The beers of Bretagne and France !!!

Let’s talk about beers in the season to be merrier! Now I like beers too, and have consumed quite a bit of them over the years. As time passes and we gain a few years I tend to turn to the local artisanal beers and away from the industrial ones. This is the case arriving in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh. I like to update this older post with new text, links and some beer labels.

However, what is a fact and you need to spent some time in the local bars and brasseries of France is that the beer is catching up. I know for a fact in my beautiful Brittany, the beer is king. The biggest tendance is the IPA beer ( India Pale Ale ) a style of beer that is as usual as asking for a mojito.   Almost all the breweries have an IPA. Leffe, was the first one three years ago with the Leffe Royale Cascade IPA. Raw materials and brewing techniques. Experiments and innovations take part in the dynamics of a brand while bringing new flavors. Beer aged in new oak casks or in casks having wine content (Sauternes, Pinot Noir, Meursault), rum, cognac, whisky or calvados. Beers brewed from stale bread, grapes, smoked malt with beech wood, wheat malt (or cheese), rye, buckwheat, oats. Beers flavoured with the addition of plants, fruit, fruit juices, non-alcoholic beers…You name it they are all innovating ideas and surprisingly there are markets for them!

Styles and large families: Lager: A generic term for low, blond, amber, brown, cold and refreshing beers, the most popular being pils, or pilsner. A blond, light, well-hopped beer. Ale (ale means beer): traditional beer from the United Kingdom, high fermentation, light in alcohol. It is available in Pale Ale (Claire), mild (mild), Brown (a bit sweet), bitter (very hoppy, so bitter), Porter (brunette), stout (black, malt-based very roasted barley), barley wine (meaning barley wine, with a lot of malted barley, strongly Alcoholic). Within this family of beers is the India Pale Ale (IPA), rich in very specific hops, with citrus, floral, earthy, fruity aromas…Abbey beer: Beer is named after an abbey but brewing is carried out by an outside brewery. Trappist: Beer brewed in the enclosure of an abbey or under the control and responsibility of the monastic community. Double or triple: Used in Belgium for Abbey Beers in particular, these denominations refer to the strongest beers in alcohol. The double is a dark beer measuring at least 6% alcohol. The triple is a blonde or golden beer that titles between 7.5% and 9%. I have tried the Duchesse Anne Triple 9% from Brittany, and Belzebuth at 8,5% blonde pilsners from the Nord -France. Specialty Beers: Those that are unclassifiable in other families, generally regional beers and high fermentation.

There are three types of beer fermentation, these are:The high fermentation beers : In the brewing, the yeast work at high temperatures between 15C and 25C ( 59F and 77F) transforming the sugars into alcohol and carbonic gas. The low fermentation beers : the yeast work at temperatures between 5C and 12C(41F to 54F).The beers with spontaneous fermentation: the yeasts work in the changing air climates making a natural fermentation putting the malt of the beers in open barrels.  This is the case of the lambics and  gueuzes beers of Belgium.

The best ones for me are the brasseries artisanales or homemade breweries that today are about 1100. This represent 3% of the beer market and to 2020 it will double. In France, the region that consume the most are Normandie, Grand Est, and Bretagne. The Normans drink 81% , Grand Est 79%,and Bretagne 78%. However, France is one of the countries in Europe that consumes less beer per person, in 2017 the brewers association or association Brasseurs de France, they drink 30 liters (about 8 gallons US) of beer per year.  This number is nothing compare with the Czech drinking 144 liters per year, the Germans 107, Austrians 104 liters.  Even if we have 1100 breweries with 3000 beer brands, France is the 8th producer in Europe behind Germany, UK, Spain, and Netherland.

La Cervoiserie began near La Rochelle in 2004 and now has more than 500 references of beers in stores of about 400 m2. They are gear to the « after works » or Happy Hour to from hours of 10h to 20h Mondays to Saturdays.  They are a franchises; we have one in Vannes. La Cervoiserie : https://lacervoiserie.com/les-cervoisiers/vannes/

Another one similar that we go often and buy more is V&B on a similar format as above. The stores has one in Séné, one in Vannes, and Auray. We have tried them all but we are comfortable and friendly with the store in Auray. V&B: https://vandb.fr/v-and-b-auray.html

The brewers association or Brasseurs de France: https://biere-tourisme.fr/brasseries/

Rate Beer ,beer rating worldwide: https://www.ratebeer.com/

Now let me give some names, places, the rest you can find online easy. La Brasserie du Bout du Monde at Rosnoen, Brasserie de Bretagne, at Trégunc; Brasserie des Deux Rivières – Coreff,  at Carhaix-Plouguer; Brasserie Lancelot, at Val d’Oust (Le Roc Saint André), Brasserie Mor Braz, at Theix-Noyalo; Brasserie la goutte d’or, 18éme arrondissement Paris; Brasserie Bière de Meaux at Meaux; and Brasserie de La Vallée de Chevreuse, at Bonnelles.

There you go folks, the beers are all very good, and I will again soon be tasting more in my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne. Drink with moderation of course, this is culture at its best and enjoy it with friends and or family even better.  Salut!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

2 Comments to “The beers of Bretagne and France !!!”

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