Shopping Once upon a time

France's famous grouse

Published on 02/06/2023

Environmentally friendly and handy, a water flask is your best friend throughout the year and particularly in summer! Our favourites include ‘Le Grand Tétras’, the legendary aluminium vessel created in Bellegarde, in 1950, which was relaunched in Lyon nearly 70 years later.

By Yvo Deprelle.

Whether it’s for a hike, excursion or camping trip, a water flask brings to mind happy holidays. While its origins can be traced back to antiquity, it was in 1912 that the Pautry family founded its aluminium household goods factory in Bellegarde, in the Ain. In the early 1950s, the factory specialised in outdoor cooking utensils sold under the brand ‘Le Grand Tétras’, in honour of the wood grouse living in the surrounding mountains. As the company’s best-seller, the flask took on the name of the factory. It was not long before a wide range of lightweight metal utensils were released to accompany the beginnings of paid leave and the quest for freedom of the post-war period.

In the 1980s, for the army, expeditions, scouting and leisure, more than 300,000 flasks were produced each year, while the factory changed hands several times. Péchiney, Seb Téfal and even Bernard Tapie took up the reins in succession, until 1985, when it closed down following the arrival of plastics and competition from China. In 2019, the passionate entrepreneur Philippe Béraldin gave the kiss of life to this sleeping beauty and founded his French flask company in Lyon. At the same time, he relaunched production of this iconic aluminium flask, allowing Le Grand Tétras to take to the air once again!

The flask returns from retirement

In 2022, 20,000 units were manufactured using artisanal methods in Spain, using the same original moulds and machines. This environmentally friendly and timeless flask, with its vintage look, is now a sustainable option in keeping with the times. Both lightweight and solid, with a one-litre capacity, it has been made using recycled aluminium since 2021.

Guaranteed for life, replacement seals are provided for free! In addition to the three standard formats and colours, this item is fully personalisable and lends itself to various forms of collaboration. The street artist PEC has customised several flasks and even the City of Lyon has its own. Sold at €39, the hardwearing Le Grand Tétras features prominently in local retailers, including Ekosport, Huttopia, Snowleader and Vieux Campeur. You can also order one directly on the brand’s website. New this summer: a pop-up lunch box, a new, improved aluminium bento box… Follow the grouse! 

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