Nowadays, Paris is for lovers of beer as well as wine. Check out these locations

BrasserieBrasserie might mean brewery, but only recently are Parisian establishments getting back to ale.

In Paris, you’re never far from a glass of wine. Step into a classic bistro and there will be good-value reds from the valleys of Rhone and Loire. Higher-end restaurants will inevitably point you in the direction of first-growth Bordeaux. New-wave wine bars are bursting with biodynamic Beaujolais. And a glass of Alsace riesling is de rigueur at a brasserie.

For a drinker interested in quality and value, wine can sometimes seem like the only option in this city. Every street, it seems, has its own cave à vin, complete with regional focus and invariably helpful staff, if you speak French. My favorites include Les Caves Saint-Martin on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, where I once bought two bottles of an excellent grower champagne on the recommendation of the shop owner, and Trois Fois Vin on Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth.

The great food halls devote huge amounts of space to France’s most famous wine regions. I remember wandering into the recently reopened Galeries Lafayette food hall (“Lafayette Gourmet”) in 2014 to find acre upon acre of wine, the vast majority of it French (including 1,200 options from Bordeaux alone!). There were a few desultory shelves of beer.

It hasn’t always been like this: Brasserie, after all, means brewery. When Alsatians founded these palaces of gustatory gratification in the late 19th century, there was often brewing on-site. There still is at Brasserie Georges, which reinstalled a brewery in 2004, but that’s in Lyon. Paris’s mightiest brasseries long ago gave up grain for grape.

Beer is flowing in establishments with a young, energetic vibe

Testing beer at the Gallia brewery. Heineken has bought a minority share. (Gallia)

But things are changing. Breweries and bars are popping up throughout the city. It’s a young, energetic scene, exemplified by the annual Paris Beer Festival (formerly Paris Beer Week). That the name is in English rather than French is telling; much of Paris’s modern beer culture has more than a hint of Anglo-Saxon influence. That said, there’s a definite Gallic edge to places such as La Fine Mousse, an elegant bar and restaurant in the Marais, or breweries such as La Goutte d’Or, which uses ingredients reflecting the rich diversity of the local neighborhood.

The heart of this nascent Beervana can be found in northeast Paris, where rents are lower and the population younger. Around the Bassin de la Villette, a half-mile-long artificial lake in the 19th arrondissement, you’ll find Paname Brewing, a brewpub where the New England IPA is called Brexiteer (an example of how the French occasionally conflate “Anglo-Saxon” countries), and L’Atalante, with a huge outdoor terrace that fills up with young Parisians on summer evenings.

One of the most interesting breweries is Gallia: Originally founded in 1890, it was reestablished as a brand at the end of 2009. At first, the resurrected brand’s founders, Guillaume Roy and Jacques Ferté, focused on conservative pale lagers — but under head brewer Rémy Maurin, the range has expanded to encompass an impressive variety of flavors and styles.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed; in September, Heineken bought a minority share. Most bars in this city are tied to big brands such as Heineken or Kronenbourg. If they start offering customers the likes of Gallia, it’ll be a genuine game-changer.

It’s about time. Paris sits on the dividing line between northern Europe, where beer has traditionally held sway, and the wine-drinking south. Only Champagne, of France’s great wine regions, is further north, and it has (or had, until global warming) a fairly marginal grape-growing climate. This is natural beer country; it’s only right that Beaujolais, Bordeaux and the rest make room for la bière artisanale.

Will Hawkes is a freelance travel and drinks writer based in London.

Source: Nowadays, Paris is for lovers of beer as well as wine. Check out these locations. – The Washington Post

Hot Stuff: Cheers! Culture You Can Drink! Belgian Beer Gets UN Approval – ABS-CBN Lifestyle

BRUSSELS (AP) — Next time you raise a glass of Belgian beer, rest assured: It’s a cultural experience.UNESCO added Belgian beer to the list of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” on Wednesday.Belgium is known throughout the world for its wide array of tastes, from extreme sour to bitter, produced in just about every city and village across the west European nation of 11 million people. The history of Belgian suds stretches back centuries to medieval monks and has been celebrated in paintings by Pieter Brueghel and in countless songs since [ . . . ]

Source: Hot Stuff: Cheers! Culture You Can Drink! Belgian Beer Gets UN Approval – ABS-CBN Lifestyle

Is This Man the Dr. Frankenstein of Beer? 

In a Belgium lab, one scientist is tweaking a more efficient, super-powered yeast — but brewers are turning their backs

Through the winding hallways of the centuries-old University of Leuven in Flanders, Belgium, past the sterile black counters in biological laboratories, buried in the depths of freezers, and suspended in cryogenic slumber, there sleeps a creature feared by the masses.

It’s small — microscopic, in fact — but it packs a punch. The creature is barred from entering certain laboratories in the United States to safeguard against contamination. It’s feared by the general public as an abomination of nature, an organism whose critics say it was created by the hands of man playing god. The creature is the target of lobbyists and NGOs that would like nothing more than for it to be destroyed. But, is this creature — actually a manmade strain of yeast, a single-celled organism humans have been cultivating for at least 7,000 years — just misunderstood?

Read the Full Story at: Is This Man the Dr. Frankenstein of Beer? – Eater

Beer, bière, bier 

Next summer, my wife and I will be visiting Belgium for the first time. Linda loves chocolate and waffles. I have been known to enjoy an occasional beer. Sang the Ink Spots, “My prayer, is to linger with you, at the end of the day, in a dream that’s divine.” It will be something like that. We’re coming, chocolate, waffles and beer. We’re coming. [ – Pas De Merde – ]

In Belgium, beer (bière in French, bier in Flemish but said just like beer in English) is an institution. As much as the Mannekin Pis (terribly disappointing and underwhelming) and frites (delicious in every which way), beer is an integral part of Belgian identity (…)

READ MORE: Beer, bière, bier – Saturday Features – The Kathmandu Post

A CH Belgium Beer Drinker’s Tale 

Asleep at the Keyboard went to Belgium and drank a lot. Here’s his report.

Our last brewery tour was at Cantillion as my friend convinced me I needed to see a lambic brewery. Aside from a walk-in cooler and 3 new bright tanks for fruit beers, there did not seem to be a single bit of equipment that was less than 50 years old! It was amazing to see canvas belt driven pumps, mash paddles, grain mills, etc. The crowning masterpiece was the riveted copper coolship which gleamed like new!

READ FULL POST at: A CH Belgium Beer Drinker’s Tale – Canis Hoopus