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28th October 2014

Hopping Mad! Great local beers from Colgan's Brewery

I like beer. And, in fact, France produces above average Globo-Lager compared to the UK, US and elsewhere. We get genuine Stella from Belgium and Dutch Heineken here too, and Pelforth is really quite good. But nevertheless they are still industrially produced, globo-lagers with not much character (maybe that is the point?) and even less to support about them.

So, when the local Riviera Radio ran their regular Joke of the Week competition with the prize being donated by a new local brewery, I decided to have a go. And I won! (Joke later).

The prize was a case of Pirate Pale Ale, a T-Shirt and a Baseball Hat with a beer-opener sewn in (the latter seems a bit Homer Simpson somehow, all from Colgan’s Brewery in Mouans Sartoux. In fact, although Andy (Colgan) would I think have delivered it, I offered to go to the Mouans Sartoux to collect and was further rewarded with a look around the small but gleaming and new brewery, and a taste of several of his beers. I’m not sure if it’s actually open to the public, but this is well worth doing. Proper craft beer with an emphasis on sourcing the best ingredients (malt, hops etc) seemingly from all over the world.


The beers are really good! And I’ve already made dangerous inroads into my case of Pirate Pale Ale, so, like a entrepreneurial drug dealer, Andy has successfully got me hooked with his largesse.

Pirate Pale Ale is hoppy and fruity with a lovely balance of bitterness to a hint of citrus sweetness. It is full flavoured enough to be proper beer, and light enough to be appealing to a lager drinker. A really good Pale Ale. I look forward to trying the IPA (India Pale Ale) which is – traditionally at least – more hopped and much stronger in alcohol. The new batch was not ready when I visited. Yet another hook!


Andy himself – a stereotypically avuncular Ozzie (although he does own a brewery!) is excellent value, and his colleagues similarly welcoming. Although I don’t think they much liked the joke! I told Andy that the whole of the UK wine trade runs (or used to) on a particular fuel: Cooper’s Sparkling Ale of South Australia. After a day tasting wine you want nothing more than a cold beer, Colgan’s Pirate is in a similar style and from memory just as good.

Opening a business in France is not an easy thing – enough to drive you to drink in fact – so I wish Andy and colleagues all the very best for the future. Which with the number of sailors living around these parts, quite a few of them Australian, seems assured!

Oh, yes, the joke (lower expectations immediately):

Chap goes to the hairdressers in Sunderland
”Wye-aye bonny lad, what can I der for yer?”
“Well, actually I was wondering if you could give me a perm.”

Barber clears his throat and says:
”Alreet. I wondad lurnley as a clood…”

(Should have told my Pirate joke really. But maybe they'll have a prize to win a perm* one day...)

*Actually, I really don't need, nor could I sustain such a thing.


Dear Rod, Thank you sir for a fantastic blog mate. Having a wine professional and expert taster appreciate the beer means a great deal to us. Thanks so so much. Next time you drop by to try the Hopbuckler I will give you a couple of brewery glasses. The 7th December we are having a sunday session Xmas party and will be launching our stout we call Captains. cheers buddy, see you soon. Andy [Andy Colgan, 3rd November 2014]

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