Following in the footsteps of the US craft beer movement, the French are developing small, independent breweries. Hop on our tour of the best microbreweries in and around Paris.
Brasserie, Pub Grub, French, $$$
Bar Gallia, Pantin | Courtesy of Gallia
This brewery is north of Paris – Gallia’s brewery in Pantin. Gallia is the story of an epic comeback. Created in 1890, the iconic Parisian beer company had to shut down in 1969. In 2009, 40 years later, two young brewers decided to take over and revive the project, with the ambition of having the largest brewery in the Paris area. The first beers were brewed at different breweries in the region – a sign that proves beer lovers help each other without fear of competition. Years later, Gallia finally owns its brewery in Patin and has expanded its range from one to four different beers.
Proudly located in an unjustly infamous neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement, La Goutte d’Or has been promoting the Parisian craft beer scene since 2012. The beers of the original series were all named after surrounding streets, such as Myrha, a tasteful date-flavored Pale Ale, and La Chapelle, a wheat beer. What makes La Goutte d’Or stand out is its unusual use of spices: try the wasabi-flavored Go Men Session Ale. You can buy Goutte d’Or beers directly from the brewery on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and find it in many other nearby food institutions, such as Moroccan restaurant La Môme.
After living in Germany and the US, founders Archibald, Edouard and Bruno got the ambitious idea to launch a brewery that would become to Paris what the Brooklyn Brewery is to New York City: an iconic 100 percent locally produced brand for beer lovers. The newest addition to the Parisian beer scene, BAPBAP – short for ‘brassée à Paris, bue à Paris‘ (brewed in Paris, drank in Paris) – offers a series of three permanent beers. These are the Originale, a delicate Pale Ale, the Blanc-Bec, a powerful wheat beer, and the Vertigo, a bitter and hoppy IPA. BAPBAP also has the largest premises of all: an 8,600-square-foot, seven-story building in the heart of the 11th arrondissement. You can visit by booking a friendly guided tour and tasting session.
Head to the up-and-coming banlieue of Montreuil to visit the simply named La Montreuilloise. A tribute to Belgian traditions, the beers of the original series beers have been named after their respective colors: Blonde (Pale Ale), Rousse (Ale), Brune (Stout) and Blanche (wheat beer). Their seasonal beer last fall was Fleur de Montreuil, a sweet elderflower-flavored beer with caramel malts. La Montreuilloise also likes to share its passion for craft with other enthusiasts. Book a workshop and impress your friends by serving them your own beer. The first session is a half-day of brewing, followed by a second session 13 days later to bottle your 20-liter brew so you can take it home.
Courtesy of Paname Brewing Company | Paname Brewing Company, Paris
Back in Paris, Paname Brewing Company has a somewhat different concept. More than a microbrewery, PBC is a brewpub, whose offerings are both produced and consumed on-site. The choice of tap beers, including IPAs, lagers, black ales, and some guest brews such as La Brasserie de l’Être’s limited-edition strong IPA Love Craft – pun intended – is incredibly rich. Do not hesitate to ask the barman to pour you a shot of each to help you make your decision. With its bricked walls, bar service, delicious street food and snack menu, and its incredibly sunny location by the canal de l’Ourcq, PBC has a little Amsterdam feel about it. Similarly, the chain of English pubs in Paris, known as The Frog, also developed its craft beer offer, now available in bottles.
Did you think brunch and beer were an odd combination? Not at Le Triangle. This small restaurant has had the not-so-crazy idea to combine two of today’s happiest food trends for a well-sought event every first Saturday of the month. Le Triangle has a rotating offer of eight craft beers brewed either on-site or from local and international breweries. The small brewing equipment managed by brewer Jocelyn ensures an constantly changing offer. Le Triangle also organizes frequent workshops to teach you how to match the right beer to the right food.
If Parisian life does not leave you enough leisure time to tour breweries and beer shops to fix your craft cravings, HopBuddy has the solution: get them delivered to you. Right, HopBuddy does not technically qualify as a Parisian brewery, but it is the next best thing. Download the app to your smartphone or use the website to shop for beers online. You will find them all: BAPBAP, La Goutte d’Or, Brasserie de l’Être… and then some more. HopBuddy goes the extra mile and delivers fresh beers by bike in one hour (two hours if you are in the suburbs) to your house, your office, and even your picnic spot. A 24-hour delivery is possible across France.
Courtesy of HopBuddy
Paris Beer Week
What a better way to end this tour of Parisian breweries than with Paris Beer Week? The festival gathers brewers and drinkers who share the same passion for quality, independent and creative breweries. It takes place annually in the different beer bars in and around Paris. The closing event gathers more than 45 craft brewers and has 90 different craft beers on tap: a real heaven. To make things even better, there is also music all night long.