Euro Trip Beer Recommendations
I'm headed to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and am looking for local recommendations for great beers. I've heard there are good french beers, none that I've ever heard of, so please help if you know of any great ones. I'm also concerned that in Brussels and Amsterdam I will be so overwhelmed I'll pick what sounds familiar, and who wants to do that?
Not really a “beer” per say, but in most places in Paris I came across men and women drinking a strange pink drink in the outdoor cafe’s. We stopped in to inquire and discovered the “Monaco”, a light beer (I can’t remember which they were using specifically) with grenadine syrup, and 7-Up. I know I know, sounds gross, but it was actually quite refreshing, and I think it’s worth a try.
Although I don't know that you will be less overwhelmed if you go here, check out Delirium Cafe in Brussels. They have the biggest beer selection in the world, however the bartenders were very kind and picked out some great local favorites. Also in Brussels is Beer Mania, which has a bad name, but great beer and frites (it's a store with a bar in the back).
I'd suggest getting Michael Jackson's Eyewitness Companions Beer book or his New World Guide to Beer. Also helpful will be The Beermaster's Table by Garrett Oliver. The first one is considerably smaller than the other two and quite portable. All of those books will have specific information about where to find the best beers. In Brussels, I would consider making some time for Cantillon. Also check out beeradvocate.com for some information on breweries.
I don't think Cantillon is open to the public except on open brew days. But the beer is obviously available around town. For lambic, I suggest a visit to Drie Fonteinen in Beersel, just outside Brussels. They have a restaurant as well.
The visitor to Belgium should consider Tim Webb's guide: http://www.booksaboutbeer.com/index.php?/beer-books/good-beer-guide-belgium
Look for specialist beer bars in Brussels and other Belgian cities.
For France, here is some information on French beers that a French wine importer has started to sell in the US: http://188.8.131.52/JCI/images/news/p...
These are from French craft breweries, and are in many unusual styles.
There is a book on French beers by two Englishmen, names escaping me at the moment, but it is not current. However, this will give you a good idea of what to expect. For certain, you will find some interesting bieres de garde in northern France.