Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Sept 09 330Another recommendation from Simon at Cave á Bulles.  This was actually five minutes from my hotel, and I had actually walked past it without giving it a second glass glance.

As location is everything in a city like Paris, the street right in front of the Gare de Lyon is filled with brasseries serving food and drinks at all hours. Some of them offer Alsatian specialities, others have shellfish etc. They all have macro beers at rather stiff prices.

Sept 09 327But a few steps away from this strip is a simple bar, not far above the hall in the wall level. During my evening, there was soccer on several screens, I assume you may find it more quiet at other times.

They have 11 beers on tap, 11 in bottles. Macro lagers, sure, but also some fine Belgian stuff. I had never tried the wheat beer from St Bernardus, and there was even a sour Belgian ale, Borurgogne des Flandres (which could have been more on the sour side). A French Tripel, too, Secret des Moines.

I found a sidewalk table.

I think more bars like this is what’s needed for French beer culture to really take off. Specialized places which you travel across town to seek out is fine for the converted. A hand picked selection of good beers in places where people pop in for a quick glass before going on with their business is more important.

Sept 09 324

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Sept 09 273

One advantage of France is that it’s close to Belgium. (Most French would raise their eyebrows, and many Belgians would point out that its misfortune is that it’s close to France. But there you go). Beerwise, that is.

This means that the logistics of importing Belgian beers should be easy. In fact there is no excuse for a serious beer bar in France not to have a good range of Belgians.

That is the case for Au Trappiste, a bar/restaurant with a pronounced Belgian profile. It is in rue St Denis, withing walking distance of many of the attractions. That also means a hefty mark up – no Belgians would pay those prices. But anyway.

20 beers on tap, about 100 bottled. Lots of Belgians, but also respectable selections of French and German brews. A scattering of beers from other countries, but no serious list of , say, Dutch, British or American beers.

(The majority of Dutch imports seem to be canned half liters of maximum strength beers, drunk by the guys sleeping rough around the railway stations!)

There is an impressive menu and a lovely smell of cooking as I enter when afternoon is on the verge of turning into evening. Mussels is, unsurprisingly, the speciality.

There is a French artisan beer on tap, so of course I go for that – Angelus.

A golden beer, very refreshing. Very fruity, like peaches that have been left on the table ad day too long. Some bitter almonds in the tail. A bit sweet and sour.

Sept 09 276

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