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Nautile: defining craft from Nantes

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Video: Brasserie Nautile is part of the exploding craft beer scene in France says Fabien Morvan, co-founder of the brewery, which was founded in 2017 in Rezé.

Rezé sits across the Loire river from Nantes, about 50 km from France’s Atlantic coast. There Fabien Morvan, Vincent Munoz Del Blanco, and Clément Touzé founded Brasserie Nautile in 2017, near the town where Jules Verne was born.

They are in an area with “not many brewers but lots of beer drinkers” said Morvan in an interview with the Beer Idiots.

Now the French craft market is growing fast, at least until the COVID-19 crisis, the brewers are catching up to meet the demand.

“It is fun and adventure,” said Morvan.

Fabien Morvan
Photo: Fabien Morvan of Brasserie Nautile

Start-up

Morvan was in Ireland where he met another amateur brewer, Munoz Del Blanco, and they resolved to go into the business. They partnered with Clément Touzé, who had been brewing for 15 years and had started Brasserie Bonne Garde in Nantes then closed it in June 2017.

The three raised about €16,000 from the crowd in that year, for a bottling line.  They have a 300 square metre brewery that produced around 100,000 litres of beer in 2019. They also managed to expand their production outside of the Nantes area.

Touzé is the master brewer assisted by Morvan and Munoz Del Blanco who also look after communication and marketing. 

The micro-brewery currently has 29 beers listed on UnTappd, not all of them in production. They have made beers ranging from 1.5-15%, experimenting with styles.

They do the usual range – IPA, porter, stout, gose, farmhouse ales and have a bio range which  also includes gluten-free beer and low-alcohol beers.

Some of the other craft brewers in Nantes, which holds its Bierfest in October (check if it is still on), include Charlotte (http://www.lesbieresdecharlotte.fr/), Les Brassés (http://www.lesbrasses.fr/), Bubar (https://www.facebook.com/bubarnantes) and Brasserie Philmore (http://philmore.fr/).

The French craft market is not as new as it seems. The Brasseurs de France reportedly traces it back to 1985, when there were 25 breweries in France. Brasserie Coreff opened in Brittany. In 1986, three brewers opened in Lille. France went from 15 new breweries were opening annually to nearly one new brewery a day in 2018.

Surveys have shown that beer has risen to the same positive image in France as wine even though Kronenbourg, owned by Carlsberg, still controls about 40% of France’s beer output. There are currently about 2,000 breweries in France, supposedly the top amount per country in the EU, but drinkers consume about 33 litres of beer a year on average, putting them in last place in the EU.

Photo gallery (below): Nautile’s labels

Photo gallery (below): Lille’s Beer Festival 2019

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