Founded only in 2017 and based in Aigle, Switzerland, À tue-tête, or short ATT, has quickly established itself as top quality sour beer blendery. The beers made by founder, owner and head blender Julien are well thought after, not only in Switzerland. By now he sells to the Netherlands, France and even to Belgium, the country famous for it’s sour beers.
Read, what Julien recommends to eat with a glass of Surette, what he advises to hobby brewers and what his hopes are for the Swiss beer scene.
Name of the brewery
Meaning of the name À tue-tête
À tue-tête is a french expression meaning something like “at the top of your lungs”. We like our beers to display bold flavors, and a bright acidity! If they could talk, they’d shout!
Julien Bretheau – owner of À tue-tête
How much do you produce per year?
Two thirds of the barrel aged beer is packaged every year. That was about 100HL of beer in the last 12 months. As we increase our barrel room capacity, production rises slightly each year. The current barrel room capacity of À tue-tête is 200HL
Where can we buy your beers?
In specialised beer shops, some bars and restaurants across the country, in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Who do you sell the most beer to?
La Mise en Bière in Lausanne.
What two development steps will you take in the next 6 to 12 months?
It would have been easier to answer this question a year ago, as nothing major is in sight for 2020. So, here are the two steps we made at À tue-tête in the last 12 months:
1. We managed to do business with distributors, inside and outside the country. Our beers can now reach a wider audience.
2. We now purchase unfermented wort at Whitefrontier, brewed according to our recipes. Getting rid of our small brewhouse allowed us to make some space for more barrels. Also, the consistency from batch to batch makes the blending process easier.
We can now focus essentially on fermenting, aging and blending beer, as well as processing the many fruits we use in our beers.
À tue-tête in five years…
We may look for a bigger warehouse to be able to purchase more wood. Maybe hire someone, so I can rest eventually.
Information about the beers
Which beer (incl. beer style) is your top seller?
Our barrel aged mixed fermentation golden ale “Surette”. Each year, we select 1 year old and 2 year old barrels of our golden sour ale, to be blended together. Each vintage is unique!
Top seller’s share of total production
Meaning of the name of two of your beers
Surette, our flagship beer name, means “sour” in French. It is mostly used in Quebec.
Our other beers are named after the fruits they contain. For example our cherry beer is named Cerise.
Beerscene and #beerlife
Which Swiss brewery or person would you like to make a collab with?
We’re not very fond of collab beers, unless we have a truly friendly relationship with another brewery.
On the other hand, I feel like our everyday work is an ongoing collaboration with winemakers and fruit growers. We’re focused on our fantastic terroir, and there’s no shortcut here. We have to know our growers and share our passion with them.
Name a perfect pairing of a beer from you and a menu (ideally with a recipe)
A glass of Surette goes well with an old Gruyère. No recipe needed.
My advice to hobby brewers
Read everything you can about home-brewing, but also about brewing in general. Taste as many beers as you can, so you can develop your taste and knowledge about beer making and tasting. Purchase a sensory kit to get familiar with off-flavours.
When you don’t know if you’re doing something wrong, there is no way to improve.
Beer variety is…
…essential in the market nowadays. People in Switzerland have been familiar with a wide variety of tastes in wine for some time.
When it comes to beer unfortunately, it’s different. The old beer cartel left us with the idea that beer is just this insipid yellow lager, even almost 30 years after it supposedly ended!
What do you hope for for the CH beer scene?
That the legislation concerning the qualification of a microbrewery in terms of volume of production changes. As BOV mentioned earlier this year, more than 800 “breweries” in the country produce less than 20HL per year. Due to Swiss legislation that requests very small breweries to register, many hobby brewers go “pro” and sell flawed beers. I think this is bad for the general perception of craft beer in the country.
What do you hope for for the industry
That the big beer companies continue to lose market shares to independant microbreweries. I’m happy to see more microbrews in the supermarkets!
Which of your beers would you have served to beer hunter Michael Jackson?
The one I haven’t blended yet. I’d rather have a pint of real ale with him in a British pub!
What 5 beers should everyone have tried before dying?
- Russian River, Pliny the Elder
- Geuze, Tilquin à l’ancienne
- Dieu du Ciel!, Péché Mortel
- New Belgium, La Folie (yes, I know…)
Copyright Pictures: Â tue-tête and Bierversuche.ch