I’d never been to Paris before, and I didn’t really have a great amount of knowledge of the craft beer scene in Paris at all, I had none! So when I was asked to take a few days in Paris for work part of what I wanted to do was understand what the Paris beer scene had to offer, or even if there was a craft beer scene there at all.
As it turns out, there is an exciting and interesting mix of real craft beer enthusiasts in the city, and they are slowly but surely turning people on to amazing beer from the US, the UK, and surprisingly France too.
Before my trip to France I can’t really think of any stand out French beers I’d tried in the past, and it’s clear I’ve overlooked some really decent beers.
Not necessarily in any order here are my personal highlights of Parisian craft beer.
Hoppy Corner | 2nd Arr.
Having only opened in April 2016 this place has already gained a reputation as a go-to bar for craft been fans. The range of beer on tap and in bottles is very impressive, and although there is a European focus, they serve some really impressive beer.
While here I had a couple of French black IPAs from a brewery whose name I forgot (and didn’t write it down!), as well as a great imperial stout, Dark Metal by Birrificio Indipendente Elav and a solid blonde ale, Psychedelia by Brasserie Craig Allan.
Le Supercoin | 18th Arr.
The original craft beer bar in Paris. Still one of the best. This was described as “the original craft beer dive bar” to me and it’s a great description. Although it doesn’t look like much from the outside, these guys have a good solid range of bottles for sale, but surprisingly only 3 or 4 beers on tap. What they have on tap tends to be local beer by Paris’ best brewers, so well worth trying before jumping into the bottle fridge.
A La Bière Comme A La Bière | 18th Arr.
For my money this is the best bottle shop in Paris, and one of the best I’ve been in anywhere to be honest. The range is wide but with a huge focus on quality. I picked up an Omnipollo Noa Pecan Mud Pie here, as well as a Molotov Lite by Evil Twin. They have almost a whole wall of Mikkeller! The guys who work here really know their stuff too, and they’re happy to chat and give recommendations. Just make sure you have money to spend here, because you are guaranteed to find a lot of beer you want to buy!
Jurassique Snack | 18th Arr.
Not a craft beer bar this one, but a tiny restaurant serving brilliant food with a really solid and well curated selection of great craft beer. While here I had a red ale, Neudorf by Bendorf brewing and a bottle of Siren Craft Brew’s Maiden 2014, which was fantastic!
Can’t recommend this place highly enough!
A l’Express de Lyon | 12th Arr.
Although this place looks like a pretty standard pub within falling distance of Gare de Lyon train station, the beer selection here shouldn’t be underestimated. They have stuff on tap by ToØl, De Molen, Buxton and loads more. While here I had a glass of Op & Top by De Molen.
Brewberry Cave à Bières | 5th Arr.
With a bottle shop and a bar on opposite sides of the same lane near the centre of the city this is one of the easiest places on my list to get to. They have a decent selection of beer, with a particularly impressive focus on Belgian and French beer. The only downside is that these guys are on the upper end of the price scale; they sell good stuff, but it is more expensive than other places selling the same beer. I assume this is because they can charge more being close to the centre of the city. While here I had a nicely chilled, fresh tasting bottle of Rosé de Gambrinus by Cantillon.
Don’t be Fooled:
There are some duds here too though, it has to be said. I was interested to see what The Frog chain of pubs had to offer as they list 7 locations across Paris and I had some idea that they would be like the Craft Beer Co bars in London, serving a decent mix of craft beer from around the world. But how wrong was I! Sorry if you are a fan of these guys, but they seem to have 6 or 7 beers on tap, all of their own making, and none of them very good (in my honest opinion). Far from being beer focussed bars, they had more bottles of rum & vodka behind the bar, and no guest draught lines or bottles. Best advice I can give here is to avoid them, they do not do what they say on the tin!
Paname Brewing Co falls between a couple of stools for me too. Their location is definitely impressive, and the fact their brew-kit is on show adds a nice touch to the place, but for me this felt more than just a little hollow. Their beer was ok, but I was surprised they didn’t have any guest draught or bottles (much like The Frog), and I think they are missing something huge here. Given how impressive the site & location are they will draw people in, but it would be great if they offered a wider selection of guest beer!
There are 3 places which were recommended to me but I never had time to visit. Maybe worth checking out if you are in the area:
Bierocratie | 13th Arr.
Le Triangle | 10th Arr.
Le Trois 8 | 20th Arr.