Beer – part of France’s official cultural heritage, with a long and distinguished pedigree –comes in several colours: blond, amber, brown and even black. While it used to be an everyday drink brewed up at home, these days it’s the result of an expertise that differs by brewer, all of them united by that special French touch. Are there secrets to brewing that they guard closely between them? Dried hops embellishing the ceiling, cosy wooden seating, glasses tinkling, froth tickling lips – it’s a very French scene. You could almost believe you’re attending a wine tasting. But in Esquelbecq, a picturesque Flanders village, it’s tankards that bring visitors pouring in. Here, Daniel Thiriez – one of the first to exchange his office suit for an artisan brewer’s garb – opens the doors of his micro-brewery for a one-hour guided tours.