Paris hasn't traditionally been a city associated with interesting and unusual beers. Unlike Brussels or Munich, where breweries, bars and beer festivals place the carbonated drink at the center of local culture, the French capital has generally been more specialized in wines. With the exception of a few (mostly Belgian, and sometimes French Canadian) specialty bars serving craft brews, it's generally been pretty hard to find bars in Paris serving anything beyond a few well-known European brands.
All that's changed over the past few years. Perhaps owing to the city's burgeoning hipster culture, trendy new breweries and microbreweries have been popping up in numerous neighborhoods, generating a new passion for handcrafted, uniquely flavored IPAS, Stouts, Belgian-style Krieks and British-style ales. Not only are these great new places to head for a casual lunch or dinner, but they've also made the Parisian nightlife scene more interesting. Keep reading for the 10 best places to taste craft beer in the capital.
Widely considered to be one of the best new Parisian-based microbreweries, this brasserie in the previously seedy, now-hopping 19th arrondissement (district) has quickly become a local favorite. Founded by beer connoisseur Edward Jalat-Dehen in 2016, the microbrewery prides itself on using local Parisian water and malts from surrounding regions, as well as observing environmentally friendly brewing and aging processes.
The Brasserie de l'Etre brews five permanent varieties of their own-brand beers, as well as special "editions" created in partnership with other breweries and beer artisans. The "permanent collection" includes the Sphinx, a deep, amber-colored wheat beer with delicate floral and herbal notes; Oliphant, an IPA with notes of gingerbread, cyprus, herbal bitters and tropical fruits; and Cerberus Triple Parisienne, a deep, malty beer approaching a stout with rich caramel and hoppy notes, finished off with a touch of honey and tropical fruit.
The brasserie itself, situated right near the Bassin de la Villette (the city's largest artificial lake), is a pleasant and off-the-beaten-path spot for enjoying a pint with style.
- Address: 7ter rue Duvergier, 19th arrondissement
- Metro: Jaures
- Tel: +33 (0) 6 62 71 66 00
- Opening Hours: Daily except Sunday, 6:00 pm to 2:00 am
This unassuming bar situated in a sleepy stretch of northeastern Paris is one of the neighborhood's best-kept secrets. For beer connoisseurs who appreciate the complexity of a good Belgian-style brew, Le Bouillon Belge is an ideal stop on a craft-beer bar crawl in the capital.
The menu is extensive, but Belgian beer lovers can taste classics including Cherry kriek from Lindeman's, a variety of lambic and trappist-stye beers from La Mort Subite, classic brews from well-known brands such as Duvel and Chimay, and Boon Oud Geuze—an intensely sour, cider-like beer made by blending young and aged varieties of lambics. This last beer is for the more intrepid taster-- it's certainly not to everyone's taste.
Inside, there's a slightly grungy vibe more fitting of a pub in Portland or London than a bar in Paris, with picnic-table seating, condiments in large plastic bottles, enormous metal beer kegs serving as decor, and a bar staff that's friendly but gets straight to the point. You can enjoy Belgian classics like moules-frites with your brew; the made-to-order fries are crispy and delicious. The bar also currently serves a variety of traditional dishes from the Philippines.
- Address: 6 Rue Planchat, 20th arrondissement
- Metro: Buzenval
- Tel: +33 (0)1 43 70 41 03
- Opening Hours: Daily, 5:00 pm to 2:00 am; Sundays until midnight
This new star in the Parisian microbrewery firmament makes what many say are some of the most creative, delicious and palate-challenging beers in the country. Unfortunately, their "brasserie" can be visited upon reservation only, and opening hours are limited — this isn't a bar in the full sense.
However, the visit is highly recommended if you want to learn more about how this quirky brewery creates is distinctive beers. The 90-minute tour and five-beer tasting session will introduce you to some of BAPBAP's signature creations, including the original Pale Ale; Vertigo, an India Pale Ale made with seven different barley and wheat malts; and Toast, a deep Porter with distinctive, rich notes of chocolate, toffee, coffee and — you guessed it — toasted bread. In total, the company currently produces 12 artisanal beers.
Luckily for anyone who's acquired a taste for these brews, they're also now available in many other bars and shops around the capital. They've also teamed up with the previously-mentioned La Brasserie de l'Etre and New York-based Brooklyn Brewery to roll out a few limited-edition beers.
- Address: 79 Rue Saint-Maur, 11th arrondissement
- Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
- Tel: +33 (0)1 77 17 52 97
- Shop opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm; Saturday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
- Reserve a tour and tasting session here
Another new arrival in Paris' increasingly hip 19th arrondissement, the Paname Brewing Company offers gorgeous views over the Bassin de la Villette; on a nice day, it's one of the best places in town to meet up with friends for a pint in the sun and a casual meal. It's open every day from late morning until the wee hours of the morning, too, so it makes a great go-to option for craft beer tasting if you're hankering to start early, stay out late — or both.
Grab a table outside or at a table inside — the enormous floor to ceiling windows mean you'll get great views either way. Some of the brewery's own beers worth tasting include the Barge du Canal, an American-style IPA with strong hoppy notes and a full body; the L'Oeil de Biche (Doe's Eye), a pale ale that's crisp and fruity and perfect for a hot day on the canal; and Casque d'Or, a cloudier beer made with wheat malt and featuring deep, spicy notes of ginger, bitter French hops and orange rind.
The salads, pizzas, wraps, burgers and other casual fare are all solid and reasonably priced here, and there are several options for non meat-eaters.
