Homebrewed beer, wine and mead

9 Replies



Hello all!! I am considering moving to Brittany in the near future and I've been gathering lots of information about housing and food and life in general. The one thing that would be most important to me is being able to make my own beer and wine. Are there any homebrew clubs there? How bout shops that sell supplies for brewing your own?? Or is the local wine so good and inexpensive that it just doesn't make sense to make your own??

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Clover-382222 1110565690

We used to make a lot of wine and beer before moving to France and belonged to the local wine club. Here I have never found the same sort of supplies like we used (airlocks,demijohns,yeast, camden tablets,syphons etc) so we have never pursued it. I still make loads of sloe gin every autumn but to be honest although home made wine is great, with the prices here for all sorts of types and with stores like Lidl selling not too bad wines etc its not worth the bother. We actually sold most of our equipment at a car boot sale before moving here and gave loads away. If you wish to continue the hobby here, I suggest you stock up on everything at least twice and then keep an eye on your supplies so that you can get visitors to get more.

Bob Bowen-382240 1110565889

Sounds like coals to Newcastle.

At the local Lidle I can buy a Cote de Rhone Villages for Euro1.70 (its on promo), they also have would you believe a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay for a similar price (very fruity). How much in Asda or Tesco.

We normally pay 3 or 4 Euros for the sort of wine I would expect to pay £5 - £8 in Tesco

Beer tends to be lager type though they do have some dark ales, a case (24 small bottles) of Stella or similar anything between 6 - 8 euros. Again in Lidle they have a promo on a german premium lager at Euro 0.33 (thats about 23 pence) a half litre can. When you can get Bishops finger it is about half to two thirds the cost of it in the UK.

I used to brew my own both from kits and separate ingrediemts years ago but I would not think of it now....unless I had a plentiful supply of apples and the kit to crush them etc!

The local supermarkets certainly do sell bottling equipment so I assume the French do make their own, but I guess its mainly cider.

For decent general drinking wines (quality wines expect to pay

Regards Bob
Baud (56) and
Dwyran (LL61)

Bob Bowen-382240 1110566090

Clover, your mentionj of Sloe gin reminds me of a drink I had when fishing on Loch Goyle in Scotland.

The local we stayed at sold Sloe Gin and Glayva, an unlikely combination but a terrific drink if I remember correctly. In fact remembering anything that happend after 8.00pm that weekend was unusual.

Regards Bob
Baud (56) and
Dwyran (LL61)

BernieCross 1110569145

Wow Bob that sounds amazingly cheap.

A bottle of poor quality wine here costs around 8 to 9 euro and a fairly good bottle would be 12 euro for sure. The good stuff is just to much to buy regularly. 6 good quality beers would run around 8 euros too.

I make my own mostly because I just like the brewing process and it's fun. It sure doesn't look like it would be worth the bother over there though. The prices sound very reasonable.

yann alan-382263 1110626387

There are many local brewers in Brittany now and you can find their products in every "supermarché". Try "coreff", but the smaller ones too.

    For wine, nobody does here First reason ; the only grapes in Brittany are found south from Nantes and wine is not expensive¨People here do their cider (legal) and apple cider brandy (illegal)

Clover-382222 1110703522

Yann. We english don't use grapes a lot for our wine,that comes in concentrated form in large cans and personally I hated it. Ours were always made from flowers, fruit, vegetables (now, parsnip wine!!) in fact anything edible. My mum won the cup for years for the best dandelion and elderflower wines and my tea wine was a popular one too.

Bob. Like us then buying at Lidl and yes it is coals to Newcastle which is why we got rid of our equipment. I love Glayva too,must try that mix sometime.

Bob Bowen-382240 1110704020

The mix we had in Scotland the barman called a 'sloe (slow) scottish screw'.

I think he had improvised and the original recipe called for Southern Comfort and was called either a sloe comfortable screw or a sloe southern screw depending how it was made

Regards Bob
Baud (56) and
Dwyran (LL61)

ianh-385618 1110808229

Dear Bernie - I have a large orchard and do find it economical to brew my own wine - last summer (for example) we were picking up 15 kilos of plums a day for about a month.  If you have the equipment, therefore, it is economical to make your own - only cost is sugar, yeast, pectic enzyme etc.  You can't find this stuff easily over here (although there are French Mail order firms) so stock up.  The great advantage of having cheap wine in the supermarkets (I got a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon in Lidl for 1 euro 29 cents last week) is that it is much easier to mature the home brew for a long time so you can make superb wines.  If it doesn't work out too well, there are mobile (legal) stills which for a small fee will turn it into eau de vie!  If you enjoy it (as I do) - keep it up.  Ian

yann alan-382263 1110812912

About mobile stills, beware of legal conditions. The only people who may get eau-de-vie are more than 70 or 80 years old, called "bouilleurs de cru". The right to do disappears when they die.

   I'm not sure but maybe you may do it if you pay taxes (droits indirects). Ask your neighbours. Mobile still man will do, maybe, but if you are caught by custom officers, they may fine you and take your car...

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