Over a century ago a man named Sergio Caetano started distilling cachaças outside the city of Belo Horizante in the rolling hills of Nova União. Caetano created Germana to showcase the unique flavors of southwestern Brazil in the heart of Minas Gerais.
In Portuguese, the name Germana means “something unmixed, pure and genuine.” Caetano picked this name for his cachaça and to honor the life of the famed nun, Sister Irma Germana. Sister Germana lived at the Sanctuary of the Serra da Piedade, southwest of Nova União. She was known to be a healer, who aided pilgrims and visitors with infusions made from cachaça and herbs which she picked on the mountainside.
Germana begins with hand cut sugarcane, grown on the Caetano’s family farm free of chemicals, and pesticides. The cane is harvested on their farm, pressed the same day and left to ferment in open air vessels for about 24 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. To aid the process of natural fermentation, Germana also adds a measure of toasted maize which is grown and ground locally. After fermentation, the wash is distilled in direct fire copper pots stills using the pressed and dried sugarcane as fuel.