Solidarity Biche de Saint-Gilles is now 100% Saint-Gilloise: target 30,000 bottles per year

Solidarity Biche de Saint-Gilles is now 100% Saint-Gilloise: target 30,000 bottles per year

“I didn’t know how to brew. I didn’t know how to bottle. I didn’t know how to encapsulate. Everything was explained to me this morning, and that’s it.”

To the rhythm of hip-hop and the clinking of glass, Teofan spends his day at the L’Annex bottling line. From now on, it is really a young brewery on the Rue du Metal that invents La Biche de Saint-Gilles. And on April 19, about fifteen volunteers bottled the first 100% deer solidarity beer Saint-Gilles.

After attaching dozens of yellow caps, Theophan receives the bottles in his box. “It’s pretty easy, it’s not too tiring,” smiles Saint-Gillois, 19, who brought his friend O’Neal to help him. “It tells me that in the future I will work in this world. If I get a job in beer, I’ll do it quietly.”

La Biche came into being in 2020. It was launched by parishioners when Parvis was empty during confinement: “There were only homeless and insecure families left,” recalls Diane de Talhouet, who is in charge of La Biche. “We were wondering how to help the social center L’Entraide, founded by the parish 40 years ago, but now professionalized.” The latter employs two social workers and two specialized teachers. Every day from 8:30 to 11 am, he offers coffee, toast and soup to hundreds of homeless people. “But it’s in short supply. We wanted to raise funds. And perpetuate Saint-Gilloise’s long tradition of social action.”

33,000 beers

Organic Solidarity is produced for the first time at Anders, a Flemish brewery known for its out-of-the-box recipes. The first batch of 12,000 bottles of beer is sold for 2 euros per bottle. “It’s a little below the market price” thanks to the commitment of the volunteers. “In 18 months, we sold 33,000 bottles of beer and donated 23,000 euros to mutual aid,” says Diana de Talhoue.

The next logical step was to return production to Saint-Gilles. “L’Entraide is located 500 meters from our brewery, and La Biche fits perfectly into the local philosophy of L’Annex,” says Grégoire Burton, who tried to get as close to the original recipe as possible. “Light, thirst-quenching blond, easy to drink, but with character.” So this Biche 4e du nom includes “3 different hops and some timut pepper to give it a citrus flavor.” Collaborations will remain the “exception” at L’Annex, which does not intend to hide behind other labels. But solidarity beer “was in our values. Therefore, we offer them everything we can offer: work, materials and time. Target: 30,000 bottles per year to donate 20,000 euros to L’Entraide.

Melin and Louis also volunteer to help. A disgusting foam comes out of their fingers, which after several weeks of refermentation could not fit into the bottles: “I met the La Biche team at a brewing event in Midi,” explains the enthusiast. “Because I wanted to take part in social activities, I’m here.” Alert, the pair have already set their sights on the ruminant bottleneck. “When I buy it in the supermarket, I check if it is on display well,” Melin smiles. “I put it back on the shelf if you don’t see the label.” The Forest duo seem to appreciate the bottling experience: “You need a pace. Severity. You have to withstand the pressure.”

The launch of this new Biche is scheduled for Sunday, May 8th at Parvis. You can admire the new blue and yellow label that will be released for the occasion, as it is for every new drink. Théophane, for his part, will pedal to ten partner locations in Saint-Gilles to deliver 24 crates. And the hunt will be open to you.

+ You can find La Biche de Saint-Gilles among others at La Biche, L’Union, Flora, Calmos, Supermonkey, Ozfair, Petit Mercado, Comptoir Belge or at local Carrefour, Proxy Delhaize and Match supermarkets. La Biche is also available online.

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