After a while building the thing in half of a friend's barn I now have all the permissions from the Douane etc and am brewing beer and selling it! The response has been fabulous. If any of you are interested in the details, here's my website: Shakespeare beer
It's very basic at the moment but I'll improve it as I go along.
Thanks Pauline. I honestly think my beers taste better than the London Pride and Spitfire I've bought recently. Either the taste has changed or my beer really is quite good! *crosses fingers*
Best of luck David, also David and Robert. The vast majority of beer sold in France is served so cold that it doesn't matter that it all tastes much the same. However Micro breweries are doing well here in Touraine, but English beer is normally limited to Spitfire and London Pride. There were some choice items at Noz recently, but they sell remaindered and bankrupt stock - not a good omen.
Chris and Dom Wallace, 2 friends our our have a brewery a few kms from us and their beer goes down really well with the French. Chris has been brewing for many years now and have a fantastic set up.
Rgds, Mike L
Hello Robert. The thought of the paperwork was a thing that almost put me off too, but it's not that bad at all, really. Registering with the Chambre des Metiers et de l'Artisanat can be done all online and I never went to the Douanes offices, just wrote letters, the odd phone call and they come and see what and where you're doing your thing. That bit was surprisingly easy. I wasn't sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting anyway, as I had to actually build the brewery while that was going on!
Thanks David, yes another fellow brewer suggested Temaco. I'm looking for a particular shaped 50cl bottle that I really like but I'm paying through the nose for them at the moment. I use The Malt Miller as he has a brilliant service and the quality is great as far as I can tell. I haven't found anywhere in France that matches them (and my 'thing' is to be all-English anyway). I need to get some more money together to be able to buy bigger bulk and therefore cheaper obviously. Petit a petit as they say ;)
David, bottles from Temaco based at Brive, can be a little unreliable with delivery dates so we try to book well in advance! Will again plant Maris Otter and if I produce enough quantity and quality will ship back to England to be malted for me because the grain will be produced under organic conditions. Would love to malt it myself but can't afford to build a malterie to the quality needed to get a consistent product required to produce a consistent beer I think but maybe one day.In the past have tried malt from various sources but have found Warminster Maltings to be the best and since they provide service second to none will stick with them. Hope that helps ,David.
Congratulations and good luck David,
I may well ask for some advice when I get my act together. You don't know this but I'm still getting over a bad car accident from march last year. Have made one or two enquiries with hostileries lately and I'm confident it would go down a storm in the Charente. It's all the paperwork involved that is putting me off at the moment. Because concentration has been severely hampered by said accident...ho hum...I'll get there.....you learn little else but patience living in France ;o))
Hello David. That looks ideal - wine and beer! And so many awards too- well done. So you use your own barley? Do you roast it yourselves too?Can I ask where you get your bottles? (that's my major expense at the moment).
Your set-up is obviously a bit bigger than mine, but I can't wait to expand already! So there are a few more of us out there than I imagined. I thought there must be really! Luckily France is so big that we're not stepping on anyone else's toes (yet). If the huge resurgence in micro-breweries in the UK follows-on here we may be!
I was very interested in your post and your mirco brewery the reason being is that we too have a mirco brewery (just south of Cahors) also making english style-ish beer "Biere du Quercy " and it is so nice to know there is another englishman out there doing the same, as I don't know about you but we are constantly learning and talking to other brewers is just so helpful. We came to France 20 years ago buying a small vineyard and cereal farm, and started making beer in 2007 full time, the idea was to use the wheat and barley from the farm as we do with the grapes to a finished product, hasn't quite worked out the way we planned,
due to the quantity of beer we make now. Anyway we have a web site www.Merchien.com ( not really up together) but our FACEBOOK PAGE "DOMAINE DU MERCHIEN" is.
Just a plug for another real ale microbrewery, http://hoppy-daze-brewery.com not far from Beziers, no interest to declare other than wanting them to thrive.
That's great! One day...one day..
We've just had our local beer festival, approx 20 breweries from the Rhone Alpes region
Ha! That's funny. I try very hard to do everything bi-lingually and as we all know, that's much appreciated if not obligatory. My chest is less white these days as we have quite sunny weather after all ;)
If I had some more local competitors, I'd organise a beer festival here, but that is some way off I imagine. you never know though.
Hi David, I'm also sorry I live so far away from you. However, I recently went to a local beer festival at Bessèges in the Cévennes. It was a novelty for this region, because they make a lot of good wine around here, but I was very impressed with the products on offer from the dozen or so local (NImes/Ales/Montpelier) artisan brewers so good luck with your enterprise as the French do like good beer.
The only downside was that there was a UK brewer from London with a stall who failed to fly the flag by only having one hand written sign in English, couldn't speak any French and served, the few who bothered to sample his goods, after taking his T shirt off to display his white, spotty, skinny chest. I'm sure you would be a much better ambassador for your own product.
Good Luck with the project, shame you are so far away.
No problem. If I can be of any help, just ask. France needs to be helped to drink better! ;)
Thanks for your reply, looks like I’ll have to do some thorough research, especially as I am resident in England. As far as UK customs are concerned, as a registered brewer over here, you are correct that an export license is required for sales abroad, just wondering if import duty is also payable, vat (or TVA) being another potential obstacle, hence my idea to set up a small 3 or 5 BBL over in France. Anyway thanks for your time in replying
Well, if you're not brewing here I imagine the customs people from the UK would be more interested in your exports than the Douane here. You'd be just an importer to them I presume? As for the process of becoming a 'brasseur' it could well have been much worse and drawn out than it was. Once you have registered with the CDM the customs people are next. I became an 'Autoentrepreneur' to do this, even though I'd had a couple of other businesses here before. I'm assuming you don't live here full time and aren't a resident? Then again I've no idea whether that matters, apart from being around to sell it.
My beer is a novelty here because I brew it here, I'm English and the beers are British real ales. If you are just bringing them over, I don't see the difference between someone being able to buy a bottle of british beer from the supermarket (although I imagine yours are much better of course!).
I have a small brewery here in England, and also have a property in the Correze. I would be interested to know how easy you found it to set up regarding the authorities/customs, was it a long drawn out process? I am quite keen to build a small brewery at my property in France, but wonder if it would be simpler merely to export my beers from England. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.