Food & Drink - Other local drinks

The world famous Cointreau orange liqueur distillery is based at St-Barthélémy-d'Anjou, near Angers and you can visit it to discover some of its secrets. It was founded in 1849 by the Cointreau brothers and their son Edouard created the original recipe of the famous colourless liqueur, based on orange peel. Now some 30 million bottles are produced every year.

Giffard is a local firm based in Angers, which makes a wide range of fruit liqueurs and syrups. It was established in the very hot summer of 1885 by a dispensing pharmacist called Emile Giffard. At first he invented a refreshing white mint liqueur to relieve his customers from the heat. Four generations later Giffard is still in the same family, keeping its original pledge of quality and wherever possible buying in local fruits and plants for its products.

In Saumur, not far from the Cadre Noir cavalry school, Combier has been making fruit-based liqueurs for over 150 years. Jean-Baptiste Combier came from Burgundy to Saumur with his brother Claude, where in 1834 they opened a confectioner’s called Combier Destre. There, he built a number of copper alembic stills (which you can see there today if you visit) to make various liqueurs for his chocolates. These included the famous "Triple Sec" liqueur (made of bitter and sweet oranges) and Guignolet d'Anjou (made from sour cherries native of Anjou) and the liqueurs soon outsold his confectionery.

In 1999 Yann and Vincent first discovered the joys of brewing. Initially they wanted to set up their brewery on a barge, but instead Brasserie Fabrique des Bières d'Anjou (Beer brewers of Anjou) was established in 2004 on the banks of the Loire in La Ménitré which is situated between Angers and Saumur. Their “house” beer is called.La Piautre (after the rudder of the local “gabare” barge) Their award winning beers are brewed with organic malt and hops, a high proportion of unmalted wheat and spices such as coriander or bitter orange peel.