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Friday 25 March 2011

France- A beer paradise

France doesn't exactly have a great reputation for beer. After all its the country that brought us 1664, Desperados and 33. Contrary to popular belief they do have a small but thriving craft beer industry.

The French craft beer industry is full of great little breweries but it never seems to get the international reputation amongst beer geeks like Italy or Denmark. Maybe that's because it lacks a world renowned brewer with a big voice like Mikkeller or Grado Plato or maybe its because the wine industry over shadows too much. I mean France has its fair share of already world renowned drinks industries right; Wine, Champagne (a wine I know), Cognac, Absinthe, Pastis. I don't see why a craft beer industry cant fit in to that too though.
Brasserie Craig Allan, Uberach, St Reuil, Fleurac, Garrigues. Only a few of the hundreds of fantastic micro brewers in France. Not just creating the usual three French styles either; Blonde, Brune and Ambree. Black IPA, wood aging, hoppy IPA and the rest. The French micro brewing scene is just as experimental as the rest of Europe and the world. If you are in Paris you must visit la cave a bulles which is a fantastic shop specialising in French micro breweries, although he does stock some Italian, Scottish, English, and Belgian stuff too.

We must stop thinking about France as purely a destination for those of us who also like a spot of wine as it can be a great destination for craft beer lovers too.  I for one would love to see an Auld Alliance style collaboration brew with a Scottish and a French brewery, or maybe a beer between an English brewer that can be shipped across the channel. Ok maybe those are a step too far. Maybe we should encourage some importers to start looking to the growing French craft beer scene and let us taste some of this wonderful beer back in Blighty. I shall continue to post about my discoveries and after lent I will upload some Vblogs and some tasting notes of my favourites.

Anyone else got a French favourite ?


  1. I was surprised to find around 17 breweries in Brittany when I was there some years back. All good quality and most available in local Intermarche. Warengham and Three Rivers breweries were particularly outstanding

  2. Good article! There is indeed a growing number of craft breweries popping up all over France. This is a wonderful thing and it's so very nice to see more than, as you mention, just the usual, blonde, ambre and brunes.



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