio’s attitude for challenge, for reinventing himself, for running with no breaks, without ever feeling at the end of his journey, also a bit as a silly game, BirraSalento was born in 2000. Its name is simple, it tells of its land.
There, where Negroamaro grows and vineyard is the queen, beer will be made. At the beginning, it starts on tiptoes, as when fermentation slowly provides the drink with body and taste. Then, it evolves into a frantic run, similar to draught beer overwhelming the palate with its golden and bronze rivers. The brewery’s original production takes its origins from the Salento region, with Beggia, Taranta and Pizzica as its first beers, yet going also beyond its own borders.
Researchers from the DisTeBa at the University of Salento endeavor into the study of the first experimental barley plants in Leverano by choosing the species that best serve the taste of the local handcrafted beers.
In June 2016, we celebrated the first harvest.
The key to a dream that came to be true is the blending of advanced techniques, high-quality products selected with care by brewers and researchers, a team made by many collaborators, but first and foremost a strong, tight family, loyal to its origins and with a tireless leader at its head.
“One of the biggest in Italy, both by extension and innovativeness.”