Our second featured international brewery comes from the difficult to define region of Flanders. You may have enjoyed beers from Flanders before and observed that these were from Belgium. The region of Flanders was defined before the modern day borders of France and Belgium were drawn, and in fact, the area spans the intersection of these two nations. The remarkable Flemish beer we've selected for you is from the French side of Flanders, brewed in a lovely, picturesque town called Saint Sylvestre Cappel. Today, their local brewery stands as one of merely 30 left in Flanders—a true survivor (at the beginning of the century, there were 2000 breweries in the whole of Flanders!)
We regard the beers of Brasserie De Saint Sylvestre as some of the best in all of France. We have the Ricour family of brewers to thank for these remarkable beers. Today, the brewing is done by the talented Serge Ricour, a 3rd generation brewer who, along with his brother Francois and under the tutelage of their father Pierre (who learned the trade from his father, Rémy), has seen the brewery's praise and distribution soar. With three generations of artisinal master brewers—how can you go wrong?
According to files held at the local town hall, brewing at the Saint Sylvestre Brewery predates the French Revolution of the late 18th century, although the exact date it was founded is unknown. However, the Ricour family did not get in to the brewing business until 1920, when Rémy Ricour purchased the brewery from his uncle Marcel Bacquaert, who passed along his brewing knowledge just as it was taught to him by the former family of owners, who had brewed there continuously since 1860. In 1939, at the age of 16, Rémy's son Pierre joined the brewery full time as the only Ricour family member until accompanied in 1983 by his fresh-out-of-brewing-school sons Francois and Serge. Over the past 23 years the brothers have greatly expanded the distribution of the brewery's wares and have created a number of truly amazing beers, such as Gavroche. Serge developed this recipe in 1997, and we've been tremendous fans of it since first discovering it about a year ago—now we'd like to share it with you. Enjoy!
For more information about the brewery, visit their website: http://www.brasserie-st-sylvestre.com.