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Brasserie du Mont Saleve

Michaël Novo


Owner & brewer: Michaël Novo
Ingredient sourcing: Grains from a local organic malt house. Water from Mont Salève, the mountain next to the brewery.
Beer styles: A wide range, including both classic and creative styles. Best known for their sour beers.
Annual production: 1600hl

Quick facts:

  • The Brasserie du Mont Salève was a part of the first wave of artisanal French breweries that changed the country’s beer scene well over a decade ago.
  • They’re best known for their sour beers, incorporating seasonal fruits or grape solids leftover from winemaking.
  • The beers are made from organic local grains, and they’re never filtered or pasteurized.

The Brasserie du Mont Salève was founded in 2010 by Michaël Novo. He began home-brewing as a hobby but quickly realized that it was much more his passion than the meetings, suits, and offices of his previous job. The idea of creating his own artisanal brewery soon followed. At the time, there were only 300 breweries in France, most of which were industrial. It was the beginning of the French “brewery revolution,” of which he soon became a part.

The first recipes were developed in pots in Michaël’s kitchen, and the same spirit of creativity and innovation lives on even now that he’s working on a much larger scale. In 2015, he brewed the first “Bière Sur Marc,” or beer brewed with the grape solids leftover after winemaking, the style for which the brewery is now best known. In 2020, they moved from the 500hl-capacity space where Michaël had been working since 2010 into a new 2000hl-capacity brewery. They kept their old space to use as a barrel cellar, allowing them to expand their sour beer program. They work with both mixed fermentation and spontaneous fermentation, plus additions of seasonal fruits and wine grapes, to craft beverages with acidity and complexity that tread the line between wine and beer.

The quality of the beers comes not only from Michaël’s savoir-faire but also their thoughtful ingredient sourcing. The malts come from a local malt house only 3.5km from the brewery. All of the grains are organic and grown by partners within the Rhône-Alpes region. The water is sourced from Mont Salève, the mountain next to the brewery (and from which it takes its name). The beers are made entirely without chemical additives and preservatives, and they’re never filtered or pasteurized.