Our first featured international brewery comes from the geographically difficult to define region of Flanders. You may have enjoyed beers from Flanders before and observed that these were from Belgium. The region was defined before the modern day borders of France and Belgium were drawn, and today, the area spans the intersection of these two nations. The 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 active breweries in Flanders!)
We regard the beers of Brasserie De Saint Sylvestre as some of the best in all of France, brewed by the Ricour family of brewers. 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 acclaim and distribution skyrocket. 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 into 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 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 created a number of truly amazing beers, one of which is reviewed below. Enjoy!
For more information about the brewery, visit their website: http://www.brasserie-st-sylvestre.com.