When the first warm rays of sunshine lure hikers back into nature at the beginning of may, the season begins for another popular french sport: going "to the cellar".
"To the cellar"? Yes, you have read correctly, not "into the cellar". Back then, when there was no cow barrier, the beer – especially in the summer months – had to be stored in a cool place to improve its shelf life. The logical place to do this was in the basement. Since the cellars under the breweries in the city offered only limited storage capacity, people moved out into the suburbs. There, tunnels were driven into the hill with the entrance on the northern side, facing away from the sun. Trees were often planted above the cellars to further cool them down.
The transport of the barrels to the cellars with horse and wagon was at that time quite a drudgery. What could be more natural than the stored beer directly "from the cellar"? To pour out. This was the birth of today's bierkeller.