Beer Lover's Paris?
Hello to all -- a quick question. My husband and I are heading to Paris next weekend for a short trip and I wondered if anyone could suggest some good places serving interesting, artisan beers. I am a wine drinker, but while my husband will drink wine with meals when other options aren't available, he always prefers beer (small producers, interesting flavors, never "lite"... he's deep into beer like many Chowhounders are into wines). So... will there be a beer option at many bistros? Or is wine always du rigeur? And if not, are there good places to go to try some interesting European brews we might not be able to find here in Boston?
Oh: we have reserved at L'Os a Moelle and L'Epi Dupin and plan to wander and snack/drink/picnic our way through the remaining 3 days... oysters here, a baguette and a bag of fruit from the market there, tartines, charcuterie and cheese plates from wine/beer bars, etc. Hoping to eat well on completely limited funds (the hotel is a fortune!!). We will be staying in the 1st but we're more than willing to travel by Metro, and I speak French so even hidden-away places shouldn't be too much of a challenge.
Thanks in advance!
I realize you're back from your trip by now (probably) but for the sake of discussion, yes, try Pietra. It does vary from batch to batch, but hopefully you'll get a good one. The Pietra brewery also makes Colomba, which has the local Corsican herbs called maquis (a general name for the flora in certain areas). Colomba is sweeter and lighter and not made from chestnut flower like Pietra is. The third beer, Serena, is nothing special. If you got really attached to any of this while you're in France, corsica-colis.com ships Corsican goods worldwide.
All of my "beer" info on paris is quite old and I dont know if these places are still around but there used to be a microbrew place called O'Neil (6e). Its kind of a chain but probably as close as it gets to artisanal beer.
They are not big on beer in France. In bistros you are probably only going to be able to get bottles of beer, Kronenbourg, Guiness and usual things on the industrial side. 10 years ago there was Finnegans Wake in the Latin Quarter but not sure if that's still there either. It was an Irish pub type place so they had the Guiness and Irish beers. A place called Mannekin-Pis in the 2e had belgian beer - some of it quite artisanal from belgian monasteries. Then there is still Sous-Bock (1e, rue St. Honore). They have hundreds of beers.
A few ideas - but whilst I love beer I usually drank wine in Paris - so there may be better options:
1. First try the normal French/Belgium beers you get in most bars etc. Pelforth, Kronenbourg, Stella Artois, Leffe , etc. Whilst some of these are now international brands you may find the original version is very different to the export brews (or the equivalent brewed locally to you - this applies to both bottled a draught). All the cafe's/brasseries will sell beer and there is not a lot better than sitting in the sun, watching the world go by.
2. Next to "Brasserie Lipp" on Boulevard St Germain is a small beer cafe. I can't speak for the quality of the food (I expect not good) but they do a very wide selection of beer - especially those from Belgium.
3. There is a chain of pubs in Paris "The Frog and Rosbif", "Frog and Princess" etc which recreate a French version of an English pub...not normally something to recommend...but they have micro breweries in each pub and the beer is good.
4. At 65 Champs Elysees there is a restaurant called "Culture Biere" which is a shop, restaurant and bar. I have only been once for a quick beer before dinner and it looked interesting - http://www.culturebiere.com/magasin/m...
One beer that is really worth looking out for is from Corsica called "Pietra" which is made from chestnuts which are very plentiful on the island. I believe the brewery has three types of beer in the range. I spent a weeks holiday there a few years and there is nothing better that a Pietra and a plate of the great great charcuterie made from wild boars that also eat the chestnuts (apart from a second beer that is). There are a few corsican restaurants in Paris that will sell it - really worth finding.
Thanks for the info! I also just remembered that BeerAdvocate.com has a bunch of listings in different cities, so I'll look there as well. We'll definitely look for some Pietra; I, too, spent 10 days in Corsica a few years ago (gee, almost 10 now!) but I never tried it. Mostly drank Kronenbourg on the beach!