We are proud to announce that our core range is now certified organic! We have also been working towards reducing our environmental impact and protecting our ecosystem. Here are a few things that we do to show our commitment:
80% of our malts were certified organic from our first order in 2013. This year, we have reached 100% organic malts for the majority of our beers. We work with Soufflet malthouse, based in Champagnes Ardennes. The added cost of organic malts compared to conventional malts represents a total cost of 70 000€ since the brewery’s beginnings. However, the majority of the hops that we use are not certified organic (which is why we hesitated for so long to apply for the certification). Because organic hops are so scarce, the ministry of agriculture grants exemptions to allow certification, even when working with non-organic hops. Our objective: to use 100% organic hops by 2022.
Paying attention to our environmental impact is also thinking about the waste that our activity generates. Since the first week of the brewery, we have given our spent grain, to the agroforestry farm site of Les Monts Gardés. Originally, the grain was used to feed the farm animals. “It’s a sort of treat for them, but they shouldn’t overindulge!” Agnès told us the first day we met. Then she began to use it to enrich and improve the quality of the soil, with interesting results. We now spend over 10 000€ per year to send the spent grain to the farm site in good conditions.
We also take to heart the energy and natural resources we use to brew our beers: by August 2019, all of the electricity and gas that we use will be labelled “green energy”.
We want all of our actions to be as natural as possible. This means that we work without inputs other than yeast (unlike wild yeasts we can find on grapes for example, that can ferment wine “naturally”, yeasts on cereals and hops are killed by the malting and brewing processes). We do not use fermentation accelerators because we are not interested in enzymes that can create “brut” beers. We only use clarifying products in exceptional cases when problems occur (for example, in 2018 on a specific batch of malts).
We also want to help people understand what is at stake regarding the use of local and seasonal ingredients: artisanal brewers often claim a local aspect to their work, but do not hesitate to use processed or imported ingredients to flavour their beers. To deepen our commitment, we are launching “Une saison aux Monts Gardés” (a season in Les Monts Gardés). We just finished brewing a Saison which will age throughout the summer. We plan to experiment by adding different fruits and herbs from various periods of summer. In 6 months, we will be able to share 4 to 6 beers with you that we hope will show the evolution of the summer season, from rhubarb to sea-buckthorn.
We realize that there is still a lot to be done, and that ecology is an ongoing projet. We need to improve our used-waters recycling program, work on a refundable/reusable glass bottle system, and reduce our use of plastic kegs, We also need to work towards reducing our water consumption (11 litres of water per litre of beer back in our first brewery in Montreuil, 6 litres in our brewery in Bonneuil and 3,5 litres for Heineken for example!), think about the carbon footprint of our delivery system and ask ourselves how far our beers need to travel if we want to grow responsibly.
Stay tuned: Each year we will give you an update of any new challenges we have faced as well as what we have accomplished throughout the year in regards to our commitment to the environment!