Worthwhile French Beers: Gallia

27 06 2011

Gallia beer tasting

Summer has finally arrived in Paris!  (Again.)  While rosé may be the beverage of choice among parisian picnickers, a cold, refreshing beer on a café terrasse hits the spot just as well.

Enter Gallia.  There are those who would argue (Simon at La Cave à Bulles being one of them) that it doesn’t count as a French beer, because it is currently being brewed in the Czech Republic.  In its defense, though, the company was first started in 1890.  They brewed four types of beer – strong, double, petite, and bock – from their location in Paris’ 14th arrondissement.  By 1896, it was the second biggest brewery in Paris, and in 1900, Gallia won the gold medal at the Universal Expo.  The company continued to grow until World War II, the volume of production decreasing by 30% in the 1940’s and ’50’s.  The ’60’s brought an increased popularity of foreign beers and pressure to join large conglomerates.  In 1968, the brewery closed and beer production ceased.

But in 2010, two buddies, Guillaume Roy and Jacques Ferté, 53 years old if you add their ages together, decided to relaunch the brand.  They wanted to make a signature beer for Paris, and started with the blonde.  The recipe itself is not the same as it was before, tastes having changed in the intervening 40 years.  Like I said, it is currently being brewed in the Czech Republic, but they hope one day to move the brewing operation home.

It’s not perfect, but Gallia’s blonde would make a fine session beer.  Lightly hopped, the clear, golden brew has a balanced bitterness, and I could certainly see myself polishing off a few over a warm, sunny happy hour.

On this day in 2010: The Great Cupcake Extravaganza, Part Frosting

Originally published on Croque-Camille.


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