To put things in context, the Paris beer scene pretty much disappeared in the 1960’s, as like with most countries over the 2nd half of the 20th Century it was swallowed up by the big beer companies. What makes this even more hard to take is that historically, a century before this Paris was one of the great beer capitals of the world!
But moving onto today’s scene and the ongoing revival really only just started around 2010 with attempts to relaunch some old Parisian breweries, that were brewing beer/brands that were already being made in other countries. So really the new Paris craft beer scene is incredibly new, essentially operating in the near suburbs, and stimulated by American brewer expats. Overall it’s mainly based on the American style of brewing with big hops and a real enthusiasm to experiment at all times.
Where to Start: Paris Craft Beer Tasting
The first thing to know if you go to a craft beer bar in Paris is that you’ll pretty much always be able to order great artisanal finger food and awesome delicatessen meat – some things will never change in Paris and this is something borrowed from wine bars that’s super cool.
So to start you’ll want to check out two Parisian institutions of craft beer, in the Belleville Quarter, near the Père Lachaise cemetery : “La Fine Mousse” and “Les Trois 8”. Depending on your style, if you’re after more fancy, “La Fine Mousse” will suit you and if you are more rock’n roll you’ll choose “Les Trois 8”.
La Fine Mousse offers a choice of 20 beers on tap, with an always interesting and unique selection. They have also opened a restaurant just in front of the bar, called “La Fine Mousse Restaurant” (original name there…) with 10 beers on tap plus a great pairing food menu. And the great deal here is that you can take your beer in one place and go sipping your drink in the other. They’ve also started a new bar in Odéon, called “La Robe et la Mousse” where you only can find fine French craft beers on tap, 8 from France, 8 from Paris (and the wider metro area) and 2 beers on cask.
“Les Trois 8” is right up our street as it’s a dive bar with a cool atmosphere and hipsters just love it. They just have 10 beers on tap, but always a great craft beer selection. If you do dare, take a look in the toilets and discover the Barbie bondage altar …not to be missed…
The guys behind Les Trois 8 have also started a collaboration with one of the best breweries in town, “Outland”, and created the “Outland Bar”. More fancy than the first location, they feature on tap Outland beers with some exclusives, some nitro versions and they always give 4 taps for guests and friends beers.
In one of the very touristy part of Paris, take a break between shopping and visiting the Pompidou Centre and open the door of the bottleshop “La Cave à Bulles”, pretty much the first Paris craft beer shop that started to specialise in good beers and it’s super focused on French craft beers, Belgian lambic and gueuze.
During the Spring or the Summer, make sure you live like a typical Parisian and grab a beer (or two) in a cool bottle shop such as “À la bière comme à la bière”, “Bières Cultes” or “La Binouze” then go to the nearest parc or bench and sip your beverage while you’re enjoying your chill moment watching the workers running to be on time for their meetings!
On the Canal, two great options are available to you : first up is a gorgeous spot called “Paname Brewing Company” with its terrace platform-on-water offering the best spot on the canal. It’s a brewpub with a really cool atmosphere so don’t miss out.
If you want to take the second option, you can grab some cans or bottles at the shop “Superbières” and sip it on the edges of the canal mixing with young Parisians and feeling like you’re winning at life with every sip!
Diggin’ Deeper: Beer Experiences in Paris
If you fancy an adventure and decide to head outside of Paris, there’s a great suburb called Montreuil (accessible with the metro line 9), where you’ll find a bar hidden in a small street called “The Drunken”
This joint is banging with urban vibes, but most of all by really good beers. They don’t necessarily concentrate on French of Paris craft beer but they do have a great selection of the best European craft beers if you fancy a change from France’s best craft.
Also in Montreuil, there’s a shop called “Beers & Records” and as you can probably guess it sells great beer and vinyl so why not do two awesome things here at the same time by enjoying your fresh craft beer whilst you’re digging in the creates!
Another great Parisian suburb is Colombes and you’ll find a really lovely place here called “Local Bear”. Specialising in French and craft beer, they also have a shop for beers to go, but take the time to sit on their marvellous wooden-built terrace and enjoy this lovely place. Make sure you also get a go of playing on their corn hole game – not to be missed at all!
Paris Craft Beer Breweries And Brewtaps.
Brewtaps and brewery visits are still a relatively new phenomenon in France and there’s not loads of places to try Paris craft beer direct from the source but some of our favourites are Brasserie de l’Être, BAPBAP (Saturday’s – 15 euros) and La Goutte d’Or (free on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays).
In the suburbs – Montreuil has Deck & Donohue open every Saturday and as mentioned earlier in Fontenay, Outland is open every Friday. Check out our rundown of best Parisian breweries below here to choose your own Parisian brewtap and brewery adventure next time you’re looking for inspiration.
While You’re Here: A Taste of Paris
Besides Paris craft beer, the Parisian cocktail scene is absolutely booming with loads of themed cocktail bars and top bartenders from around the world now making Paris their home. Make sure you say hi to Jennifer Le Nechet at the “Café Moderne”, who was awarded in 2016 the worlds best bartender award at the World Class contest.
If you want to go exotic, and discover the tiki vibes, go to Pigalle at the Dirty Dick, the world famous tiki bar owned by Scotty Schuder. You also can find some pretty decent cocktails bars in Pigalle as Baton Rouge, Lulu White, Dr Lupin, Persifleur, Glass.
You also might like the Red House, Calbar, Candelaria, Pasdeloup, Bespoke, Copperbay, Le Syndicat, La Commune, all of these places are great craft cocktail bars. Like the craft beers bars, you also can find great finger food or good wines at most joints.
French words (how to survive the jungle of the Paris craft beer scene)
- “Une bière s’il vous plait” : a beer please, always remember to be polite, french people will love you if you’re polite as fuck.
- “Un demi, s’il vous plait” : half a pint of beer.
- “Une pinte, s’il vous plait” : a pint.
- “Tu bois quoi?” : What are you drinking ?
- “Qu’est-ce que vous avez à la pression?” : What do you have on tap ?
- “Je suis bourré !” / “Je suis saoul” / “Je suis ivre” : I’m drunk !
- “Bière artisanale” : Craft beer.
- “Santé !” : Cheers.
- “Houblon” : Hops.
- “Levure” : Yeast.
- “Brasserie” : Brewery, but in France they also call a bar-restaurant “une brasserie”, so it can be confusing, even for French people.
- “Blonde, Brune, Ambrée, Blanche” : If you go to a craft beer bar, you won’t have this problem, but in other bars that don’t know their beers, they categorise beers by colours – confusing – yes!
*Make sure you don’t miss out on our Paris app-led beer and food tours. Highly curated to feature all the best places in town. Always ready to be taken whenever it’s good for you!
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