Hailing from Brazil, master brewer Luciano Carpes is now bringing what he does best to “Big River”—HERE! Square’s first tenant. From large-scale to local, we find out more about Luciano’s story.
With his dedication and experience in the industry, Luciano’s journey as a brewer reflects the very epitome of an accomplished “craft brewer,” having soared from the bottom upwards, progressing through the years step by step, to reach the position he now holds. From studying and learning each and every core part of beer brewing, Luciano transitioned from working large-scale as part of a vast team for renowned corporate brewery Heineken, to now managing the brewery at 33 Town’s “Big River” all by himself.
In 1999, Luciano was working in a brewing factory in Brazil; he was responsible for the electrical maintenance of the factories. During the following year he moved to another factory; this led to working with the machinery. He really enjoyed handling the technical tasks. Each and every time he switched roles or upgraded to another position, he gained more and more experience under his belt. Over the years, Luciano started working in the production and bottling areas of the brewery. He spent years in Brazil perfecting his manufacturing and maintenance skills in breweries, working to obtain his professional certification, which he received in 2008 from a renowned training school in Brazil and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria, Germany. His skills set earned him his reputation, entitling him as a Master Brewer.
Tasting for analysis was one of the key responsibilities which Luciano engaged in, participating in daily tasting of all raw materials used in the brewing process, blind beer tests for major defects, while maintaining an 80 percent pass rate every time to continue on the Brewery Tasters board. As a result of so many taste tests, he can now effectively detect a mistake in the brewing or packing process simply by sniffing or tasting the beer at hand. Amusingly, trips and holidays will always lead to casual scrutiny of any beer which Luciano comes across; one might claim it as an occupational hazard.
Big River’s Faber Santos had been living in Dongguan for almost 20 years, before he and his partners decided to open something vibrant in the food and beverage scene. Upon realizing that family friend Luciano was the ideal person to bring into the new venture, they proposed the idea last year while Luciano was still residing in Brazil with his family, working within the Heineken factory.
“This is the perfect position for me here. I get the freedom to create the brews I want to, without having to worry about management or limitations.”
Family man Luciano previously had no desire to move away from his town, despite having had numerous opportunities. Each year the bosses at the factory would offer him the chance to work in a factory within a different city or country, to which he would politely decline. However, the reason he gave Dongguan a chance was because he already had some idea of expat life in China due to his cousin who was living here already, and it seemed appealing. Also, as he put it, “I was aware of the prosperous opportunities it could bring for my family, especially my daughter, learning another language and becoming more culturally aware.”
After briefly testing out the living and working situation in Dongguan, Luciano brought his family over in August 2018. One of the first joint missions that Luciano and Faber completed together was attending the Shanghai Craft Beer Exhibition. Cooperating in this way, they managed to gain some inspiration and decided on certain methods and ideas for their concept and delivery execution. The inspiration for their Passionfruit APA was born from this venture, actually. This fruity brew was my favorite of the four craft beers that I delightedly tried. Not far behind this was the Witbier, with a taste reminiscent of Hoegaarden beer.
“This is the perfect position for me here. I get the freedom to create the brews I want to, without having to worry about management or limitations.” Luciano explained. Venue owner Faber smiled as he described how wonderful it is having Luciano’s capable hands managing the entire system, noting that when they have experienced any electrical or technical issues, Luciano has immediately been able to figure out the problem and fix it.
Luciano’s advice to any aspiring brewer was, “You must do everything with extreme caution, follow the process carefully. Do not worry about time but focus on what really matters. If you contaminate the ingredients, the result will be affected and thus you will end up wasting even more.” He added, “There’s always someone watching, so just make sure you do a good job, no matter what.”