In the follow up to this summer’s Beerdeaux blog on the blossoming range of local craft beers, I was recently lucky enough to visit the Gasconha artisan brewery in Pessac.
The master brewers are Vincent – with a corporate financial background he was initiated into the artisan beer world at the Brasserie des Gabariers in Cognac. And Nathanaël – originally from Lille, the French heartland of beer, he has experience in winemaking, homebrewing and has the diploma in masterbrewing from La Rochelle University.
So on a chilly November afternooon and a cycle down from the tram stop a couple of kms away I arrived at the Gasconha brewery. My visit began with the friendliest welcome possible – I was instantly poured a glass of 6% Gasconha Christmas beer..! The tour began with a demo of the brewing process and the equipment used…
|Gasconha mixing tanks|
Non filtered and non pasteurised the ingredients are sourced in Germany and the style of brewing is based very much on the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Nevertheless Gasconha remains a beverage firmly rooted in Aquitaine and continuing in the footsteps of the Brasserie de l’Atlantique – THE main local Bordeaux brewery dating back to the 19th century.
The selection of brews is fairly comprehensive and designed to meet all tastes. From the Gasconha range brewed with a complex variety of flavours to the Alouette beers with a more modern stylish image. There are also side products such as beer vinegar, gift box sets, glasses and beer mats.
|A Christmas stocking filler !!|
He explained that the target market for Gasconha is the more sophisticated beer drinker who will be looking to discern certain flavours and appreciate the product as an aperitif. As for the market base, they are aiming for a strictly local production and to keep supply regional. Not only does this reduce the carbon footprint but also keeps the beer rooted in the culture of the Sud Ouest. The company voicemail treats you to hearty local Gascon village singing!
The website in both the French and Gascon languages is user friendly as well and has great sections such as recipes for cooking with beer – ‘Civet de bœuf à la bière’ (beef and beer stew) being a personal favourite from the UK..
|Oktoberfest at the brewery – 2013|
The Gasconha range :
Gasconha Seigle – A 6% Rye beer it has rustic wheat beer characteristics and dried fruit overtones. Best served from 8°C to 11°C.
Gasconha Brune – Traditionally brewed, at 7.5% it hits hard. With caramelised and roasted malts as well as a hint of bitter orange it has a generous flavour not to be taken lightly!
Gasconha Ambrée – 6% with roasted and smoked malts it has caramel and coffee flavourings. Superb as an aperitif it also goes well with red meat and is best served at 8°C to 12°C.
Gasconha Blonde – A moussy lager and at 5.5% it goes perfectly with cheese and white meats. Using a combo of 4 malts and English and German hops it has character!
Gasconha Blanche – A 5.5% German style wheat beer it is described as rounded and velvety with floral and aniseed notes. Goes well with seafood and salads and served between 6°C and 8°C.
Gasconha de Printemps – Evoking Spring there are hints of Jasmin as well as caramel and dark malts. 6% and only available in 33cl.
Gasconha de Noël – A rich festive 6% Christmas beer made with Aquitaine honey. Traditionally brewed with spicy overtones this baby is guaranteed to warm up the winter. With the 2013 brew recently finished the Gasconha Christmas beer is available from a range of stockists including on their Sunday market stall on the Quai des Chartrons. A Christmas stocking gift pack is also on offer with 3 bottles and its very own Gasconha glass. What better way to wash down a roast turkey with all the trimmings!
The Alouette range :
Gasconha Vinaigre de Bière – popular in the UK, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands beer vinegar has a malty taste and is a fantastic way to spice up a salad and intrigue your guests…
|Gasconha outlets in central Bordeaux|
or simply give them a call…Cheers!