The story of Gallia
Brewed in the 14th Parisian district
from 1890 to 1969, Gallia is the historical beer of Paris
Rue de Sarette, in the present 14th district of Paris, was the home of the Old Gallia brewery. Several breweries also settled in this area, enjoying space in the quarries underneath the ground, ideal for cool fermentation and storage cellars. JJ Wohlhuter, its creator, was from Alsace, a well-known region for beer production. He developed its activity to become, in 1896, the largest brewery in Paris. It was in 1900 that the Old Gallia Brewery met its hour of glory, winning the Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle, international Fair Trade. Thirty years later, in 1932, the brewery was producing more than 150,000 hectoliters per year. During the 1940s and 1950s, despite the difficulties of the war, production continued but decreased to around 100 000 hl per year. In the early 1960s, threatened by competition and by the new born multinational breweries, the beer production was progressively phased out and the Old Gallia Brewery finally shut down and destroyed in 1969. Today, it has made place for modern housing but the name remains. Underneath the actual Residence Gallia, the quarries, where the beer used to ferment, are still visited by underground adventurers…
Guillaume and Jacques met at university; they both
had a passion for good beer.
It was during their studies together that Guillaume Roy and Jacques Ferté discovered their passion for good beer. Their first encounter with beer was when Jacques studied on the establishment of a micro-brewery at his family farm house in Picardie, a project which did not go through.
For its part, in 2007, Guillaume opened a café in Normandy where he offered several special and flavorful beers. The idea to revive a Paris brewery came on a simple observation that both of them made together: you could find regional beers everywhere in France, and Paris was the only capital in the world that does not have its own great beer!
Giving Paris back its historical beer
2009: the 2 friends purchased their first brewing kit and started brewing beer for their family. During that same year, Guillaume and Jacques increased their knowledge in brewing science studying at the Agricultural College of Douai, in the north of France. They learned how to brew great beer with the master-brewer Olivier Senechal. They revived Gallia at the end of 2009, with the help of members of the family that used to own the Old Gallia Brewery. At the age of 26 and 27, they decided to embark on an adventure from their apartment in the Montparnasse Parisian district: first cases of beer stored in the living room, first deliveries in their dusty Renault, first beer thrill! The second thrill was when they met Simon Hicher, the current Gallia Brewer. The latter joined the company to re-invent the Paris brewing heritage with the 2 co-founders. Today, Gallia has 4 recipes, many delivery vehicles, and 5 employees. Gallia offers its beers in hundreds of outlets in Paris and abroad.
This is just the beginning...
PROJECT 2015: RE-LAUNCH GALLIA’S OWN BREWERY
We are very excited for our next project that will conclude five years of work : this project consists in installing the largest beer production in Paris since the 70s.
45 years after, it is time to give back a brewery to the Parisians
We would like to thank you! Our project which started from a simple idea and limited resources, is well underway.
More news coming in 2015, please follow our blog for updates.