FRENCH FLANDERS, CRADLE OF BEER?
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
The French flanders, stretching from Dunkirk to Bailleul, offer sumptuous landscapes: vast agricultural areas, dotted with steeples, half-timbered thatched cottages, mills. Almost as flat as its Belgian neighbor, the flanders see on their soil some mountains stand up to draw a line between earth and sky. In the distance, rows of hops on their stilts have nothing to envy to the giants of its carnivals. Flanders, following wars and economic crises has remained a land of celebration and conviviality.
The origin of beer
Known to be manufactured and consumed since prehistoric times, the beer has conquered Europe and it is in the Middle Ages that its production is developing, notably thanks to the brewing monks who develop techniques of manufacture and aromatization, Until then, beer was a simple mixture of spelled and barley cookies and water, fermented and brewed by the family (usually by the family’s wife) before being packaged in amphorae or barrels.
Beer and flanders
Here, the vine does not grow or hurt. In flanders, we therefore favor the cultivation of barley, which appreciates humidity, which is rather common in the region as well as its underground water which efficiently irrigates plains and mounts of Flanders.
The brewing tradition supports many generations of Flemish people. In the nineteenth century, each village has its own brewery, some even have several. Two world wars and their share of destruction were right in the flight of the Flemish breweries. Despite their announced decline, Ricour in Saint-Sylvestre-Cappel continues to produce his beer table, which will lead in 1984 to the creation of the famous beer 3 Monts.
At the beginning of the twentieth century in Flanders, breweries are managed in family: the brewer and his family and some employees. The brewery is usually passed on to the boy of the family, otherwise we will look for a brewer’s son to marry his daughter! Marrying the brewer’s daughter is a good thing, it was said in Flanders … For these family breweries, the house is an integral part of the business. It includes housing, where the administrative part and customer reception are handled, and the factory at the back. If you pass behind the brewery of 3 Monts, you will see the family home, which still hosts meetings of the Ricour family.
More than just a trendy beverage, the beer brewed today in Flanders has a long history that gives it the flavor of its authenticity. Emblem of the region’s terroir, the 3 Monts is committed to perpetuate this millenary brewing know-how.