Beer in Paris
- DebitNM Apr 9, 2011 06:26 PM
Hubby loves trying new beers, especially in new locales.
So, what are your favorites - on tap or in bottles/cans. Please include name of beer, brewer info and type of beer [ale, lager, IPA etc]. Light or dark work both work for him.
He thanks you very much!
Bières Demory Paris has two types of beer, white and pils. The pils is named "Astroblonde" and is really good. I haven't tried the other one.
Demory is an old French brand that was revived recently by two Germans. It is not brewed in Paris but marketed in Paris. At length they would like to transfer the technology to Paris in order to have a true Parisian beer.
Available in bottles at various bars and cafés (it is rather sold as a high-end beer) and for instance at Spring Boutique. There's a map on the Demory website.
Craft beer in France is a very recent thing. In fact, it's just starting to pick up. France lost a lot of breweries during the end of the last century. It's now growing again.
Until very very recently, however, I felt like, apart from some notable exceptions, French brewers either: made quite bland and uninteresting beers, or just tried to replicate Belgian ones, with more or less success.
Now, a few breweries are more daring, inspired by what has been happening for quite some time now in the USA, while others perpetuate the European tradition in a convincing way. All in all, things are starting to look better, but there's still a lot of room for improvement and newcomers. France is first and foremost a wine country, except maybe in the Nord...
Your best bet to taste French beers is to go see Simon at La Cave à Bulles, rue Quincampoix, just behind Centre Pompidou. He's been selling French beers there for 5 years, and has seen the evolution of breweries and of his customers' interest/taste. Other shops tend to focus on Belgian beers. There's also Terre de Bière in the Marché St Quentin, but I feel the selection is not as good and the owner not as reliable/knowledgeable.
Some good French breweries include Fleurac (Triple Black IPA, to age at least 6 months, and probably preferrably more), Thiriez (vieille brune d'Escquelbecq, an excellent barrel-aged brown ale with oaky flavors that are reminiscent of vanilla), Brasserie De La Vallée De Chevreuse, La Franche, Theiller (very traditional ales from Northern France), Brasserie du Pays Flamand (Anosteke: very good French IPA), Brasserie des Vignes (Vent d'Ange: barrel-aged brown ale that develops gueuze-like flavors)...
But, once again, other European countries have far more interesting beers to offer: Belgium (trappists, de Dolle, Struise, Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen), Italy (Panil for sour ales, Toccalmatto for anything hoppy, Grado Plato...), Netherlands (de Molen), UK (Thornbridge, BrewDog, Harviestoun), and I'm not even beginning to talk about Scandinavia! Germany of course has great beers too, but I don't know much about it.
The history of craft beer in France is not that recent. In the North and Northeast, it is a long tradition that never was really interrupted. In other regions the losses were particularly in Paris, where many local breweries disappeared in the second half of the 20th century. But regional beers like Pietra (a chestnut-flavored Corsican beer) and the famous Breton beers like Coreff (but there are many other brands now) started appearing about 20 years ago. To mention only the most well-known ones.
It is quite exact though that the trend is getting much bigger now, with concepts like Parisian beer being revived and nearly every region of France having its local beers. But in France the big beer culture is really a Northern thing.
A few cafes used to feature DAB, a fine Dortmund draft beer. It was a great favorite of mine. The brand seems to have disappeared in Paris.