- Address: 41 bis Quai de la Loire, 19th arrondissement
- Metro: Jaures
- Tel: +33 (0)1 40 36 43 55
- Opening Hours: Daily, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or
Opened in 2012, the Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or is widely credited as having revived the local brewery tradition in Paris. Springing up in the traditionally working class neighborhood of Barbes, the bar brought new energy — not to mention troupes of young nightlife-seekers — into an area that has generally resisted gentrification.
Unfortunately, the opening days and hours are quite limited, so you'll have to carefully choose your moment to come check out the space and taste some excellent beers, named and inspired after the neighborhood. Tastings and visits to the brewery are free. Favorite brewed beers include the Chateau-Rouge, named after the nearby metro stop and surrounding neighborhood, and offering intense spicy and malted notes. The 3ter, meanwhile, is a coffee trippel that is strongly reminiscent of the roasted bean.
One of the things that makes these beers so distinctive? They're mostly unfiltered and unpasteurized, allowing the native flavors of malts, wheats, hops and other ingredients to come through with strong, fresh notes. They're also made specifically to be enjoyed with food and desserts, and the bar staff can help you choose some delicious and complementary pairings. In short? A dream for anyone with a love for beer and cuisine.
- Address: 28 Rue de la Goutte d'Or, 18th arrondissement
- Metro: Barbes-Rochechouart or Chateau Rouge
- Tel: +33 (0)1 9 80 64 23 51
- Opening Hours: Thursday to Friday, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm; Saturday 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Calling itself a "beer cafe" and gastropub, the label is probably fitting, since Brewberry closes on the early side and is open from mid-afternoon. It's an ideal spot for artisanal beer-tasting in the Latin Quarter: aficionados can choose between 450 different craft beers from around the world in the downstairs bar and cellar, while upstairs in the pub, handcrafted beers from Parisian microbreweries are readily served on tap.
Whether you're a fan of Belgian, French, American, Dutch, German or even Norwegian beers, you're likely to find something perfect for your palate and mood in the cellar. The small plates and platters feature local cheeses and charcuterie, with suggestions for beer pairings.
- Address: 18 Rue du Pot de Fer, 5th arrondissement
- Metro: Censier-Daubenton
- Tel: +33 (0)1 43 36 53 92
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm; Sunday 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Closed Mondays.
This cheerful restaurant and microbrewery situated in the Canal St Martin neighborhood has gained legions of fans for its small-batch beers made onsite. The menu also includes a frequently-refreshed selection of delicious craft brews from around the world. The Petite Passion is a fresh blonde lager with notes of oatmeal and passionfruit, while the Presse Abricot is a Parisian-made white beer with lemony notes: perfect for summer and made in the style of the "Berliner Weisse".
In addition to their short but excellent menu of craft brews, Le Triangle is also a good spot for lunch or dinner. The menu primarily features traditional French and Italian dishes, with a focus on local produce and fresh flavors.
- Address: 13 rue Jacques Louvel Tessier, 10th arrondissement
- Metro: Goncourt/Hopital St Louis
- Tel: +33 (0)1 71 39 58 02
- Opening Hours: Daily, 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm
For anyone with a taste for a good craft brew hailing from Quebec, this bar on a quiet street deep in the Quartier Latin is a welcome change from the humdrum Paris brasserie. Run by a jolly French Canadian named Antoine, the bar offers a laid-back, North American atmosphere that can be a welcome reprieve from sometime-seriousness of the typical Parisian brasserie. Sit back in a comfy booth or chair and sip French Canadian brewery favorites, from St-Ambroise (their apricot-infused wheat ale is particularly refreshing in summer) to Belgian-style trappist brews, character-filled ales and lagers from Fin du Monde, Belle Gueule or Maudite.
The decor is willfully and delightfully kitschy-Canadian, with abundant maple-leaf and fleur-de-lys flags, knick-knacks and maple syrup seemingly offered at every turn. For a refreshing aperitif, try a kir or house beer infused with maple syrup. Food choices include hamburgers, and French Canadian specialties (to the regret of many, though, there's no poutine in sight). Admittedly, the prices here aren't the lowest, but when you're craving a good Quebecois bar, this one can't be beat.
- Address: 30 Rue Lacépède, 5th arrondissement
- Metro: Jussieu or Censier-Daubenton
- Tel: +33 (0)1 45 35 53 93
- Opening Hours: Daily except Sunday, 6:00 pm to 2:00 am
La Robe & La Mousse
This chic but resolutely 21st-century bar and pub near the Theatre de l'Odeon in the heart of the St-Germain-des-Prés district is appreciated by locals for its large selection of local craft beers. Half of the beers on tap served here are from Parisian microbreweries, including some of the ones already mentioned on this list.
The bar and restaurant also boasts a good wine menu specializing in organic and biodynamic bottles. This is a great place to head for craft beer tasting on the left bank. There are also a small selection of cheese and charcuterie plates, quiches and nibbles on offer, if you've skipped dinner or need a little snack.
- Address: 3 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 6th arrondissement
- Metro: Odeon
- Tel: +33 (0) 9 81 29 29 89
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 4:00 pm to 1:00 am; Thursday to Saturday, 4:00 pm to 2:00 am
Frog Brew Pubs
The Frog stable of beer pubs have been open in Paris since 1993, and making their own artisanal beer for their eight locations around the city at one central, dedicated brewery. While the pubs have had a reputation over the years as a place where English and American expats like to hang out, the craft beer Renaissance in the city has given the chain a new halo of credibility and cool.
Some popular Frog beers include their Galactic Empire IPA, Rhubarb White and Apricot Wheat (both ideal for summery days), Cherry Porter, and Hopster, a dry-hopped pale ale. The Ginger Twist, meanwhile, is a spicy amber ale that will please more discerning palates.
All pub locations serve bar food such as hamburgers, tacos, mixed salads and sandwiches.
Address: Various locations around Paris