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Our Guide to Paris Beer Week 2014

The first in what hopes to be an annual event, Paris Beer Week aims to encourage both the making and consumption of craft beer. Throughout the week, bars, shops, and brewers will be hosting a wide range of events at locations across the city. With so many events on the schedule – beer tastings, lectures, brewing demonstrations, tap takeovers, beer-pairing dinners and more – there are going to be some tough decisions, but we’re here to help narrow it down.

Beer by Nick MalmquistPhoto by Nick Malmquist

Friday, May 23

The opposite of an afterparty, the Soirée Beerfore is Beer Week’s sneak preview. Eleven breweries from Paris and Ile-de-France have joined forces, each choosing a different hop for La 11, a beer brewed at the Parisis brewery just for Beer Week. La 11 will be unveiled tonight at five bars around town: La Fine Mousse, Brewberry, Les Trois 8, Le SuperCoin, and Café Louis.

Saturday, May 24

7:00am-3:00pm Open House/Brew Day – For early birds and fans of day drinking, Deck and Donohue, Paris’ newest brewery, are opening up to the public. Watch them in action as they brew some of their already-popular beer, and taste some special experimental batches on tap. Given the quality of what they’ve produced so far, these promise to be both interesting and tasty.

12:00pm Une Journée à l’Usine – Beer week kicks off at Les Trois 8, where they’re opening early to pour the three beers they brewed in collaboration with La Brasserie Outland in a 24-hour brewing marathon last February. We’re especially looking forward to the coffee-infused (with Belleville beans, obviously) morning beer, 6-14.

4:00pm-7:00pm Tasting: The Kernel – Popular beer shop Biérocratie hosts The Kernel, one of England’s best (and hardcore beer-geekiest) craft breweries. They’ll be pouring rich porters and single-hop IPAs, and serving cheeses hand-selected by the brewer to accompany them.

5:00pm-12:00am Grand Quizz de La Fine Mousse – Paris’ best-known beer bar has a simple challenge for you: taste all the beers and match them with their descriptions. Even if you don’t get them all right, it will be a lot of fun trying.

paris beer week

Sunday, May 25

11:00am-8:00pm Biéromatique: Brew in Your Washing Machine – Yes, really. An all-day demonstration of how to rig up a home brewery in a washing machine, which you’ll be able to see in action on Friday. Stop by Express de Lyon to watch, and have one of their excellent tap beers while you learn.

12:00pm-5:00pm Brunch/Tasting with Birra 32 – It’s all Italian, all day at L’Epicerie Musicale (55, quai de Valmy, 75010) where they’re pairing Italian salumi and cheeses with beers from one of Italy’s foremost craft brewers, 32 Via dei Birrai. To complete the ambiance, they’ll be spinning ’50s Italian music on vinyl.

2:00pm-6:00pm Afternoon Snack and Dessert Contest with BrewDogLa Cave à Bulles will be pouring some lesser-known beers from BrewDog alongside a dessert buffet. Free entry if you bring a dessert to share, otherwise it costs 7 euros for a glass, a drink, and all the dessert you can eat. Diabetes what?

Two tasting workshops this afternoon offer a chance to educate your palate:

From 2:00pm-5:00pm, at La Fine Mousse, the Atelier de perfectionnement à l’analyse de la bière promises to perfect your beer analysis technique, with a focus on identifying and naming faults in beer. The workshop will be led in French, and is aimed at people already well-versed in brewing and beer-tasting. Space is limited to 20, and cost is 55 euros. Sign up here (2 euro internet supplement) or in person at the bar. Recommended for the serious beer geek, and people who don’t like dessert (see above).

For those just learning about beer, Brewberry‘s Atelier de dégustation A la découverte de la bière takes place from 5:00pm-9:00pm. You’ll learn about the history of brewing, key ingredients, and brewing technique as well as sensory analysis (read: tasting). 6 samples (10cl each) and a snack are included, price is 30 euros. Reserve in person at the shop or by calling 01 43 36 53 92.

6:00pm Twist and Stout – One of our favorite places to drink beer in Paris, Le SuperCoin celebrates French stout with three examples of the hearty, dark beer on tap, including one specially brewed for the occasion by Outland and Brasserie Crazy Hops. ’60s music and dancing to complete the theme.

Visuels-Page-Concours-SlideMonday, May 26

After a busy weekend, that first day back at work might be rough. The schedule today is light, but two mellow events in the evening promise to take the edge off the beginning of the week.

