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The 19th century French writer Honoré de Balzac celebrated the generosity of the Alsatians and praised the “beauty of the combination of the French spirit and German reliability”.

As part of the Holy Roman Empire, the arts flourished in Alsace supported by the wealth of a burgeoning merchant class and powerful trade guilds. From the time of the Franco-Prussian War until the end of World War II, Alsace was annexed back and forth between France and Germany several times.

The first commercial brewery was founded in 1260 and by the 19th century there were 250 breweries in the town of Strasbourg alone.

Today Alsace is known primarily for the lager that comes out of the large breweries and the region does produce approximately 70% of all of French beer but smaller breweries are carrying on the strong tradition of brewing as well. Alsace is also famous for its hop production, including the local Strisselspalt variety.