The Saint-Omer brewery is one of the jewels of Audomarois. Created in 1866, it stands out today as one of the last great independent breweries in France.

His name is displayed on the facade of many bars in France and Navarre. Who doesn't know Saint-Omer beer? During the 2010s, the family business acquired the no less famous Gayant de Douai brewery producing, among others, Goudale.

Saint-Omer beer is still produced in the factory located in the heart of the city, in the pure tradition of XNUMXth century industries. The Goudale brewery, for its part, left its quarters in Douai to be established in Arques, on the edge of the Audomarois marshes. This high-tech brewery can now be discovered during guided tours that can end with tastings... In moderation!

The Goudale brewery produces different types of beers

History of the Saint-Omer brewery

The Brasserie de Saint-Omer was founded in 1866 and was from its origins located in the city center of Saint-Omer. She made her merry way through three major conflicts that marked the history of France: the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the first and second world wars.

At the end of the 39-45 war, a succession of mergers and takeovers took place. The Saint-Omer brasserie became the Brasserie Artésienne in 1952. It then produced 45000 hectoliters of beer and supplied the region.

When the factory was bought by the Saint-Arnould group, run by the Pecqueur family, in 1985, it was renamed "Brasserie de Saint-Omer" and opened up to national and international trade. The group will also ensure its growth by buying a few local breweries, such as La Semeuse and La Facon, while turning to the private label market. The bar of 1,4 million hectoliters of beer brewed will be exceeded during the 1990s.

On the strength of its success, the Saint-Omer brewery and the Saint-Arnould group aroused envy... And was bought by the giant Heineken in 1996. The Pecqueur family remained in charge and René Pecqueur remained the CEO of the Saint-Omer brewery. .

The adventure was short-lived. 12 years later, Heineken separates from the northern brewery, but André Pecqueur offers to buy the brewery in order to save it and ensure its sustainability. This is how the Brasserie de Saint-Omer once again became the first independent brewery in France.

The St Omer brewery in a few figures

Today, the Saint-Omer brewery produces two million hectoliters a year. This represents 700 million 25 cl cans, 600 million bottles, 370 million boxes and 750 barrels per year. All divided into 000 commercial references, including Saint-Omer, Saint-Omer Bière Bock, Saint-Bertin, Sombrero, Munsterbräu…

The St-Omer brewery even produces its abbey beer brewed under license from the Saint-Paul de Wisques abbey!

Goudale Brewery

This beer takes its name from Good Ale, which can be translated from English as "Good beer". This term, once Frenchified, quickly became Goude ale on our territory in the Middle Ages

The Goudale brewery began with the creation of the Grande Brasserie des Enfants de Gayant in 1919. It then sold its beer from homes around the town of Douai. The company was bought in 1955 by Jean-Pierre d'Aubreby. It then produced 26 hectoliters. The Goudale brewery will subsequently continue to grow and diversify. She notably created the Démon beer in 000 and bought the Jeanne d'Arc brewery in 1982. The latter, which was subsequently called Grain d'Orge, developed well-known brands in the industry, such as Septante 2000, Beelzebub and the Triple Secret of the Monks.

The Goudale and Grain d'Orge brewery in the lap of the Brasserie de St Omer

It was in 2010 that Goudale and Grain d'Orge merged and their history intersected with that of the Brasserie de Saint-Omer. Indeed, that year, the artesian beers will be bought by the Pecqueur family and the Brasserie de Gayant will move its factory 6 years later, to join the lands of Audomaroise.

On this occasion, a factory equipped with the latest technologies will be built in Arques. From the first year, the Goudale brewery will brew one million hectoliters... An honorable production, but insufficient with regard to the market and its outlets. To the surprise of the Audomarois, the brewery will be under construction from 2018. An expansion project that will bring the production capacity to 2,5 million hectolitres!

Visit the brewery

With its history and facilities worth a look, the Goudale brewery launched a few years ago in industrial tourism. Thus, from now on, lovers of hopped beverages can visit the brewery and its equipment.

This visit, open to groups and individuals, takes place by reservation.

On the program, the Goudale offers the viewing of a film on the history of the brewery. Follows a visit of the factory where we attend the brewing, the filtration, the bottling of the beer...

The visit can end with a tasting at the Bar de La Brasserie in the company of the guides as well as a tour of the shop.

For further information, visit the Goudale brewery website:

You may also like...