Bernard Magrez is now the owner of 42 vineyards…
Bernard Magrez now owns 42 vineyards in nine countries around the world, including four Grands Crus Classés in Bordeaux: Château Pape Clément, Château Fombrauge, Château La Tour Carnet and the world-renowned Clos Haut Peyraguey. In the middle of his vines, he has recently been growing barley and hops, to eventually allow the production of purely local craft beer. Thus, 4,500 m² of barley have been in the ground in Budos since February, on fallow vineyard soils, and for less than a month, hop planting tests have been underway at the relay of Pope Clement.
Two beer brands
For this project, the Bordeaux region has several strings to its bow, including two very young ones: the craft beer brands Bordeaux Beer Factory (BBF) and Nunka. The first was created in 2015 by Nicolas Colombier, but the latter lost all its infrastructure in the explosion on rue Borie, in Chartrons, in February 2021. By buying the brand from him, Bernard Magrez allowed him to resume production in Chateau Pape Clement.
The 35-year-old brewer is now responsible for craft beers in the wine group. He creates his own beers based on hops from Alsace, Lot-et-Garonne and Germany. On the occasion of the beer festival in Bordeaux, he presented the seven varieties of BBF beers and the seven new Nunka references: “A white lemon verbena, a hoppy blonde, an IPA… There’s something for everyone. »
“Beer doesn’t taste the same here, it’s a unique moment to drink a local beer in such a prestigious place”
The search for taste is its trademark: “In wine, if we confine ourselves to red, rosé or white, we do not perceive all the possible nuances. It’s the same for beer, you can get multiple taste flavors, ”describes the brewer.
A local footprint
Sapidity can also rhyme with creativity. This is how Jofo, a famous painter and draftsman from Bordeaux, also took part in the project: the main monuments of Bordeaux, which Toto wears on his hat, an emblematic character of the artist, will be celebrated on the bottle labels, in an “art-isanat” approach.
At the same time, a free exhibition of the artist was installed in the ephemeral bar. “I had never been here before, but I find the striking contrast between my art and the chic and bourgeois decor of this house”, rejoices Jofo.
A feeling shared by the public. “The beer doesn’t taste the same here, it’s a unique moment to drink a local beer in such a prestigious place, it’s like being outside of Bordeaux”, marvel Éric and Sophie, both from Bordeaux. Véronique and André, seated a few meters away, are not beer lovers, “but it was an opportunity to try, and to enter through this finally open door”, they justify.
And it works: some 120 liters of beer for nearly 200 customers on the first evening of the event. And since this Sunday 900 to 1,000 people are expected at the Bernard Magrez Cultural Institute – visits are free every first Sunday of the month – “there should be people, by proximity effect, at the ephemeral bar”, rejoices Sébastien Labat, Director of Subsidiaries.
La Grande Maison opens its doors until June 5, so that the public can preview Nunka beers, before being able to find them in supermarkets within two weeks. Count €2.50 for the 33 cl bottles of Nunka, and €3.50 for the BBF. For wine lovers, don’t worry, it will always be possible to taste the precious nectar on site. But it would be a shame, at the end of the festivities, not to find foam to your liking.