“Have you tried the local brew Mützig, no one knows what strength it is but it will get you drunk?” is a phrase often heard in bars across the 3 Valleys. Sadly this isn’t always quite as true as we would like it to be. In this blog you will discover where Mützig is actually brewed, that there is two different Mützig brewed with different strengths and how to make the correct choice when ordering your pint. We will also introduce you to some other Alpine beers that you may want to try next time you are holidaying in Méribel.
The truth About Mützig!
If the definition of local beer is, brewed in the same country, then my local beer could be John Smiths. CAMRA, the dictators of UK ale standard, states that a beer is only deemed local if it is served within 30 miles of the brewery. The French Biére bores may have a different opinion to CAMRA but I expect they would agree that Mützig is as local to Méribel as Amstel and is actually owned by the same brewery. I say this with a heavy heart as I was once a believer in the myth that Mützig is a local brew and if I am honest I probably repeated the same information as everyone else as if I was an authority on the matter. The truth is that there is that Mützig is originally brewed in Alsace just down the road from Mutzig which is about 400 miles away from the 3 Valleys, however, Alsace is near to the ski resort of Des Bagenelles, (nope us neither) so it has some kind of ski pedigree. In 1987 Heinken bought Mützig and it is now brewed under licence in 6 countries and is the second most popular beer in Rwanda. So sadly Mützig it isn’t a local beer brewed in the alps just for the benefit of thirsty skiers.
The next thing you need to know is that there are two types of Mützing, there is standard Mützig and Mützig Old Larger. The standard one is 5.5% ABV, just like many other premium larger, and the Old Lager is 7.5% .So next time make sure you know which one your drinking before blaming it on the Mützig!
The 3 Valleys local Beer
There is now a true local option and it is called Biére des 3 Valleys and is brewed by Brasserie Alpine in the town of Moutiers which itself is located at the entrance to the 3 Valleys. It went on sale in bars across the ski area in 2014 and has been growing in popularity ever since. The owner is Nicolas Daniel and he originally worked for the local tourist office, after 20 years he went and trained in the art of brewing and returned to start making handcrafted bottle conditioned beer. The beer he makes is made using the mountain water of the 3 Valleys, which Daniels claims gives his beer a “power and freshness”. You can buy this brew in nearly all bars in La Tania and several in Méribel although none of the “British” bars are stocking it at the moment. Click here to find out where you can sample it.
If you want some more established local Ale you are not going to be in luck. Most small brewers of the area seem to center around the Chambery area and if you are interested in them then this article on justanotherbeerblog.com will excite you greatly.
If beer is more a way of getting drunk to you than about locality then you could stick with the Mützig. But there is another beer that could soon to be in town looking to appeal to aprés ski market and it is the cleverly titled Alepine. You may cynically think that we only included this beer in the hope that they would send us some free tasters and the fact they invited us to a BBQ in Méribel, then you are probably correct. This beer is being brewed somewhere in Essex by what we guess is an ex-seasonnaire who is looking to make some good beer with an ethically driven company as well as getting some time on the mountains. Details are scarce and we couldn’t tell you if it tastes any good as we haven’t tried it, but it probably will. Rumor has it that there will be stocks hitting Meribel in October and lets hope they bring enough for our arrival in November. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and as soon as we have more details we will be posting them.
This article was amended on the 14th of August after a Mr Richard Gill pointed out that we might have had a few to many Mützigz and go our facts wrong.