History of beer in France
Althought widely known as a wine country, France has a long brewing tradition, and around year 1000 they introduced hops into brewing as a way to preserve beer. This innovation was later introduced in the British Islands, giving birth to the diferentiation between beer (hopped) and ale (originally unhopped). From the 9th to the 14th century, monasteries had the monopoly over beer production. Over that time it evolved the most typical French style, the bière de garde a top fermented beer brewed during the winter in order to be drunk during the summer—like the Belgian saison. While at the beginning of the 20th century there were more than 2.300 breweries in France, industralization and mass lagers steadily decreased, and most small breweries dissapeared after WWII, and just saw a comeback of farmhouse brewing after the 1970's. In last five years, France has seen again an increase in small breweries due to the craft beer movement, with new brewers as La Dèbauche.