In less than 10 years, Paris has gone from a bit of a beer desert where drinkers had to content themselves with a pint of ‘Kro’, to a serious community of beer connoisseurs. New recipes and brands seem to multiply almost weekly, and since 2014 the city has even had its own artisanal beer festival, Paris Beer Week. Beyond our selection of the best bars and boutiques for beer in Paris, we’ve tried and tasted some of the best local brews of the moment to bring you our top 10 beers produced in Paris and surrounds (we know, tough job this). Enjoy – and if you get your mitts on a bottle or ten, let us know what you think in the comments box below.
Click on the arrows below to discover our 10 favourite Paris-produced beers.
Traditionally brewed in Germany, this type of slow-fermented beer allows a lengthy shelf life. This ‘Parisian girl’ is pleasantly bitter, with gentle fruity notes of grapefruit. Its producer, Jean Barthélémy Chancel, come from a winemaking family and knows the importance of quality ingredients: here Vienna barley malt and Aramis hops. Happily, there are also nine more recipes to this brand.
Two beer-obsessed friends, Thomas (Deck) and Mike (Donohue), launched their own brand in 2013. Two years later, they have six established recipes, four special editions, and four seasonal beers. This summer delight is full of pale golden lights, perfect for the hotter Paris months, with a persistent sharpness thanks to Mosaic hops and a fizziness perfect for summer evenings.
Batignolle Pale Ale, Cuvée Maïwenn, 5.4 %
The Société Parisienne de Bière’s brewer, Fabien, is a perfectionist, and this is the result of his quest to make the finest beer possible. Produced by the Brasserie du Pays Flamand following an elaborate homemade recipe, this slightly bitter, floral Batignolle brew is ever so slightly watery – but Fabien’s commitment promises a bright future for the brand.
A crowdfunding success, you’ll find BAPBAP (an acronym of the French for ‘Brewed in Paris, Drunk in Paris’) in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Paris, at 79 Rue Saint-Maur. Their unique product is a riproaring success: unfiltered and unpasteurized (so very cloudy), it’s a heavy, flowery, cereal-infused delight that evokes the farmyard more than the city. We’re keen to know what’s next from BAPBAP.
Blanche, 4.1 %
Winner of a gold medal at the Concours Agricole 2013, this lovely brew from Brasserie Parisis works equally well on its own or with food. Amber in colour, full of fruit and malt notes, it’s topped off with a welcome hit of acidity. The brand is more about the ingredients than in making a hipster splash, proof positive that the clothes don’t make the man.
This beer has the strongest hops flavour of all on offer from the brand, brewed in Epinay-sous-Sénart by Parisis. Three types of hops (Citra, Galaxy and Amarillo) make up the recipe, for that extra-sharp flavour. The IPA (Indian Pale Ale) is one of the most popular products among Parisian breweries – this one stands out with its surprisingly pleasant lime notes, and cool pop packaging.
La Phare, 5 %
Bruno Torres founded his 20th arrondissement brasserie in 2013. By the end of 2014, such was his success that he published an online plea for participants to help support his expansion. Currently offering four recipes, our favourite is the Phare [lighthouse], an unfiltered beer with a light lemony taste, good foam and a strong hit of malt.
Smoked Porter, 6 %
Making a local product is great, but brewing a truly responsible beer is even better. From the Nature & Progrès label, brewer Jerome Martinez has stuck closely to the company’s agro-ecological charter, which is one of the most respected in France. And the taste is no compromise, as in this succulent Smoked Porter with a nose of smoked meat and a lightly acidic, smoky but well-balanced finish. Better than a sugary dessert, and a tempting lead-in to a good whisky.
Château Rouge, 6.5 %
If there was a prize for the most insistently local beer production in Paris, it would go to Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or. Founder Thierry Roche was one of the first to introduce artisanal beer to Paris, and brews his recipes at number 28 Rue de la Goutte d’Or. This Château Rouge is one of his more original flavours: a spicy red concoction with aromas of cinnamon, tobacco and dried fish. Complex and unique.
Super 8 Saison houblonnée, 5 %
When two of our favourite Paris beer vendors club together to brew, we can only recommend the result. This collaboration between The Supercoin and Les Trois 8 could well become our favourite (if there’s any left). The hops used are the American and French Cascade strains, and a Brewer’s Gold. The resulting beer has a frank bitterness with a long tail, and complex malts that make this the perfect lunchtime accompaniment.