In Provence, a new generation of craft, organic, and green breweries have become part of the landscape – and even the rooftops!
A real frenzy for beer took hold of the Phoceaen city, where a slew of microbreweries have recently set up shop. Produced right in the city centre and stamped AOQ (Appellation d’Origine de Quartier), the Bières de la Plaine, are neither filtered nor pasteurised. The same natural eco-friendly trend goes for La Minotte, brewed in the Capelette district. As for Part Faite, a crowdfunded organic beer, it amazingly offers a draught fabricated from hops grown on the rooftops of Marseille. This experiment is carried out with the help of Abricotoit, a company specialising in urban agriculture. And then, of course, there is the inimitable Cagole, which plays with the cliché of the Southern girl with the strong accent, who’s not particularly refined, but friendly.
Aix is Also Brewing
Located in the wilds, at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, the Brasserie Artisanale de Provence (BAP) has set up in a former barn 20 minutes from Aix, in Rousset-sur-Arc. There, they make a golden beer inspired by the Belgians, a wheat beer with citrus flavours, a fruity amber beer and a dark brew with toasted malt notes. If you go through Saint-Cannat, you should also stop off at La Petite Aixoise brewery, which offers tasty beers that are made in accordance with traditional methods. Right in the centre of Aix-en-Provence, discover Aquae Maltae, a brand‑new organic beer shop and brewery.
Suds from Saint-Trop’
In Hyères-Les-Palmiers, about 20 kilometres from Toulon, the Brasserie Carteron crafts artisanal pink, wheat, lager or amber beers with intense and subtle flavours. Born in Saint-Tropez, La Trop is produced by Mathilde and Thomas, former winemakers who converted to beer-ology. A tasting is, of course, on the agenda after a tour of the brewery!
Wild and Local in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Good news! After a fifty-year-break, beer is again being brewed in Ubaye. The quality of water in the area, combined with organic ingredients, gives La Sauvage, produced at the Brasserie des Hautes Vallées, “the highest in France,” a unique taste. One of the most recent brewers of craft beer in Provence, Auzetane, a partner of the UNESCO Geopark of Haute-Provence, has set up in Auzet, near Digne. A little further south, in Forcalquier, Iterum Sities is ultra-local: it is produced from grain grown within 10 kilometres.
Ales of the Vaucluse
In the Avignon area, craft beer is taking off! In 2017, three breweries opened their doors in the Vaucluse. In Carpentras, the Brasserie Artisanale du Mont Ventoux offers brews with evocative names: “Altitude 1912 Le Sommet,” “Altitude 1050 Le Ventouret” and “Altitude 1450 Tête de Chauve.” A short walk from there, in Sarrians, La Machotte – an “owl” in Provençal, hence the funny bird on the label – produces a blonde beer, a wheat beer and an amber beer with subtle flavours. Finally, it is thanks to its light and low-alcohol beer that the Brasserie Lub’, established near Cavaillon by a couple from the north, has charmed drinkers.