Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Les bières de l'Atlantique, Saintes

Eleven minutes in Saintes, part 9 (Go to part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Finally, just down the road from the signs in parts 7 and 8 is this façade on which another drink was being promoted. Like the Byrrh / St Raphäel sign, this one was designed to be seen from passing trains.

Les bières
de Bordeaux

Whether these beers brewed in Bordeaux were really superior I don't know...
The Brasserie de L'Atlantique (Atlantique Brewery) was founded in 1901. It stood south of the city centre on the Quai de Brienne. The brewery adopted a cockerel as its emblem and its trademark beers were the 'Bière du Coq', a lager, 'Cynthia', a semi-brown ale, 'Le Coq Export', a golden lager, and 'Le Coq Monopole', a pale lager. Other beers on offer included 'Alsacienne Blonde', 'Bière Bock', 'Bière La Cigale', 'Bière Cristal', 'Bière Galacta', 'Bière de Mars', 'Bock Cristal', 'Elfenbein', 'Excelsior', 'Hallerpils', 'Moldovia', 'Monopole', 'Monopole Atlantique', 'Monopole Export', 'Prosit', 'Spalthaller', and 'Thallerburg'. Between 1912 and 1932 under the management of Emile Schirber the brewery increased its regional presence, with warehouses in Périgueux, Brive, Rochefort, Mont-de-Marsan, Bayonne and Angoulème, and took over a small brewery, the Brasserie Fischer et Leppert. In 1966 it was its turn to be taken over, by the Brasserie de la Meuse, a group of twenty breweries disseminated across France, which that very same year merged with the Grandes Brasseries et Malteries de Champigneulles to form the Société Européenne de Brasserie, a group of twenty-three breweries. At the time the SEB was the largest brewing group in Europe but it was a heavy structure, particularly costly to manage, and inadapted to a market in which the demand for small bottles was growing rapidly. As a result in 1970 glassmaker BSN purchased the SEB. Three years later BSN merged with Gervais Danone to give birth to the multinational company now known as Danone.
I haven't been able to find out when the Brasserie de L'Atlantique closed down but the site where it stood was redeveloped in the 1960s or early 1970s when the wholesale market across the road expanded.
You can see some of its labels and posters here, here, and here. More images of beers brewed by the Brasserie de L'Atlantique can be found here (look for 33 Atlantique towards the bottom of the page and click on the different letters in the columns to the right).

If the words are still visible on this façade, the logo of the Brasserie de L'Atlantique has almost completely faded. On the second picture below I have pasted it and rewritten the name of the brewery. The result isn't great but you can compare the two pictures and get an idea of how it would have looked originally.

After so many stops it was time to meet my parents and girfriend by the fishmonger's stall to help them select some seafood and fish for dinner the next day. I wouldn't have been against looking around for a bit longer but that will have to wait until my next visit to Saintes.

Location: Avenue de la Marne, Saintes, Charente-Maritime / Pictures taken on: 06/06/2010

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