Educating young chefs doesn’t stop in the kitchen. Sure, there’s a lot to learn under any chef, much less a Michelin-starred one. But a well-rounded cook knows his artisans as well as his knife skills.
That’s why we packed up recently to visit Etxeko Bob’s, an artisan brewery in the south of France. This microbrewery makes about 60,000 liters of rich, flavorful brews. Bob is an English expatriate who has been brewing about seven years.
He works with local restaurants of the highest caliber, designing beer-focused pairings. He personally supplies, in his retro blue truck, bars and businesses in the area. His beers range from traditional to experimental, such as his smoked beer. With labels that rely on Basque folklore, raw materials that include water from the neighboring mountains, Bob’s beer has a distinct flavor that can partly be attributed to the terroir of Hasparren, where the brewery is located.
The stages enjoyed a tour of the small premises, learning about the art of beer crafting and the less art-y side of opening a business in a foreign country. Hard work, but always with a good beer at the end of the day to reward you.