Francesco Peroni (b 1818) opened a brewery in Vigevano, Lombardy in 1846, and moved to premises near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome in 1864. His business grew into one of Italy’s largest brewing companies between 1910 and 1920 exporting to many countries, and operating breweries in other Italian cities both in the north and the south. It is now part of an international brewing conglomerate.
A museum project was inaugurated on the occasion of the company’s 150th anniversary in 1996. Documentation occupying more than 500 m of shelving was collected, including 10,000 photographs and 1400 films, and a research centre was established enabling scholars to use the archives. A museum was opened to the public in 2001 and includes four main sections, concerned with the process of brewing and the experiences of the company’s workpeople, the trading aspects of the company notably how retailers of beer were supplied, and on marketing, featuring the evolution of the Peroni bottle, the use of the Peroni blonde in advertising from the 1950s, and television commercials advertising the beer. Visits to the museum can also include tours of the nearby production plant.
The buildings on Via Nizza occupied since 1999 by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO) were until 1971 a Peroni brewery designed by Gustavo Giovannoni (1873-1947) in the early twentieth century.