Le Singe Savant is a micro-brewer and a bar in the heart of Lille. It is part of the new wave of craft brewers, who are kicking down the door of French tastes.
Cavel and partners Guillaume Libersat and Pierre Demont opened the brewery at the end of 2019 in the Moulins area of Lille after three years at a co-working location. They raised some €34,857 through crowdfunding to make the move (they were aiming at €30,000). Now they are fully in control of their brewing processes and can experiment at will says Cavel.
They label themselves at the “Monkey Crew” based on the joke that if a monkey could type for infinity then one would produce Hamlet or some other classic eventually. They have transformed the joke to the beer world, though it does not quite work for me on many levels. First, infinity is too long to wait for a good beer.
Puzzling for me but it works for them. They say the joke describes their way of working, which is to be inspired and use their gastronomic discoveries and ingredients available during a particular season to create new beers or revisit a style. Still they seem like fun guys. Who does not like a brewer disguised as a monkey (see video below)!
They try to be urban and environmentally friendly. They use as much as is possible local materials from the area, use recycled beer bottles and aim for a zero-waste operation. They also use steel kegs instead of plastic ones.
For example they say they rescued 24,000 bottles destined for waste in 2018 and were able to re-use them. They also invite the community to bring their bottles directly to the brewery.
They have moved up from brewing 120 litre batch to brew 200 litres at a time. They hope to slowly move up to 500 litres. For now they in full mode experimentation will all the recipes they have been wanting to try for years as gypsy brewers.
The brewery is located about 50 metres from their bar, where they showcase their latest beers, and get feedback from customers. It has 15 taps, of which 10 is reserved for La Singe beers, three for invited brewers, one for homemade lemonade and the last for Nitro Cold Brew, a coffee concoction. It sounds like my kind of place!