The Beerdeaux Chronicles: A visit to La P’tite Martiale brewery

Beerdeaux - Where to get a decent pint in the world wine capital – touching base with Bordeaux’s eco-pioneering startup brewery…

In anticipation of the upcoming Bordeaux Beer festival (affectionately known as the BLIB - Bières Libres et Indépendantes à Bordeaux) BordeauxExpats went to check out the brew kid on the block in the blooming Bordeaux beer world, La P’tite Martiale, in Chartrons.

Lydia (left) with Isabelle Camus from the biotiful world blog
          
          La P’tite Martiale launched onto the Bordeaux scene late last year and is run by one-woman dynamo beer-pioneer, Lydia Servary. Thanks to her devotion to the art of brewing and considerable hard graft, the beers have found their way into organic and eco-trendy épiceries, cafés and restaurants across the city in record time. Her concept is simple: genuinely local organic craft beer, brewed entirely by hand using natural ingredients with all the bottling, labelling, packing, admin and sales carried out on her brewery premises! She delivers her beers on foot or on her beer-tricycle and only supplies outlets she can get to herself. 

In short, it’s back to brewing roots!

          Lydia began amateur brewing in 2008 when she started concocting brews for her mates at local Chartrons gaming club – La Boîte à Jouer. For her 50th she was treated to a 10-day brewing course at the Musée de la Brasserie à Saint-Nicolas-de-Port near Nancy to hone her skills. It wasn’t long before she hatched a plan to start her own local brewery and began looking for a location in Chartrons. By chance she stumbled on a trashed garage depot round the corner from her house on Rue Surson just behind the quais (near Domino’s pizza!) and with the help of friends, transformed it into a working craft brewery in a matter of months.
The building had previously been used to store hundreds of paint pots...

          She opened for business late 2015 and (despite an episode with a sour-tasting Xmas beer..!) was producing beers for the market early this year. Lydia brews traditional non-filtered, non-pasteurised malt beers that re-ferment in the bottle - all by hand. She has a policy of 100% sustainability and zero waste and even re-uses as the hot water used in the brewing process either for re-brewing or cleaning the equipment. Apart from the metallic fermentation tanks, she is currently experimenting with different types of storage such as a 25 year old oak Armagnac barrel (courtesy of her friends at the famous Duboscq wine merchants). She has also produced a saffron beer and has several other innovations in the pipeline such as beer jam (Basque chili beer jam coming soon!) which she will produce in partnership with Les Confitures de Dominique next to the food bank behind the Bassins à Flot.
          La P’tite Martial currently produces a Brune (porter style), Wheat beer, Lager and an Amber ale. Her magical brewing mixtures are cooked up using malts from Castle Malting in Belgium. They come in exotic names such as Castle Special B, Café, Whisky, Froment, Wheat Black and Cara gold. 
A whole lotta malt
Aside from the regular beers, the brewery was given the honour of creating the official beer for the 2016 BLIB. For the upcoming Bordeaux beer showdown, 450 bottles of limited edition American Pale Ale have been created complete with special edition BLIB labels – a collector’s brew! You can sample ‘em at the Zytho bar at the end of rue Notre Dame along with Les Bordovores during the festival as well as other locations (check the FB site for more details)
Lydia received the first ever ‘Entreprise Remarquable’ certificate to go to a company in Gironde this year as well as official organic status. This was largely due to her eco-sustainable approach in re-vitalising the local economy but also in no small part to the fact that she’s a woman brewing in a traditionally male-dominated industry. 

GO GIRL!

          You can find La P’tite Martial in a range of bars, shops, cafés and restaurants in Bordeaux. Try some of the local Chartrons hotspots such as the Conserverie on rue Notre Dame, Paul’s place, Copine Claude, Le Coin de Camille or indeed the Théâtre La Boîte à Jouer where the idea was born!
Looks like the mayor's partial to the martial...
She offers personalized tours twice a week (phone ahead) and her beers are available direct from the brewery as well as a wide range of Bordeaux outlets. The brewer held discovery and tasting workshops at the Pépinière éco-créative Bordeaux Chartrons (Eco-creative cultural centre) all summer which were run as part of the Kweezine online recipe-sharing community. If you want to get involved in local brewing, there are many more to come such as at the Frog and Rosbif during the BLIB. You can also contact the Bordeaux Brewer’s Club for more details not forgetting Shari at the Bordeaux Beer shop.
Lydia is expanding fast and will take on her first employee (deliberately an over-50-year-old) at the end of the year. Her first draft beer is to set to arrive in 2017 and with any luck a few more porters or even a stout! Watch this space…

Santé... !!!


La P’tite Martiale
40 Rue Surson,
33300 Bordeaux
07 82 79 82 74




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