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French beer.

French wine may be better known, but Gaulish brewers make some notable brews

Wine may be king in France, but beer is just as much, if not more, the everyday alcoholic drink of the French. As explained by Alain Levy, a Frenchman, professional chef and Associate Professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park Hyde Park, park, London, England
Hyde Park, 615 acres (249 hectares) in Westminster borough, London, England. Once the manor of Hyde, a part of the old Westminster Abbey property, it became a deer park under Henry VIII.
 NY, "Not everyone can afford good wine, so rather than drink a cheap or bad wine, people wait and save their money for that special bottle. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile
, they drink beer."

A Little History

The French, like most Europeans, have been making beer for centuries. The invading Romans found the Gauls drinking a fermented gram beverage that the Romans named cervisia. The Gauls called it cervoise. Charlemagne (Charles the Great Charles the Great, Frankish king, emperor of the West: see Charlemagne. , a.k.a. Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Holy Roman Empire, designation for the political entity that originated at the coronation as emperor (962) of the German king Otto I and endured until the renunciation (1806) of the imperial title by Francis II.  from 800-814) brought a French brewer from Normandy to his brewery in Westphalia in Germany to teach his German subjects how to make beer. Under the reign of Louis IX Louis IX, king of France
Louis IX or Saint Louis, 1214–70, king of France (1226–70), son and successor of Louis VIII.
, in 1250, the first French brewers' guild incorporated and the government passed laws to regulate the brewing and selling of beer. An Englishman, Humphrey Parson, brought the first English stouts to France when he presented them to the court of Louis XV Louis XV, king of France
Louis XV, 1710–74, king of France (1715–74), great-grandson and successor of King Louis XIV, son of Louis, titular duke of Burgundy, and Marie Adelaide of Savoy.
 in the 1700s. The French called the beer "Black Champagne." Before the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th Century, thousands of people brewed their own beer in Paris. But restrictive guild laws placed the commercial brewing and selling of beer in the hands of a few government appointed brewers. All this changed after the Revolution when these "official" brewers either fled the country or lost their heads to the guillotine guillotine

Instrument for inflicting capital punishment by decapitation. A minimal wooden structure, it supported a heavy blade that, when released, slid down in vertical guides to sever the victim's head.
. The "people" abolished the brewer's guilds. The mid-1800s saw a great technological advance in brewing throughout the world, thanks to the work of French scientist Louis Pasteur. His publication, "Etudes sur la Biere," taught brewers how to properly handle yeast to avoid contamination and the method for propagating pure yeast strains.

At the turn of the last century there were approximately 3,000 breweries in France. Today there are less than 50. Large brewing groups such as Heineken and Interbrew bought most of the French breweries, although there is currently a rise in the opening of independent brewpubs. Kronenbourg and Heineken alone control about 75% of the French beer market.

Where French Beer Comes From

The main brewing regions in France are located in Alsace-Lorraine (in the northeast, on the border with Germany) and Nord-Pas de Calais-French Flanders (in the northwest, including the French lowlands on the Belgian border).

Alsace-Lorraine produces the vast majority of French beer (80%) and one statistic reports that Alsatians drink twice the amount of beer as Germans. The area is heavily influenced by all things German, having passed back and forth between Germany and France for centuries, depending on who won the last war, and this influence applies to beer. Blonde lagers, usually sweeter, less hoppy and lighter in body than their German cousins across the border, predominate in this region. France's other brewing region is much more exciting for the beer drinker looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 full-flavored, full-bodied beers. Although lagers are also brewed here, along with the odd porter, Scotch ale, Vienna-style ale or white beer, the dominant style is one called biere de garde.

Biere de Garde

Biere de Garde is often called a farmhouse ale since it was historically brewed by farmers in late winter or early spring and then stored (garder means to preserve or keep) for summer when the weather was too hot for brewing. (It used to be that brewers were unable to control the temperature of fermentation or the effects of wild yeast in the air. One French law prohibited brewing between St. George Day George Day may refer to:
  • George Day (bishop), Bishop of Chichester1543–1551, and vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge in 1537
  • George S. Day, marketing specialist, 1970s
  • George Day (Australian politician), member of the New South Wales Parliament
 [April 23] and St. Michael Day [September 29.]) The aged beer became the drink for thirsty field workers and miners. Additionally, townspeople would come to the farmhouse breweries with any old bottles lying around their homes and fill up from the casks, since there were no bottling facilities on the farm.

A biere de garde is considered an ale (although some brewers now use lager yeasts), fermented at warm temperatures but stored at cooler temperatures for a month or longer. The style is more sweetly malty, spicy and yeasty yeast·y  
adj. yeast·i·er, yeast·i·est
1. Of, similar to, or containing yeast: yeasty dough.

 than hoppy and is usually full-bodied. The color ranges from gold to dark brown and bieres de garde are strong beers, finishing between 6-8% abv. Most contemporary brewers filter their biere de garde, but do not pasteurize pas·teur·ize
To treat by pasteurization.
 the beer. Bottling is usually in 750-ml, corked corked  
1. Sealed with or as if with a cork.

2. Tainted in flavor by an unsound cork: corked port.

3. Blackened by burnt cork.
 Champagne-style bottles. Modern technology allows the "farmers" to produce bieres de garde year-round, but the reality is that the brewers are no longer farmers; they are full-time, professional brewers operating, often, from a family farm location. Biere de garde has become the most popular French imported beer style in the U.S., a favorite with craft and specialty beer drinkers.

U.S. Importers of French Beers: Vanberg & DeWulf

Brasserie bras·se·rie  
A restaurant serving alcoholic beverages, especially beer, as well as food.

[French, from brasser, to malt, brew, from Old French bracier, from Vulgar Latin
 Castelain - Castelain (blonde biere de garde); St. Amand (copper-colored biere de garde); Jade (the only certified organic beer in France) Fischer Beverages International Brasserie Duyck - Jenlain Blonde and Amber (bibres de garde) Brasserie Fischer (Pecheur) - Fischer Bitter, Amber and La Belle La Belle may be a place in the US:
  • La Belle, Florida
  • La Belle, Missouri
  • La Belle Township, South Dakota
La Belle may also be:
  • LaBelle, a musical band
  • La Belle (discotheque)
  • La Belle (ship)
  • Patti LaBelle, a singer
 (lagers) World Shippers Brasserie St. Sylvestre - St. Sylvestre and Trois Monts (bieres de garde) and Gayroche (arriving later this year)
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Title Annotation:brewing industry in France
Author:Glaser, Greg
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:May 10, 1999
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