A Story of Family
4 Generations from Father to Son
A Tradition of Quality
It is in 1890, aged 20, that Armand GUY began to pursue his career, having learned from Pontarliers most prestigious master Absinthe distillers, most notable under VICHET.
The establishment of our Rue des Lavaux distillery is not at all due to chance, but to the existence of an underground water source used for the distillation process until the availability of running water. The proximity of the Pareuses military camp with its constant waves of soldiers was a pivotal factor in the introduction of the Armand Guy Absinthe to the rest of France and the Colonies.
Armand GUY would come to know the many Golden years of Absinthe and the formidable economic boom this would have for Pontarlier. At the time, our great town was home to no less that 23 distilleries and 150 bars or pubs, for a population of 10,000 of which 3,000 were employed in the distillation of Absinthe.
Georges GUY (1896-1975) >
His son Georges, would then join him at the end of the war of 1914 after having served in the conflict which began at the same time that Absinthe became illegal.
Nevertheless, being in the family business and under the influence of his father since the age of 13, he acquired the fine techniques in the distillation of Absinthe.
Armand would transmit this same passion to Georges in 1921 for the creation of Pontarlier-Anis, using the family's recipes.
The lapse of time between the ban of Absinthe and the rise of Anise based aperitifs, served to develop many sorts of liqueurs and more specifically the traditional Haut-Doubs Liqueur : “Le Vrai Sapin” (Which would later called “Le Vert Sapin”) invented in 1902 by Armand GUY.
At his time, many spirits will be distilled from a large range of plants and fruits. In the ancient family book of recipes we find formulas for Arquebuse (a herby liqueur), Angelica, The Virgin liqueur, Hendaye liqueur, Chartreuse, Cinnamon liqueur, Curaçao, Antziq liqueur, etc… and also the National Elixir at %80.
Research and passion bloomed in the quest for the knowledge necessary to develop the myriad of new spirits born after the war.
It is this expertise that George will teach to his son Pierre (1931) who modernised the distillery considerably while keeping the ancestral techniques alive and the soul of the place intact. High level sportsman, Pierre Guy would participate in the 1960(Rome) and 1964(Tokyo) Olympic Games shooting events.
« As a toddler taking my first steps, I was infused with the aromas of the steaming stills overturned to be emptied. The alchemy of the heated copper, transforming the fruit by distillation, came to me at an opportune time. I made this a career, yet it remains a passion. »
This is how the 4th generation, François (1964), describes joining his father Pierre. He would take to heart to revive the Absinthe which his great grandfather created, allowing his contemporaries to appreciate its subtle aromas and sublime taste. He’s responsible for the rehabilitation of Absinthe in France after a 15 years fight. François Guy won the Merite Agricole medal in 2010 in recognition of his accomplishment.
> Go to the different steps about the Absinthe de Pontarlier
July 2013: The Harvest of Absinthe at the time of the aperitif
1st Tier: François and Pierre GUY (4th and 3rd Generation).
2nd Tier : Pierre and Paul GUY (5th Generation).
The family have been able to keep their distillery running for four generations from father to son. In 2007 the distillery was awarded the EPV label (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant), a label which puts the French expertise in the limelight, with the use of ancestral techniques and tools which have been kept for over a 100 years in the same family.
The name and values of the family are always included on its products as a veritable guarantee of quality and authenticity.
The distillery also has been awarded the label of “Un peu. beaucoup Franche Comté”. This label guarantees the conformity of it’s products under rigorous requirements that contribute to the value of franc-comtois regional products, in the economic development of agricultural enterprises in the interest of regional specialties.
These few lines reflect the life of our distillery through its succession of leaders, but the whole story of how this distillery passed on its recipes and secrets would require a novel.
The distillery and its team >
Sébastien, Nicolas, Edith, Stéphanie, Marylin, Jessica, Christian
(Didier, Gabriel, Isabelle, Sébastien et Vincent).
At the head :
François GUY (4th Generation), Pierre GUY (3rd Generation)
and Paul GUY (5th Generation).
The distillery has a large range of liqueurs and spirits which can be found in our other products section :
Liqueur of Anis and Absinthe, Gentiane, Pear, Raspberry, Blackberry, Mirabelle, Blueberry, Sloe, Curacao, …
For information about our products uses in the kitchen or for cocktails, you can go to our section “Guy r’mandises” (The GUY Delicacies) only on the French version.
Discover also :
Foudres room (century old high capacity oak casks).
In 1994, while filming the documentary ‘Au temps de la Fee Verte’ of Dominique Garing.
Available HERE (French).
Click on a miniature to access the PHOTO GALLERY