La Nebuleuse is a brewery that feels different: maybe because of the flashy colors on their cans, because of the names of their drinks, or the Zeppelin logo everywhere in their pieces. But as soon as I stepped into their brewhouse and then into their offices/tasting room I understood clearly that La Nebuleuse is special like those projects full of charm, vitality, and magic that only the ones founded on passion and independent spirit have.
Story of a la Nebuleuse Brewery
The story of La Nebuleuse is quite a classic: "we were just beers aficionados" - it is Kouros, one of the three founders talking - "brewing at home and in our free time. We were brewing hobbyists until Arthur, the most entrepreneurial of the three pushed us to make beers are job". A job, of course, but mostly a passion: for the beverages and the social part of it. "La Nebuleuse, like that astronomical entity from where starts are generated, but also like an agglomeration of people without really any leader, just a bunch of equals with the joy of staying together. We have many friends with different occupations, interests and backgrounds and we want our beer to act as a social lubricant. Not the finality itself but just a way to put together chefs, artists, stand-up comedians and make them create something or just feel comfortable together".
How La Nebuleuse looks now
What sounds like a cool side project has grown organically for almost 10 years and now it looks like a solid reality with a more than decent capacity: "We have quite some tanks" – this is Fernando, the Brewmaster – "they are 20 in total" (actually even more, as Kouros told me that a few more tanks arrived at the beginning of the year and quoting his words "We literally have no more space left hahaha!"). If 20 tanks can sound a bit abstract to me, Fernando has other numbers to explain it – "the production is 12.000hl of beer" – 1.2M of liters, basically imagine your fridge and visualize 2.4M cans of 500ml or ca 3.6M of 33cl bottles – "this makes us a medium craft brewery for the Swiss Market".
But it is not only about quantities, it is a lot about the identity that makes this beer jump off the shelves and push its spirit directly in your ears and in your face. I am referring to La Nebuleuse's image, vibes, and colors, in one word: brand. If you have a look at the brewery's social media (instagram.com/lanebuleuseco) or website (lanebuleuse.ch) you realize that not so many breweries in the space are pursuing what La Nebuleuse does: a drinks company with a powerful brand that pushes its values and feelings through a consistent streaming of joyful moments and colors.
Colors, values, and aluminum cans
"As you can see we have a sparkling brand identity" – this is still Kouros on the mic – "We have the Zeppelin as a logo (because it flies into the nebula but also because some of us are old-school rockers), funky beer names and shiny colors because this is what we are and that's how we want to present ourself from the dryness of a shelf. So when our sustainable spirit pushes us to make the move from plastic sleeves to digitally printed cans we were a bit worried about keeping the intensity of the colorful cans and spirit. The result astonished us, since the beginning the cans printed with the new technology appeared even more colorful and outstanding".
When I finally ask Kouros if sustainability was the only reason why they embraced the digitally printed cans technology, he expresses his thoughts candidly: "Sustainability was a huge driver, yes, but partnering up with a company with a strong vision and a forward-thinking attitude convinced me even more that hopping into printed cans was the right decision for La Nebuleuse and our beer."
The right way of saying
Kouros's words and his company's values are bouncing around my brain when packing my things before leaving. But while I am choosing a few cans and bottles to bring back home the loudest ones are the ones from Fernando some minutes before "In this period of the year I love drinking heavy and juice beers: everything like Double New England, Hoppy, Imperial Stout. Something thick!"
That's why I end my visit at La Nebuleuse by saying: "6 of Double Oat, 6 of Hold Hop, and 6 Malt Capone".
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