The best beer places in
PARIS,
FRANCE

  Brewtopia Events LLC
www.ClassicCityBrew.com

Posted - July 2004


Yes, there is good beer in Paris!  Owen Ogletree and Kerri Allen flew to Paris in June of 2004 to see the standard Paris tourist spots and try to find the brewpubs, bars, and restaurants that offer the best beers.  We found that almost everyone in Paris is helpful and friendly, and the Metro subway system is extremely easy to figure out.  Museum and metro passes are available online at many Paris travel sites, and you should purchase these online before you leave home -- they are worth every penny.  Get a good guidebook of the city that has detailed maps and a street index, and you will be able to pinpoint all the addresses given below before you leave home.  Mapquest.com is also a good resource for mapping particular locations.  The map below shows very general zones in which each pub can be found.  Paris is sectioned into areas called "arrondissements" -- but note that the map below is not numbered by arrondissments, but simply by my zone numbers.  While in Paris watch out for pickpockets and keep your money secure in a pouch or front pocket.  Be prepared for lots of cigarette smoke in all Paris pubs and restaurants.  There are three types of Parisian pubs: those with only mass-market lagers, those with a good selection of ales and lagers (mostly the same brands from pub to pub), and those who have gone to the extra trouble to stock beers from the small, interesting breweries in France and Belgium.  The latter two types of pubs are listed below.  I'd like to thank John White of White Beer Travels for many helpful tips in finding some of the best beer spots in Paris.  Simply because I am lazy and pressed for time, I have listed all the French words below without the special characters or accent marks (sorry).  C'est La Vie...

UPDATE FROM A RECENT PARIS VISITOR IN EARLY 2008...
Owen, at the suggestion of Tom Ciccateri, I checked out your list of beer places at http://classiccitybrew.com/paris.html before my wife and I left for Paris last month.  (Actually, I had already come across it, and he just confirmed what a good, solid list it was).  Although I optimistically brought along the names and addresses of about 20 from the list, I was only able to find time for three -- Horse's Tavern, Biere Academy, and La Academie de la Biere. I also went searching for Falstaff on rue du Montparnasse, but there's a real estate store at that location, so it guess the place is kaput. In any event, I want to tell you that the three bars we ate and drank at were just as you described and were very enjoyable, indeed. At La Academie, the mussels in gueuze were wonderful (gueuze is my wife's favorite beer, so she really enjoyed herself), the folks at Biere Academy were friendly and helpful, and the planche de frommage at Horse's Tavern was varied and tasty.
Perhaps most important, I found beers I hadn't had before at all three locations (I wound up with 42 new beers altogether on the trip).  So, thanks for taking the time to post the list - it really added to our enjoyment of Paris, which as I'm sure you agree, is a wonderful city.
From: Bob Klein

Photos and text by Owen Ogletree
Owen always welcomes your e-mail and input.


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Each beer spot listed below is labeled with a number corresponding to one of my nine zones on this map of central Paris.  Hopefully, this will be of some help in finding the pubs in your guidebook and street index.  This map is also useful in getting a general idea of which group of pubs may be walkable in one afternoon and/or evening.  Most locations below also have the closest Metro station listed.



Le Bar Belge
75, Avenue de St.-Ouen
(Zone 1 from map above)
Metro:  Guy Moquet
I never made it to this Belgian pub which is a bit off the beaten path up north near the Boulevard Peripherique.  Someone please let me know if this place is still in business and if they still have a good range of Belgian and French beers and moules and frites.




Restaurant Graindorge
15, rue de L'Arc de Triomphe
(Zone 2 from map above)
Metro:  Charles de Gaulle/Etoile

If you are a lover of gourmet beers and cuisine that is prepared with beer, please be sure to visit Graindorge when in Paris.  Located only a few blocks away from the Arc De Triomphe, Graindorge is an upscale restaurant that will treat you to delicious menu items and a specialty beer list that features many products from very small French breweries.  The head chef is from Belgium and is very familiar with pairing fine beers with fine food. The menu items are a bit pricey, but worth it.




Pub Elysees Berry
2, rue de Berri
(Zone 2 from map above)
Metro:  George V
This small pub is located right off the busy, touristy Avenue des Champs Elysees.  They usually have Euro-pop music playing on the stereo and offer a very limited range of good bottled beers and a Belgian Wit on draft.  This is a tiny bit of good beer in this bustling area.




