The highlights of
The emblematic beer of the 3 MONTS
brewery: the history, the collection – on tap!
THE BEER OF
3 MONTS is brewed in Saint-Sylvestre-Cappel, in the land of the Trois Monts, which give French Flanders some lift. The name 3 MONTS comes from the Cassel, Cats, and Récollets hills, an outstanding feature of the local landscape.
Grape vines don’t grow much or turn out very well here in Flanders, so it was early on that the people started to grow barley, which has an appreciation for the region’s (rather regularly present) moisture, and its groundwater, which together efficiently nourish the plains and hills of Flanders.
In the nineteenth century, each village had its own brewery; some even had several. But two World Wars and the destruction they wreaked took their toll on the rise of Flemish brewing. Yet still, in spite of the predictions of decline, the Ricour family in Saint-Sylvestre-Cappel continued to produce their table beer, which in 1984 led to the creation of the famous beer 3 MONTS.
Rich in a history shaped by multiple influences over the centuries, this “French” Flanders beer has forged an identity all its own.
THE 3 MEN
AT THE ORIGIN OF 3 MONTS
It was at the Saint-Sylvestre Brewery, which withstood the post-war destruction of the Breweries of Flanders, that 3 MONTS was born in 1984.
The idea, hatched by Pierre Ricour and his sons François and Serge, came from their common feeling of nostalgia for a more distinctive, more flavorful top-fermented beer. The trio thus developed 3 MONTS, a gourmet, terroir beer, brewed from ingredients from the Nord region.
The trio opted for a “Belgian beer” bottle type so as to stand out from their fellow beermakers, who were using champagne-type bottles. It was an immediate hit.
The top-fermented 3 MONTS beer is now one of the leading gourmet beers in France.
ON THE BOTTLE
On a hot day in July 1985, Pierre Ricour went out to deliver some samples of 3 MONTS to the Netherlands. All the corks popped in the heat, spilling the bear all over the trunk of the car.
Back at the office, the trio launched an investigation into what economical techniques they might use to prevent this misadventure from happening again – and ever since, bottles of 3 MONTS have been graced with their characteristic clasp. It’s a system that’s quite rare nowadays, used only by a handful of Champagne houses.
A RECIPE UNCHANGED
FOR 3 GENERATIONS
The authentic taste of 3 MONTS beer comes in part from its unique yeast. Long ago, Pierre Ricour ordered 2 types of yeast, one from Denmark and one from England; it came wrapped in blotter paper. Using a test balloon, he set them to work in the laboratory – and the yeasts merged to become one!
This unique, flocculent yeast (lazy, even) leaves its work half done by not fully digesting all the sugars, so fermentation can’t take place correctly. A unique process was thus developed that then enables that yeast to finish the job, producing a quality beer with a balanced alcohol content.
Since 1984, the recipe has remained the same.
To comply with new labeling standards and provide clearer information to consumers, the label has been redesigned while still retaining its original features: the oval shape, typical of the Anglo-Saxon style at the time of its creation, the 3 MONTS hills, the lion of Flanders, and the golden color of the wheat fields.
And, with all due respect to its detractors, the clasp – that historical hallmark of the brand – is still right where it always was!
3 MONTS, long bottled exclusively in a 75cl format (for the singular experience of sharing with friends), is now available in 20L kegs, 33 cl bottles and in packs, to satisfy the new drinking habits of today’s beer lovers.
And, to offer an even greater variety of flavors and fragrances, 3 MONTS beer is now available in Triple, Organic and Saison versions.
Each recipe stays true to its rural, Flemish roots: real, authentic beers based primarily on local ingredients. The brewers who make 3 MONTS believe in respecting the local ancestral know-how, and putting all the rich bounty of the Flemish terroir into their bottles.
Today, 3 MONTS beer is enjoyed everywhere in France, at home and whether in cafes, bars, or any place that has the friendly ambiance its full appreciation requires.