In search of an interesting gift for Chéri’s 40th birthday, I thought about a forty year old bottle of whisky…aaaand then I learned the price. €€€€€! I figured it would be better to save that kind of money for vacation. So, I asked around and someone suggested a beer brewing workshop. Bingo! Chéri loves beer, so do I, and it would be a fun experience together. For 160€ I was able to reserve our spots in a group workshop at the La Beer Fabrique.
We had four hours of beer brewing ahead of us. Aprons and stations were ready all we had to do to begin was to chose our recipe. We selected an abbaye beer. A few safety precautions were explained and then we all headed downstairs for a quick lesson in beer brewing.
The processus were amply explained with humor, and the different elements that go into the recipe explained as well. It was as enlightening as it was scientific. And then we got to dig in… We scooped and weighed our grains proportionately to our recipe. Then Chéri poured thgem into the mill to grind them. (« Concassage »).
We moved back to our cooking stations to start the brewing.
The grains and hops were cooked and added at different timings according to each chosen recipe. Very scientific.
Inbetween all these steps there was often a bit of waiting involved. The guys filled the time with information, tastings or quizzes or dinner time where you could have a « planche » of cured hams and cheeses or bring your own picnic lunch.
The yeast was added by the experts at the very end. It’s the trickiest part, but did our own cleanup. All in all, I was very impressed with these guy’s knowledge of beer, beer history, beer culture. They LOVE beer. And they have made beer their business. Workshops are always on the schedule so you’ll find something for the beer lover in your life for you.
The bottling process happens after a two week fermentation period. Chéri returned with friends to bottle up our brew and carry home the 30 bottles of beer we made! And after another 2 week period of waiting our beer was ready to drink. We had friends come back and help us taste it. Because beer is even better when shared.