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Brewing Heroes: À tue-tête (Interview)

It's been a while since we last interviewed a brewer for our series "Brewing Heroes". After having featured some international breweries (check our interview with Bierol here or our article about O/O here), we decided to go for a local hero this time. We had the chance to talk with Julien Bretheau from À tue-tête from Aigle (VD), who produces some of the most sought after beers from Switzerland. We recently featured ÀTT in our Top 5 of 2021 #breweries (which you can find here), so we were super happy to get a chance to talk with the founder. Among other things, we had a chat about Julien's favorite yeast strains, spicy beers and lots of fruit and veggies (in beer). So sit back, relax and enjoy this Interview. Let's do this.

 

(Photo courtesy of À tue-tête)


Zurich Beer Tour: Hi Julien, thanks for your time. Who are you and what’s your job at À Tue-tête?

Julien: Julien Bretheau. I do basically everything at ÀTT, except #brewing and #deliveries.


What is your favorite hop variety at the moment?

I don't know much about hops, sorry.


What is your favorite yeast strain?

Brettanomyces claussenii ( ZBT Note: A yeast strain that is known for producing flavors of pineapple with an earthy and hay-like background.)


What was the most special beer you have ever brewed/blended?

I'd say #SalsaVerde, a barrel aged golden sour, with tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, cilantro and lime. (see picture below)

(Courtesy of À tue-tête)


What would be a beer you always dreamed of brewing/blending?

I always go all the way with the ideas I have, otherwise I can't sleep at night. So I'd say none.


About the brewery


When was your blendery founded and how did you guys get interested in craft beer?

ÀTT was founded in 2017. As a long time beer lover, I used to drive to beer fests in #Belgium in the early 2000's. I became aware of reinterpretations of beer styles when living in #Quebec, which was fascinating compared to the then boring Swiss beer market. At the same time, I started to play with fermentation, like sauerkraut and sourdough bread (sour all the way!) It was just a logical continuation when I started to brew at home 10 years ago.


Which is your flagship beer?

Surette, a barrel aged golden sour, which is the base beer of most of our beers.


How much beer do you produce per year?

120HL

(Courtesy of À tue-tête)


What is the difference between your beer and mass produced beer?

A lot of things. ÀTT beers are the reflections of our #terroir. I used to work in the fruit industry to pay for university. I tend to see my work as the one of a #winemaker. I meet and work closely with fruit/vegetable growers, and try to use their expertise in my beers. I try to put my terroir in a glass.

I drink "p*ss beer" myself, and in my opinion these are two different kinds of beverages. I'm not a fan of the "As #microbreweries, we need to battle against "big beer" to win market share". I think this is bullsh*t. Both things are interesting to me, in different ways though.


What is the difference between a brewery and a/your blendery?

The main difference is that I don't brew anymore. I order wort from a brewery (WhiteFrontier in Martigny). They brew following my #recipes. Then I ferment, and age the beer. After some time (12-18 months average) the beers are blended. Most of the time it then undergoes a fruit #maceration.


Other/Various


For our non French-speaking readers, what does your name mean?

It means something like : "at the top of your lungs". Imagine someone (maybe #drunk) singing happily and very loudly. But I have to say I realised that most French speaking people don't even know the expression and read it literally: "something that kills the head". This makes me a bit uncomfortable (mostly for them).


Which is your favorite fruit to use in beer?

I love my red plums. Also, I got a bit obsessed with #grapes these last few years.

(Courtesy of À tue-tête)


To how many countries do you export beer to?

To five countries (mostly Western Europe, and Asia). We're exporting about half of the #production. Unfortunately, I feel like the Swiss drinker isn't quite (yet?) interested in sourness in beer...


Are there new beer releases planned, can you reveal something?

I decided to go back to basics this year and blend essentially the 10-12 (!) regular #seasonal beers. Nevertheless, I guess there'll be just one new beer this year. Keep your eyes peeled when summertime's here, I'm up to something!


Where can we buy or drink your beers?

In most specialised beer shops around the #country. And sometimes in some selected #bars, but I don't put much beer in #kegs.


Is there anything else you'd like to tell our audience?

Thanks for supporting the Swiss craft beer market!

(Courtesy of À tue-tête)

 

As Zurich Beer Tour wanted to mention one of our favorite ÀTT beers here, which is called #Habanero and is produced, you guessed it, with Habanero peppers. Really spicy, but nice fruity and funky aromas, perfect pairing to Mexican food.

(Courtesy of À tue-tête)


Zurich Beer Tour wants to thank Julien again for his time and of course all of his great beers and wishes all the best to whole team. We are looking forward to all releases and are excited to find out about the summertime special.


Cheers,


Your Zurich Beer Tour Guides

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