As the founder of Bastide Brewery, ‘Bill the Beer’ supplied many events and functions in the town and district, having started the brewery in Rue du Loup “because he missed real ale” when he moved to France from Molesey outside London about 15 years ago.
The idea was to supply real ale, English bitter, to the large British population in the area and to teach the locals what beer was – as opposed to their usual lager.
His wife, Florence said he “was able to keep on brewing until the end of last year” and once he was too ill friends rallied round to help. She is now looking for someone else to take over the brewery.
A bit of an eccentric behind whose gruffness there was often a sly smile and Bill’s sense of fun saw him naming his beers for saints’ days and coming up with his first promotional slogan ‘Come and Get Slaughtered on Abbatoir Ale’ as there was an abbatoir nearby.
When he started the brewery and during the customary long wait for permission to trade, Bill was not allowed to sell beer, so he charged €2 for a brewery tour and a free pint...
An engineer and computer programmer, he loved old cars and motorbikes, especially his Triumph and his Sinclair C5 and was known to many for helping with technical repairs.
He is survived by his wife and two stepdaughters.