Visit to the Ibex microbrewery in Morzine:
Have you tried our red cedar beer?
Avoriaz 1800 is characteristic on several levels: Visually, its position on the edge of the cliff and its mimetic architecture. On an auditory level, the bells of the horses pulling the carriages can immerse you in an instant in the world of Avoriaz.
As for the smell and taste, apart from the characteristic cheeses and fondues common to all the ski resorts, there is one scent that is systematically and uniquely found in Avoriaz: red cedar.
So we found the ideal local partner to create the unique, olfactory souvenir, the real postcard of taste: a beer with red cedar, the omnipresent wood in our resort:
The appointment is made, David welcomes us warmly in his microbrewery, of which he is one of the partners. This former photographer, with a soft English accent, is a master in the complex art of beer brewing.
He explains: « The first step is to pour the barley and wheat (yes, the hops come much later) into water at 60-70 degrees: the water of the commune, obviously, we stay ultra local. With a giant spoon, well actually a shovel, he mixes this soup which smells surprisingly good, a subtle perfume of cooking cereals, slightly sweet.
While the sugars and proteins from the cereals are infusing the water, David shows me the pile of wood chips he has made: yes, he is using the red cedar shavings, the same ones that cover the walls of the chalets and buildings in Avoriaz. These chips are beautiful and smell good, one is almost surprised that there are not more wood flavours in food products. And off they go into this huge vat of soup. The effect is immediate, they increase the smell of sugar and wood tenfold.
After an hour of cooking, this « cooking water » called the MOUST is filtered as it passes through the « kettle », an enormous tank that can hold nearly 2000 litres of beer, which, as its name suggests, boils it all.
When this stage is finished, it’s off to the fermentation tank: this is where the yeast and hops come in: the hops will give the beer a slight bitterness, but must leave room for the taste of cedar. The yeasts, as in the winemaking process, are responsible for turning the sugar into alcohol. David adds a few sterilised tavaillons, to give the beer more flavour.
After several weeks of fermentation, the whole thing is moved to a tank to inject the carbon dioxide – nobody likes a beer without bubbles, do they? What follows is also done on the spot: bottling, labelling, and here is a 100% Chablais production. With the exception of the barley, whose origin is close to David’s heart: England. We think that this makes the beer even closer to the local inhabitants, because the region is appreciated by foreigners, especially the English, and there is a hybrid culture here between terroir and international meltin-pot.
We leave David smiling, with a box of all his other creations under our arm, which we will taste with our friend moderation, before receiving the delivery of Avoriaz beers, whose creation is no longer a mystery to you!
So, have you tried our red cedar beer?
« Cheers »