Passion in sports, passion in beer

TV Celebrity, professional athlete ... or high-quality beer producer?
Amaurys Pérez is all the three things, at the same time. Star of Peking Express, the  Dutch/Flemish reality game show, broadcasted in Italy from 2012, Cuban sportsman, naturalized Italian citizen and defender of Acquachiara ( the water polo team of the city of Naples), and player of the Italian Men’s National Team, also known as the "Settebello" , gold medal at the World Championships in Shanghai in 2011, Amaurys is also a producer of handcrafted beer.
Taller than 1.90 m ( around more than 6 feet and 3 inches ), imposing physique, but with the smile of a good guy,  Amaurys began his adventure in the food, together with another water polo champ, the Sicilian Valentino Gallo.

«The first time I tasted an artisan beer, I felt almost fooled: it was as if I had never drunk a beer in my entire life, the taste was different, far away from the industrial beer; in two words, another product».
With the same smile he tells me, «we make our beers with the utmost dedication, choosing the ingredients carefully, ensuring an outstanding quality, that comes from the best tastes and flavors of the region. From roasted barley, up to the addition of the best hops and yeast, realizing a perfect balance between aroma and texture. We started as a bit for fun and a bit for passion , but nowadays is a hard work, a constant research of the perfect harmonies of malts, but obtaining, as a reward, an excellent final product».

But the brilliant characteristic of Zion beer is that derives from a mix of cultures. Amaurys’ wife, Angela, is of Calabrian origin (from Cosenza) and their beer is brewed with spring water from the Sila mountains, so that he himself describes it « up to 80% purely Calabrian, excepting only malts, coming from Germany»
Proudly Amaurys informs me that shortly will be realized a new formula, with the addition of fresh cedar juice, so to develop a product, if possible, even more Calabrian.

People from Southern Italy, you know, they have strong sense of belonging to their land, and in these feelings they are quite similar to the people from Cuba. The Yoruba Religion, widespread in Cuba, but practiced even in Southern and Central America, and particularly in Western Africa, is the source of inspiration of the names of the ZION beers. Orula, Elegua, Ogùn, Obatalà, Changó , Oshùn,  represent likewise the Deities, respectively symbol of Wisdom, Luck, Strength, Justice, Passion and Love.

These feelings, these emotions, Amaurys intends to transfer into his beer.
He tells me, «I think the passion in sports is crucial. It is decisive in sports, in life, why should we act differently for the foods and, in our case, the beers ? Sometimes, for winning a game, you need to put your heart beyond the obstacle: and this capacity, counts even more than the athletic preparation. »

After saying goodbye to Amaurys, I have inquired about some aspects of our conversation. The name Zion, comes from Zion Rastafarian doctrine, and represents the Earth where the Messiah  revealed himself, and is therefore a utopia of unity, peace and freedom , that clashes with the stress of the Western world; as Bob Marley sings in” Rastaman Chant” [« I say fly away home to Zion, fly away home...One bright morning when my work is over, Man will fly away home... »] , this beer can be a break from the tension of the world and a return to the origins . A real taste, intense, that accompanies us from the very first sip.

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