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The Secret Cevennes - articles by Samantha David

Cocktails and Guinness recipes

Isn’t it thrilling that we’re getting our very own Guinness brewery here in the Gard? I can’t flatter myself that it’s my doing, but I have to admit that I did write to the Guinness customer services department in Dublin and suggest it. Not that I drink a lot of Guinness in fact, but my grandmother swore by it for fending off anaemia, and I do admit to getting the occasional craving for a pint of the frothy stuff.

And it appears that I’m not alone. Sales in France are booming. Perhaps it’s connected to increasing leisure time, but myself I think it’s more to do with the quest for exotic, unusual drinks. Anyway, whichever way it goes, we’re getting the brewery. Apart from anything else, it’s much easier to export Guinness to Spain from here than from Ireland, and apparently sales in Spain are rocketing but the climate is too hot for a brewery there.

So there... as everyone knows, it was nothing to do with my email, it’s a rational business decision based on hard economic factors which has been on the cards for ages and ages, and the only delay was caused by a flap over water.

Obviously Irish water is strained through the peat bogs and the flavour of it is important to the flavour of the finished beer, so they had to find something with a similar taste but now they’ve found it up on the Causse de Larzac, they’re green lighting the whole project. (See their article about it in the beer section on the BBC website at

According to reports, building work is due to start later this year and the first pint should be pulled sometime towards the beginning of 2008. This is exceptionally good news for Millau, which can expect an influx of tourists, eager not only to see the famous bridge and the cheese making at Roquefort, but to do a guided tour of the new Guinness brewery, culminating in a free tasting, of course.

But the really exciting bit is that I’ve been asked by the Tourist Office in Millau to give them some recipes for an exhibition explaining “the new black beer” during the building of the new brewery. I’ve unearthed a tasty one for Fruit and Guinness Loaf which I think they’ll like, and I’ve also got one for Beef Stewed in Guinness, but I’m not sure if it’s very authentic since it also contains garlic.

So if anyone’s got a decent recipe for beef with Guinness, I’d be grateful if you could email it over to me. As a thank you, contributors will be invited to a cocktails party at the Millau Tourist Board when the exhibition opens.


Happy April Fool’s Day. Next column will be uploaded around 15th April.

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