French & Japanese brews

On July 16th, we talked about beers from non-traditional brewing countries, specifically France and Japan.

Franc was up first. We quickly covered French brewing history, discussed their traditional style, Biere de Garde, then explored France’s growing craft beer scene.

Then, focusing in on Japan, we learned a bit about their traditional grain-based fermented beverage – sake – then dove into Japanese beer culture, with help from Beer School attendee, Lou, who used to live in Japan and shared her experiences.

To listen back, find a recording of the session below:

French beers

Recommended reading:

1. The Oxford Companion to Beer‘s entry on “France”

Start here for a quick overview of the French beer scene throughout history:

2. The Beer Judge Certification Program’s Style Guideline for Biere de Garde

Learn more about the beer style most associated with France and what flavours to expect:

3. VinePair, “‘Sick of Filtered Lager’: Craft Beer Culture is Evolving Across France”

More on how craft beer has won over French drinkers, thanks to three little letters… IPA:

4. Ferment Magazine, “Hop to It!”

This is a short interview with founders of Hoppin’ Rabbit, a French craft beer distributor, about their take on the modern French beer scene:

Optional: A few more French breweries to check out courtesy of Nantes-based Beer School attendee, Chess (Thanks, Chess!)

Japanese beers:

Recommended listening on sake:

(Thanks to Beer School attendee Jo for this one!)

1. BBC’s The Food Programme, “The Sake Revelation”

Recommended reading/watching on the Japanese beer scene:

(Thanks to Lou for these! Lou is also going to share some of her experiences from living in Japan during Thursday’s session.)

1., “Beer in Japan”

Lou says, “For a quick overview”

2. Martyn Cornell’s Zythophile, “A short history of Asahi” 

Lou says, “An in-depth summary by Martyn Cornell – it’s broader than just Asahi!

3. Video: “Craft Beer in Japan”

Lou says, “27min video – it’s worth it! Also covers a bit of the history.”

Optional recommendation from Lou: “Mark Dredge’s A Brief History of Lager also has a nice section on Japanese beer (pg 177 – 187)”