Visit to the Etienne Brewery, in Saint-Gervais
FR - What could be better than enjoying a nice beer on a sunny terrace? UzEssentiel has dedicated itself to taste some of the Gervoises from the Etienne Brewery, in Saint-Gervais.
Totally dedicated to traditional Belgian beers, the brewery Etienne shares its name with the owners, Cathy and Marc Etienne.
The Gervoise - a contraction of Gervais and cervoise - which is prepared there is available in blond, brown, white and red (the latest one), without forgetting the Gervovie, a brandy prepared with the help of the distiller Quentin Le Cléac'h, from Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie.
Want to know more? Follow the guide to discover the history of the Etienne brewery and taste the couple's 6 gervoises.
Quite passionate about the world of beer, Cathy (from Saint-Gervais) and Marc (from Liège), first started researching blends and recipes of beers. Then came the training courses with brewers, a sharing of knowledge and know-how, essential to be able to start making their own production.
Between meetings at the Eurobière trade fair in Strasbourg and discussions with the curator of the beer museum, who shared a book of beer recipes from the last century, Cathy and Marc have acquired the knowledge they need over the years to fly solo.
If the origins of the brewery go back to the end of the 80's, it was created on the outskirts of the small village of Saint-Gervais, between Bagnols and Goudargues, with owner's own funds, and work carried out by Marc, the brewery opened in 2015, with a breathtaking view over the Cèze valley.
Settled on 3 levels, the brewery is a clever mix of places where beer is prepared: there is the mill on the first floor, the ground floor reserved for brewing, labelling and reception, and the basement for fermentation, to finally arrive at the cold room, where the 10 storage tanks of the brewery are located. It takes about 100 days to make a traditional beer, with slow maturation, as in Belgium...
After bottling and labelling, the beers are kept in air-conditioned premises specially adapted to the different types of beer.
From Blonde to Red, traditional beers
The very first beer to be created at the brewery is the fruity Gervoise Blonde (5º5), which is as golden as can be and in which the malt and the hops display their respective talents to offer the palate of beer lovers a refreshing experience.
La Gervoise Blonde, Grand Gold Medal, voted best beer of the international competition in Frankfurt for all countries in 2019
Next up is the more bitter, grassy-tasting Gervoise Blonde au Froment (5º5), which was honoured at the Gard Gourmand competition in 2018, and the Grand Gold Medal at the Frankfurt International trophy 2022.
Did you know? - Among the various stages of the production of a beer is the mashing. The malt grains are crushed and poured into water, resulting in a beer with a characteristic malty smell. - 2 or 3 types of hops can be used in a beer recipe.
After the silver medal-winning Gervoise ambrée (5º,5), with its deep honey colour, "with a smooth head", then the somewhat bitter Gervoise blanche (4.8º), where some will note citrus aromas, reminiscent of Bavarian weissbeer, Gold Medal at the Frankfurt International Trophy 2018, the Gervoise Brune (4.8º), with almost auburn, even caramel tones, whose "hint of kirsch, at the end of the mouth", can be enjoyed at cellar temperature, between 10º and 12º, Gold Medal at the Frankfurt International Trophy 2021 and Silver Medal at the Brussels Beer Challenge 2021, here is the couple's latest creation, the Gervoise Rouge (5º5), where 4 ingredients, a few spices are combined...
Good to know: - Guided tours and aperitifs are proposed, on reservation. - Les estivales de la Gervoise 2022: dance evenings at the Brewery (meals on reservation). To be seen in the mill, on the first floor: the Ph. Lafon grinder, a very vintage 70 year lady.
The right address: Brasserie Etienne, Quartier Le Peyron, in Saint-Gervais. Winter opening hours: Open Monday to Friday, from 4.30 pm to 7 pm, Saturday from 10.30 am to 1 pm and 4.30 pm to 7 pm. Summer opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11am to 1pm and from 5pm to 8pm. Closed on Sundays. 06 62 88 03 71. Where to find the Gervoise: among others, find the beers of the Etienne Brewery at the Compagnons du terroir, in Castillon-du-Gard, at the Marchand de vin in Uzès and Bagnols-sur-Cèze, at the Mas des agriculteurs in Nîmes, at the Intermarché in Cornillon, at the Vallée verte campsite in La Roque-sur-Cèze, at the restaurants La Table d'Uzès, l'Auberge gardoise in Vallérargues, Entre vignes et garrigue in Pujaut, Villa Montesquieu in Laudun-l'Ardoise, and in many other places.