Starting at 6:00pm, you can kick back in the new indoor garden at Bar Demory with French, Swedish, and American beers. Fill your belly with housemade sausages and relax in the summery atmosphere.

From 7:00pm on, you can taste Brasserie Outland’s recent collaborations with Malmö, Le Paradis, La Barbaude, Crazy Hops (formerly Brasserie de l’Ourcq) and Les Brasseurs du Grand Paris (formerly My Beer Company) at La Fine Mousse. Live jazz music to help soothe your jangled nerves.

Tuesday, May 27

10:00am-7:00pm Public Brewing and Tasting – Back on the horse! Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or opens their doors for you to watch them brew and taste their wares. At 5:00pm, Brasserie Dieu du Ciel from Québec joins the party with another round of tastings. Don’t miss their Aphrodisiaque stout – it’s a real treat.

4:00pm-8:00pm Speed Tasting Westvleteren – La Cave à Bulles pits four powerhouse Quadrupels against each other in a head-to-head (pardon the pun) blind tasting to determine once and for all which one reigns supreme: Westvleteren 12, St, Bernardus ABT 12, Rochefort 10, or Rigor Mortis? Whatever you do, eat something before going here.

Tempting options abound tonight, so we’ll divide it up geographically:

On the Left Bank, start with Bières et Fromages à la Butte aux Cailles from 5:00pm-7:00pm. The famed Fromagerie Quatrehomme will provide the cheese, and “beerologist” Elisabeth Pierre will lead the tasting and beer pairings at Le Barrault-Vins (70-72, rue Barrault, 75013). Then head to Brewberry from 7:00pm-11:00pm for Sur la Route des USA, a six-course beer pairing dinner featuring – what else? – American microbrews and cuisine. Amuse-bouche, two starters, main, cheese, and dessert with a beer pairing for each will run you 50 euros. Reserve in person at the shop or by calling 01 43 36 53 92.

On the Right Bank, begin at 6:00pm at Bar Demory with Be Crazy, Love Hops. Jerôme Picard of Brasserie de l’Ourcq (now Crazy Hops) will answer questions about brewing, hops, and his own beers as he guides you through a tasting of his work. Meanwhile, the Demory sausage makers have developed a special dish incorporating hops for the occasion. At 7:00pm, continue on to La Fine Mousse for Mixology Night co-hosted with the crew from Experimental Cocktail Club, because if you must make cocktails with beer, you might as well do it with the czars of the Paris cocktail scene. (If you miss it tonight, they’re doing it again, at ECC on Wednesday.) Follow up with Les Trois 8‘s Blind Test, initiation à la dégustation at 8:00pm, a craft beer tasting that promises to be both educational and fun. If you didn’t fill up on sausages earlier, and you wish there was an American beer dinner on this side of town, you’re in luck because Le Festin Nu is letting Les Brasseurs du Grand Paris take over their kitchen tonight from 7:00pm for Brasseur au Fourneau! They’ll be dishing up American specialties cooked with beer, designed to go with beer.

beer taps by Nick MalmquistPhoto by Nick Malmquist

Wednesday, May 28

Still conscious? Take the morning off, and tonight, we look to the North…

4:00pm-7:00pm La Brasserie Nøgne Ø, la Brasserie Sans Compromis – Bièrissime, a beer shop in the Marché St. Quentin, offers a tasting of beers from the creative and talented Norwegian brewers, Nøgne Ø.

6:00pm La Fièvre du Grand Nord – It’s Northern Fever night at Bar Demory, where they’ll be pouring beers from Södra Maltfabriken (Sweden) and Fanø Bryghus (Denmark).

6:00pm-9:00pm Belgium Blind Taste – Meanwhile, on the Left Bank, Bières Cultes (the one at 44, rue de Boulangers, 75005) will have Sint Stefanus blonde on tap, and if you do well in their Belgian beer quiz you could take home prizes bearing the abbey brewery’s logo.

8:00pm Les Brasseurs du Grand Paris at The Pure Malt – Brewer Anthony Baraff, the American half of Brasseurs du Grand Paris, will be on site at this Scottish pub to pour his beers, give away t-shirts, and talk brewing.

Thursday, May 29

1:00pm-6:00pm Atelier Brassage Amateur – Florian, a passionate homebrewer, demonstrates how to brew at home and what you need to get started in Left Bank beer shop Biérocratie.

