News Headlines     |     


HOPPY DAYS - Alf Alderson, Les Arcs
Saturday January 12, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

Our correspondent Alf Alderson is a Les Arcs ‘ambassador'. Here's what's going down at the Ambassador's Residence this week.

There is much to recommend and very little to dissuade anyone from spending a season in the Alps.

I'm fortunate to do so each winter.

However if you like your beer it has to be said that the French Alps are not the best place to be.

The prospect of imbibing the cold, fizzy pop that masquerades as beer in this part of the world hardly fills the heart with gladness at the end of a hard day on the slopes.

So imagine my joy at hearing the news that a new brewery has just opened locally and it's brewing proper ale.

Sapaudia Brewing Co., based in Aime-La-Plagne is the brainchild of Brits Ash Smith, 39 and Tim Longstaff, 27.

It launched officially at the start of this ski season.

Ash Smith and Tim Longstaff Ash Smith and Tim Longstaff

The two young entrepreneurs are from the North-East of England and as such appreciate proper ale as part of their birthright.

Like myself they were heartily sick at the lack of decent beer in the Tarentaise area.

Indeed, as Tim told me "We always seemed to end up drinking mass produced, fizzy beer in local bars and were basically annoyed into setting up our own brewery.

"The market for craft beers has exploded in the UK and USA in recent years but seems to be lagging in France," says Tim, although he points out that bars in big cities like Lyon usually have a decent selection of good ales.

"However, that certainly isn't the case when you get to the mountains; but we were sure there was a market here for good quality craft beers and I guess like most people we thought someone would eventually get around to producing them - until we decided to do it ourselves".

Signal AleSignal Ale

After a major investment in high quality brewing equipment with temperature control a unit was acquired last summer on a small industrial estate just outside Aime-La-Plagne.

The brewery was set up over the autumn.

Tim points out that being able to control the temperature of the brewing process is essential for producing quality beer, but it doesn't come cheap.

Sapaudia's first beer, Signal Blonde Ale, can now be purchased at bars in Tignes, Val d'Isere, Les Arcs, La Plagne, Bourg St. Maurice and elsewhere in the Tarentaise.

More and more bars are stocking it almost by the week.

It's brewed with alpine spring water from the mountains behind the brewery and for the CAMRA types out there it has a ‘mildly floral and fruity mid-mouth with a marginally bitter finish'.

"Signal is named after Signal d'Iseran above Val d'Isere and the infamous drag lift," says Tim.

It's a very drinkable beer which leaves bland mass-produced lagers dead in the water, and Sapaudia will have more beers out in the coming months, including an IPA called ‘Cosmique'.

If you know anything about your mountains you'll recognise the name and its link to the nearby Mont Blanc Massif.

As Tim points out it's important for him and Ash to ensure Sapaudia references the rich history of the Tarentaise region in its products.

The name ‘Sapaudia' is actually Latin for ‘Savoy', and the company's website and Instagram pages refer to the area's colourful past.

As one of the first craft breweries in this part of the world Sapaudia is now part of that history.

If the reception their first beer has had is anything to go by (76-litres quaffed in 1.5 hours at Sapaudia's launch party in Bourg St. Maurice) the future is fact the future is golden (ale).


If you fancy trying a pint or two of Sapaudia's ‘Signal' ale you'll find it available on draft at Bar King Mad in Arcs 1800, l'Entrinque in Bourg St. Maurice and Malgovert in Seez.

And cans can be found at Bois de l'Ours in Arcs 2000 and George's Wine Bar in Arcs 1950.

Local beer in SavoieLocal beer in Savoie

The local brewery has been getting a big thumbs up from our readers on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Facebook commentsFacebook comments

Facebook commentsFacebook comments

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

Related Articles

AUGUST SKIING SECRETS (Sunday August 25, 2019)
IF SKI RESORTS WERE BISCUITS... (Saturday August 10, 2019)
MY BIG WET GREEK ‘HOLIDAY' (Monday August 5, 2019)
JULY SKIING SECRETS (Tuesday July 30, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners