community supported beer
When the desire to grow hops was thwarted by a lack of land, Part Faite’s owners, Gonzalo and Laure, came up with a clever plan. They gave seedlings to their neighbors, forty-seven to be exact, to cultivate them in their gardens and on their balconies in the Urban Hops Marseille Project. The fruits of these amateur growers’ labor was bottled as BHUM, the Bière Houblon Urbaine Marseille. It took a village, á la Hillary Clinton, to make this beer. As is fitting for this organic microbrewery that is centered on community.
Part Faite was born from Gonzalo’s homebrewing hobby, the couple’s desire to return south towards Laure’s Aix-en-Provence roots, and their craving for a lifestyle change from hectic Paris jobs—they’re still busy, Laure sheepishly admits, but happily so. Marseille was fertile ground to grow a micro-brasserie with the city’s 2013 infrastructure boom and the rise of microbreweries in France. Bogota-born Gonzalo studied brewing in Spain and interned at an organic brewery to boost his beer knowhow before Part Faite’s late 2015 launch.
The brewery’s name embodies the friendly couple’s community spirit with a confident wink (parfait = perfect). Part alludes to the “participation” involved in the faite (making) of their special suds. Financed by a supportive crowd-funding campaign, Gonzalo and Laure created their three classic brews after 18 tasting sessions of 16 beers in which 300 friends, family, and enthusiastic beer fans took part. In the new Labièratoire series, the couple sells test beers—like a triple fermented, black IPA, or one made with lactic acid– to fund R&D for new styles, always eager to get feedback from others.
Part Faite cares about the health of its community, too. Based on their belief that “it's super-important what we put in our bodies,” their beer is 100% organic. They use charcoal filters to remove impurities and heavy metal from water, the unsung beer ingredient that makes up over 90% of each brew. The organic hops come from the Comptoir Agricole in Alsace and the organic malts from Malteurs Echo in Ardèche.
Proud of their Marseille heritage, the couple's love of local supports fellow small businesses. Thanks to fellow eco-friendly Oleo, they use recycled oil from restaurants to heat their fermenting tanks. Post fermentation, the leftover chaff, grain husks, is given to beloved boulangerie, Dame Farine, for delicious loaves of beer bread or to the nearby farm and fromagerie Tour des Pins to feed the goats, sheep, and pigs.
Part Faite opens the doors of their bare bones, small Saint-Loup cave periodically to share their passion with the public. Their intimate and informative tours are not to be missed. Led by Gonzalo, Laure, or her affable parents, they'll take you through the steps of brewing and bottling. Sniff jars of nutty barley and bags of floral hops as you learn the 1,3,6 of making beer: 1 day of brassage (where the malts and hops are mixed), 3 weeks of fermentation in ovoid tanks (when the alcohol forms) and 6 weeks of resting in bottles (when the foam forms and the beer develops its delicious aromas and flavors).
During the visit, you’ll get to check out their signature egg-shaped fermenting tanks up close - pictured here decorated for the holidays. Made from recyclable plastic, these ovoid beauties are inspired by biodynamic winemaking, shaped to ensure the beer and yeast mix evenly and naturally. As you can see from their appearance on the beer bottles, the eggs play a prominent role at Part Faite, which was one of the first breweries in France to use them.
At the open houses, Gonzalo will share his beer savvy through an informal tasting. He’ll crack open a selection of their brews like a light, quaffable Kolsch-style blonde, the Été Infini, a German-style white wheat beer, and the bitter, citrusy IPA, which he pours with a heads up that “this will hit you more,” due to the stronger presence of hops. Whether you’re a beer geek or beer beginner, these open houses are good fun plus there are discounts on beer as well.. Upcoming dates can be found on their Facebook page – the next one is February 10th, from 11h-18h with tours happening every hour on the hour.
If you can’t make it to the brewery, you can find Part Faite about town at local bars, Fietje, shops Chez Francette, and festivals, Les Dimanches de la Canebière. Check their website for spots near you.
fyi Beers are available in kegs at the brewery if you want to throw down for a party.
tips When you visit, be sure to look at Laure’s helpful photo-driven directions on Facebook since GPS often gets confused by the address. Keep your eye out for the “Des Suds” signs, their official company name.
nearby Les Puces de Fifi / Mademoiselle Fifi
hours Check Facebook page for upcoming open houses. So far, les visites are scheduled for Feb. 10th, March 3rd, and April 7th.
6, traverse de la Bounaude