4:00pm-8:00pm Distrikt Rock the Louxor! – If you’ve got Beer Week fatigue but still want to participate, this is the event for you. Distrikt Beer invades the Louxor movie theater bar with their brewer on site, beers, tapas, and a special playlist. You need a movie ticket (9 euros) to access the bar, so might as well stay for a film.

Not in the mood for a movie night? There are no fewer than four tap takeovers happening tonight.

Starting at 7:00pm, Danish brewing vanguard Mikkeller takes over all 15 taps at L’Express de Lyon, while at La Fine Mousse, La Nuit du Lambic promises a wide variety of fruity lambics, sour gueuzes, and other spontaneously fermented brews. Then at 8:00pm, Brasserie de La Goutte d’Or joins forces with Le SuperCoin for AfroBeer & FoodSystem, celebrating Africa and the 18th arrondissement with food and beer made in this, Paris’ most pan-African neighborhood. At the same time, Swedish brewery Malmö Bryggus invades Les Trois 8, where the brewers will be happy to guide you through a tasting of their wares.

Friday, May 30

There is a lot going on this evening, to start the weekend off right.

4:00pm – Black is Beautifull (sic) – Didn’t believe that washing machine brewery constructed last Sunday could work? Watch as it gets put to use, brewing a black IPA at Express de Lyon. If you prefer tasting to brewing, go instead to La Cave à Bulles, where Michaël Novo, brewer of Brasserie du Mont Salève is offering a free tasting of his wares.

5:00pm-8:00pm – Two beer shops on opposite ends of town host tastings, just in time for happy hour. On the Left Bank, local brewer Emmanuel of Brasserie de la Vallée de Chevreuse will be pouring his organic Volcelest beers at Biérocratie. For Right Bankers, England’s St. Austell Brewery takes pride of place at Bièrissime.

6:00pm – Again, concurrent but similarly-themed events on each side of the river, this time Italian. Bières Cultes in the 5th hosts an Aperitivo with Italy’s Extraomnes brewery until 9:00pm, while Luigi Nastri, Italian chef of La Gazzetta in the 12th, will serve dishes inspired by Birra 32.

8:00pm – Rogue ‘n’ Roll – Oregon’s most-exported brewery is the star tonight at Les Trois 8, where the playlist of American rock comes from Rogue’s brewer, and the night promises fun, special beers, and surprises.

Saturday, May 31

11:00am-3:00pm – Open House at Deck and Donohue – Taste the brewery’s 5 regular beers as well as specialties brewed just for Beer Week.

3:00pm-6:30pm – Paris International Beer Celebration – The first session of the epic grand finale event for Beer Week at Café A. 30 breweries will be pouring samples and the awards for the homebrewing competition will be awarded. Tickets for the afternoon session cost 10 euros and include a glass and 4 galopins (12.5cl tastes). There is also an all-day VIP pass (49 euros) which, in addition to access to the day and evening sessions gets you a T-shirt, poster, barbecue dinner with the brewers, and 12 galopins. Tickets can be purchased online here or in person at Les Trois 8, Le SuperCoin, Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or, Express de Lyon, La Fine Mousse, Brewberry, La Cave à Bulles, A la Bière Comme à la Bière, and Biérocratie.

4:00pm-10:00pm – “Surprise” Tasting: Brasserie Sainte Crucienne – The brewer from Sainte Crucienne, one of Alsace’s best and most innovative breweries, will be at Chop’In to offer a sneak preview of his latest beer, an on-trend black IPA.

5:00pm-8:00pm – Tasting: St. Austell – In case you missed yesterday’s tasting, La Moustache Blanche will host another chance to discover the Cornwall brewery’s offerings.

6:00pm – This is USABar Demory celebrates the United States with beers from California Brewery Anderson Valley, hot dogs, music, and dancing.

8:30pm-2:00am – Paris International Beer Celebration – The party continues at Café A with the evening session, which features a giant beer bar and dance floor. Tickets are 15 euros and include a glass and 4 galopins or two demis. See purchasing information above.

Sunday, June 1

9:00am-12:00pm – Run the Distrikt! – Gluttons for punishment can sweat out their excesses of the week with a 5k or 15k run in the country, with a glass of La 11 beer waiting at the finish. Registration information here.

12:30pm-4:00pm – Le Brunch Bavarois – For those who’d prefer to sleep in, stay in town, and fill up on sausages and pretzels, Bar Demory‘s Bavarian brunch might be a better option.

Monday June 2

Let the detox week commence!

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