Congratulations to those who had found it, it is indeed with the brewery of La Rulles that we sealed a partnership.
The brewery of La Rulles, named after the river that runs through the village of Rulles, has been part of the Gaumais landscape for about twenty years. At that time, Grégory Verhelst embarked on the brewing adventure, infusing it with all the passion of a craftsman who dreams of producing a quality product that can be recognized by his peers.
Grégory is a charismatic character who is firmly rooted in his vision of artisanal production that he defends with fervor.
His definition of craftsmanship is to produce by letting himself be guided by his desires without having to respond to the demands of investors, partners or shareholders. It is a total freedom of expression through the creation of its product. It also means distributing his production close to his region, while remaining mainly regional.
From the beginning, Grégory stands out by his deep desire to handle, to work almost to embrace his beer. To meet this desire to get in touch with the living matter that is beer, he turns to a process that was used in the 80s, yes yes the festive years of disco and new wave, which is however already almost completely abandoned by all breweries in the 2000s. It is composed of two main steps, the brewing and the fermentation. It is in this second part, the fermentation, that the process differs radically from the others. And for good reason, the brew is stored in open tanks that can be compared to large bathtubs, while all the breweries of the time already carry out this stage in closed cylindrical tanks.
What thrills Grégory in this process is the range of possible aromatic profiles, the conduct of the fermentation both through empirical methods but also through his feeling, following the evolution of the product mainly through his senses. Some colleagues are astonished or surprised and sometimes even incredulous when Grégory tells them about the fermentation process used for La Rulles.
Of course, Grégory explains, this process requires a great deal of presence and requires more monitoring and handling. The monitoring of the fermentation would be much less restrictive if it were done in closed tanks with an automated installation, equipped with probes and sensors on all sides. Fermentation could then be monitored and directed by an operator behind a PC or even a smartphone. The result would be a bland and monotonous process without any excitement for the brewer and a total loss of contact with the living matter in favor of technological control.
If Gregory is attracted by the contact with the material, he is just as much attracted by the social weaving that can sublimate a bottle of beer shared between friends around a table. As he likes to say: “A beer is not a product that can be enjoyed alone in a sanitized environment and then post comments and reviews on social networks and be satisfied with likes”. This is why La Rulles is sold mainly in large bottles, at a reasonable price because it must remain a popular product that participates in the conviviality of human relations in the broadest sense, probably a small festive remnant of the 80s. It is well the spirit which is conveyed through the character of Marcel that one finds on the label of the bottles of La Rulles. Marcel is this buddy who will take out a bottle of beer to seal a moment of sharing and exchange. It is this Marcel who will accompany us throughout our journey through Africa. Marcel will be the mascot illustrating our desire to share and exchange with the people we meet along our journey.
What decided Gregory to support us, it is neither the motorcycle, nor the humanitarian action but this social relationship between two friends who finally leave for the adventure with the desire to meet, discover and share.
When you taste a beer of La Rulles it is this spirit that you consume.
All is said and done, cheers to Grégory!