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Trois Dames

In the fall of2002 Raphaël Mettler, was not a keen beer drinker yet. Then he discovered that it is possible to brew at home in small batches and that’s is how it all started. Raphaël purchased a brewing kit from Richi Leder from Sios who helped him grasp the brewing process basics. Among the first few experiments were some good ones and some, erm, less good ones. After about 18 months brewing beer regularly(every Saturday or other Saturday) Raphael decided to purchase a brewing plant from Kaspar Schulz in Germany (2,5 hl – double batches – see pictures).

Brasserie Trois DamesTwo persons were major influences on the first beers: Gernod from Kneipe Pur, a brewer from Brandenburg, next to Berlin, in the Eastern part of Germany, and Freddy Haldemann from Haldemann Brewery in Sugiez, Switzerland. The first beers drew their inspiration in German styles : (Kölsch, Dunkel, Helles, Pils, Rauchbier, Weizen…)

The brewery was named Bière Trois Dames in dedication of the three ladies of the house : Sylvie, Raphaël’s wife and Julie and Elise, their two daughters.

Travelling to the USA Raphaël then discovered the Pale Ales, IPAs, Stouts etc. from American micro-breweries, as well as the use of hops from the Yakima Valley (Washington State). This inspired him to turn to brewing these styles of beers which now constitute most of his beer range.

Brasserie Trois DamesBefore leaving for Canada for a year, Raphaël decided to make two wood-aged beers : an Imperial Pale Ale and a Lambic, which would remain in wooden barrels for more than a year. He then met Jérôme from Brasserie BFM, an expert in wood-aged beers (such as his Abbaye Saint Bon Chien for example) who would influence his experiments in this direction.
During a one-year sabbatical Raphael spent with his family in Vancouver, Canada in 2006-2007, he was able to spend time in various breweries and brewpubs there and deepen his knowledge of brewing North American Styles of beers. He especially met three brewers who have become friends and have helped him in his quest for better beer: Iain Hill from Yaletown, David Varga from Taylors’ Crossing and Conrad Gosmer from Steamworks. Reading a good number of books related to the subject and a special beer course at Siebel Institute in Chicago with Randy Moshley and Ray Daniels enabled Raphaël to brew micro-brewery and Belgian-inspired beers.
Brasserie Trois Dames Especially interested by Belgian Saisons, Raphael worked on some new recipes which turned out to be winners at international competitions (see Awards page).
When the family returned to Switzerland, Raphaël made his decision to become a full-time brewer and to build a new brewing plant.
He decided to sell the business he'd worked at for the past 20 years, a company in the field of sporting goods distribution in Switzerland. With Sylvie, his wife, they purchased a disused carpenter's workshop, where a new brewery with a 15 hl plant was built 2008.

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