Breizh Cola is the Breton version of standard cola, and I think I prefer it to the real thing. It is one of many new types of alternate cola, competing with more established and widespread brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. In supermarkets across Brittany, there is as much space set aside on shelves for Breizh Cola as there is for the popular Coke, so I think it is fair to say that a substantial percentage of the Brittany population also prefers Breizh.
Breizh Cola was developed in the Lancelot brewery, and is produced in Roc-Saint-André, the site of an old 19th century gold and tin mine, in the Morbihan departement of Brittany, France.
The Lancelot brewery was first established in 1989 by Bernard Lancelot and was located in a manor house that he was renting in Saint-Servant-sur-Oust, before moving to Roc-Saint-André in 1999. A former nuclear engineer, he changed careers and became a beekeeper near Paimpoint, close to the Brocéliande forest. Lancelot was hoping to produce a drink reminiscent of the history and culture of Brittany. His first invention was a honey flavoured “cervoise” (an ancient beer made during antiquity and the Middle Ages with barley or wheat but without hops), influenced by the Gauls. The idea of developing this drink came to him while on holiday in Guatemala, when he discovered a bottle of coke in his host’s house in the middle of the jungle. Bernard Lancelot is a firm believer in drinking what the country produces. So, he thought, why not create a Breton cola?
In 2001, Bernard Lancelot helped Éric Ollive and Stéphane Kerdodé, two former managers from his brewery, develop the new cola by letting them use the transformation and distribution facilities of his brewery. When he retired in 2004, he sold his business to the creators of Breizh Cola, the Phare Ouest company, managed by Stéphane Kerdodé, with Etic Ollive by his side as a manufacturing manager.
These days, Breizh Cola is the 2nd most bought cola in the Brittany region. It is easily found in supermarkets, cafés and bars, hotels and restaurants. The brand was expanded with Breizh Cola Zero Sugar and Breizh Cola Stevia. There is also an ice tea and a citrus version.
Breizh Cola is famous for its slightly salted caramel taste and is made among other ingredients, with water, sugar, caramel, caffeine and natural kola flavouring. The kola nut is the fruit of the kola tree, native to Ethiopia, Ivory Coast or even Venezuela.
Breizh Cola is proudly Breton and is a partner of regional events such as: the Festival des Vieilles Charrues, the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, the Festival pluridisciplinaire in Saint- Brieuc Art Rock, the Festival du Bout du Monde… It is also a partner of the football clubs of Vannes OC, Stade Rennais, Stade Brestois, the En Avant de Guingamp, the Lorient football club, the UJAP Quimper basket club,the Rugby Club Vannetais, the Rennes Volley and Vannes Volley-Ball and the Garde du Voeu Hennebont.
Alternative colas are starting to develop in different regions of France too: Corsica Cola in Corsica, Meuh Cola in Normandy, Fada Cola in Marseilles, etc. Within the space of 10 years, around 30 new cola brands have been created.UJAP Quimper basket club, the Rugby Club Vannetais, the Rennes Volley and Vannes Volley-Ball and the Garde du Voeu in Hennebont.
Breizh cola has managed to find its place among the top cola brands in France thanks thanks to its unique recipe, its authentic Breton identity, and its quirky spirit.
It is so successful that when it was born, more than 500,000 bottles were sold in the first year.
So, when you are next in Brittany try Breizh cola and let me know what you think !