“Making beer is a bit like professional cooking,” says Nick Nimmy, owner of bijoux craft beer brewery Brasserie Artisanale de Puycelsi. “If you take the best quality ingredients and treat them well, you can deliver the most delicious flavours. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But you do need the technical knowledge and creativity to get the best from your raw ingredients.”

“We consider ourselves very lucky,” he continues, “as we can live and work in one of the prettiest villages in France.” Nick is not exaggerating when it comes to Puycelsi. The walled, medieval village of Puycelsi, just an hour’s drive north of Toulouse, with its half-timbered buildings and ramparts overlooking the Grésigne forest and Vère valley, has been voted one of the most beautiful in France.

Nick, who is originally from Windsor, and his American wife Susan, set up the brewery in 2016. They had previously spent over 20 years in Switzerland, where the couple both worked in IT.

“We are passionate about beer making,” Nick explains, and after a few years as amateur brewers, using plastic buckets in their kitchen, they decided to ‘go professional’. Nick took a post-graduate university diploma in biotechnology and beer making and the couple now produce about 5,000 litres of beer per year.

Their beer, which is vegan, unfiltered and unpasteurised, using locally sourced organic malt, has already proved hugely popular.

You can buy the beer in the village shop and in local restaurants, but Nick and Susan are keen to keep the business small.

“We don’t really want to expand. The demand is always greater than our capacity to produce but we’re not looking to go global. We just want to stay local and produce a high-quality product that we’re really proud of.”

Brasserie Artisanale de Puycelsi: A brewery with a difference in one of France’s most beautiful villages, Discover Southern Europe magazine


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