From the recent departure of Erin Guy, we say a big hello and friendly welcome to our New Head Brewer, Stefano Occhi hailing all the way from Milan, Italy.
Stefano Occhi or as he simply prefers; Stef has been working alongside Joseph Holt Head Brewer Phil Parkinson as well as providing training support to The Gas Works Brew Bar in Manchester for their own micro-brewery set-up.
In September 2016, Stef graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Masters in Brewing Science after a five years’ experience as project manager in the agribusiness sector. After six years of home-brewing in Milan, it was then that he realised his passion for great beer and thus pursued it with an accredited qualification. As part of his dissertation project at the University, Stef also founded the zerogravity brewing project with two fellow classmates Will Gelder and Will Brennand. The project’s goal was to enable the three students to develop their learnt theory and apply into practice with the prestige of working with Castle Rock Brewery. The process was very strict and only three places were available after extensive interviews to find the best candidates for the project. The collaboration with Nottingham’s long established Brewery had close links with the University, which was formed through Professor David Quain who understood the need and balance for practical hands-on experience in order for any ambitious Brewer to fulfil the demands of any modern brewery today.
Stefano Occhi, Bootleg Brewing Co.’s Head Brewer adds “Moving to the brewing sector was a big life change for me but it was the realisation of a dream. I view brewing as both science and art, to produce great beer you need to be methodical as a scientist and creative as a chef.”.
In which case, we certainly believe it has paid off for our New Head Brewer, as we’re truly fortunate to have Stefano join us at Bootleg Brewing Co. Stef has recently taken on brewing our festive beer, Mistletoe at the microbrewery ensuring our customers in Manchester get some Christmas cheer. Much to his growing experience, Stef also enjoys promoting new styles and flavours whilst focusing on quality first which is a must in our books. Matched with his heritage in Italy, we cannot wait for some Italian inspired craft beers as we all know the Italians are fast becoming world renowned for their craft beers so it will be interesting to see what our new Italian Craft Brewer will create next!
In the meantime, try our seasonal beer Mistletoe – the only kiss you need this festive holidays!