by The Urban Grocer in New Food and Packaging on Tuesday 2 August 2011

It was the old school vintage labels and cool, dark beer bottles with Grolsch-style flip caps that first caught my attention. Then I cracked open a bottle of La Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes – or BFM, for short – and was immediately hooked on the taste.

The creation of Swiss native and one-time enology student, Jérôme Rebetez, BFM has gone from an experiment in a home kitchen to a pioneer in Swiss artisan brewing. To achieve such cult status, Rebetez dreams up atypical beers combining unique ingredients, such as pepper, ginger, sage, and other spices, with his knowledge of wine making to create brews that are pushing the boundaries of traditional beer making in Switzerland and abroad.

Take La Cuvee Alex Le Rouge, for example. This legendary BFM beer boasts hints of licorice, vanilla, and pepper rounded out with a subtle tart finish that pairs perfectly with chocolate (of course). BFM’s L’Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien – which matures for 12 months in oak barrels — was named the best barley wine in the world by the New York Times. Not too shabby for a Swiss beer from the Jura. Think I’ll flip the top off another to celebrate. [Photos via nicknamemiket on Flickr]