There’s not much more to this post than an excuse to quote Randy Mosher from Radical Brewing, on the subject of French historical beers.
France is generally sniffed at by the real brewing countries, and indeed its glory has always rested on wine, not beer. I guess the scorn is not undeserved, as a reference around 1800 describes beers showcasing grass, coconut, parsnips, beets, potatoes, carrots, and every form of sugar then known. If all that’s not bad enough, the same book also described a “bastard-beer” made from cooked unmalted barley and molasses, brewed circa 1774 to cover a shortfall in cider supplies. Overall, pretty appalling.
That’s all he posts on the topic. I thought it was pretty amusing.