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Re di Denari

Read It in: Italian Spanish

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Everything was born from a friendship
The brewery Re di Denari, owned by IERSA Onlus coop, was born from the forty-year experience
of its founder, Giovanni Cesare Gambino, in the brassicle field. Gambino was about twenty years
old when Luigi, his dearest childhood friend emigrated ten years earlier with his family to Belgium,
began to talk to him about beer which, in the free hours of his studies, he produced at home, with
excellent results. The nature of Giovanni’s own researcher, experimenter and builder, prompted him
to ask Luigi for the ingredients and explanations necessary to be able to produce the same beer at
his home, in the countryside, in Palermo. Luigi sent him more than thirty pages from him patiently
typed with instructions, advice, tricks and methods to malt the two-row barley at home. He also
explained to him all the things he needed, and then malted barley, yeast, hops and some flavours. In
1967, in Italy, it was impossible to find everything Giovanni needed, except for the bottles and the
corks. Giovanni had already planned to use the ones that the family used in the summer countryside
for the preservation of the homemade tomato sauce (the recycled bottles of the Forst beer).
Today it can be said that the only things that brewery Re di Denari does not produce are bottles,
caps and labels. The motto of the brewery is: “from barley… to your glass”. 60% of the beers
produced with their own registered brands (La Matta, Fellahas, Vucciria, Ballarò, U’capu, Carlotta,
Re Befè, Cost 91) reach Canada, Australia, the USA, Great Britain and some EU countries. In
addition, a percentage of the revenue from the sale of the products that the cooperative produces,
including beer, is used to support humanitarian assistance projects in Italy and abroad.
A homemade beer
The first beer of Gambino, a Belgian Trappist style, was opened in August for his 21st birthday. A
wonder and a unique happiness for the newborn master brewer, for his family and for the friends
present: it was truly extraordinary. He immediately telephoned Luigi to thank him for his patience
and for all the advice he had given him over the months.
Later, for more than ten years, Giovanni began to spend his holidays in Belgium with Luigi and his
girlfriends, making full immersion in the breweries and in some malteries. He liked to learn all the
techniques and the smallest nuances of the malting master/brewer. Luigi, meanwhile, had become a
great master brewer of international fame, who gave advice around the world to large groups of
brassicles. Designed by Giovanni, he built a small brewery in the country house in Palermo, for the
happiness of his relatives and friends.
The first foreign productions and the birth of IERSA
Gambino has also produced beer abroad, in those countries where, for professional reasons, he had
to stop for a few months. He has worked for over twenty-five years for the International
Cooperation for Development as Project Manager for the Agri-Food Development, promoted by the
United Nations and/or by the MAE (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Giovanni then travelled to
places such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Angola, Argentina, Vietnam, South
Africa.
In 2003, together with some professionals (psychotherapists, psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists,
social workers, sociologists, anthropologists, management engineers, educators, lawyers, artists,
technicians, trainers, etc.) Gambino founded I.E.R.S.A. – European Institute of Research and
Anthropological Studies. The aim of this reality is to do anthropological research and to give
assistance, by making available to the weakest sections of society, the professional skills of the
constituent members.
And it is through the association that the idea of a brewery is born. In fact, in 2010, IERSA Onlus
decides, on input of its president, as well as master brewer, Ing. Giovanni Cesare Gambino, to build
a brewery for the production of craft beer. In the same way, the decision has been taken to grow
organically on the land that is available in the province of Enna, Caltanissetta and Palermo. The
crops are used to make two-row barley to produce malt, hops and other necessary agro elements,
such as lentils, chickpeas, hops, oranges, carobs and honey. The following year IERSA Onlus, again
designed by Gambino, equipped itself with a small malting shop to malt the barley produced,
necessary for the production needs of the brewery itself.