La Cervoise
11bis, Rue du Colisee (near Champs Elysees)
(Zone 2 from map above)
Metro:  Franklin D. Roosevelt
This is a pleasant, small bar near the Champs Elysees that has a decent selection of bottled beers including Westmalle, Rochefort, and other Belgian brands.  The sign out front reads "Le Bar a Bieres de Champs-Elysees."  Worth a stop if you are in the area.




Clichy's Tavern
128bis, Boulevard de Clichy
(Zone 3 from map above)
Metro:  Place de Clichy
Clichy's Tavern is a friendly pub out near the famous Moulin Rouge dance hall.  The substantial beer menu goes on for almost four pages and includes  respectable offerings from Belgium and other countries.  Stop in for lunch and try the Mussels and frites.  The Carolus Bar a few doors down looks promising as well.




Brasserie Munichoise
5 rue Danielle Casanova
(Zone 3 from map above)
Metro:  Opera or Pyramides
Here you will find a tiny bit of Munich in the middle of Paris.  The beer menu includes Erdinger wheat, Budvar Pilsener, Warsteiner Kostritzer Schwartzbier and even some Belgian Lambics.  The German sausage sampler with Bratkartoffeln is superb -- the potatoes (deep fried crisps) are a wonderful side dish.  (Thanks to Joe and Laura Ullman for information about this establishment.)




Manneken-Pis
4, rue Daunou
(Zone 3 from map above)
Metro:  Opera
Located right across across the street from the famous Harry's New York Bar, you will find the cozy Manneken-Pis bar.  This pub is named for the statue of a little urinating boy that is located in the city of Brussels.  Inside this establishment one will find an interesting array of photos featuring jazz, blues, and rock artists along with some celebrities and film stars.  The staff is more than happy to recommend food items from their menu, and the beer selection is quite good with many Belgian ales highlighting the list.  If your bottled beer is sedimented, please be sure to ask to pour your own beer into your glass, as the waitstaff often pours the entire bottle into a glass at once -- including the sediment.




Falstaff
15, rue de Dunkerque (across from the Gare du Nord rail station)
(Zone 4 from map above)
Metro:  Gare du Nord

Falstaff
42, rue du Montparnasse
(Zone 8 from map above)
Metro:  Montparnasse Bienvenue

These two delightful pubs feature many fine Belgian beers including Lambics (no Cantillons, unfortunately), Trappists, La Rochefortoise, and Gordon Scotch Ale.  Gavroche French Specialty beer at 8.5% alcohol and Ch'ti Blonde were also extremely good along with a couple of crepes from the food menu.  The interior of these pubs is bright, large and inviting.




Pinte du Nord
38, rue de St.-Quentin
(Zone 4 from map above)
Metro:  Gare du Nord
Another pub that is very close to the Gare du Nord train station, Pinte du Nord is a beautiful bar with a very welcoming interior and staff.  Draft beers such as Leffe, Loburg, and Hoegaarden are offered, along with bottles such as Duvel, Biere du Ch'Ti, Mort Subite Lambic, and the range of Chimays.  Limited hot food items are also available.




Rendez Vous des Belges
23, rue de Dunkerque
(Zone 4 from map above)
Metro:  Gare du Nord
This pub is on the same block as one of the Falstaff locations listed above.  The beer menu includes many standard Belgian beers that are seen at many other bars listed on this page: Kwak, Rochefort, Duvel, Orval, DeKoninck, etc.  Although many locals love this bar, it is also a favorite of many English and Belgian tourists who arrive via the train station across the street.  Check out the statue of Mannekin Pis in back that is illuminated with blue neon lights (see photo) and the attractive beer bottle artwork on the ceiling.  The food menu is very worthy of attention, with many unique and interesting items. 




La Taverne Republique
Place de la Republique
(Zone 4 from map above)
Metro:  Republique
The happy hour beer prices in this pub make the full pints the same price as the half pints, so try to arrive in the late afternoon (you'll also have a better chance at finding a seat).  A fun place with kid's cartoon books all over and a big porcelain dragon over the restroom doors, La Taverne Republique is located in not the most attractive area of Paris a few blocks walk from any other pub on our list, but it is still worth your time.  You will find a good range of Belgian beers here along with interesting French ales such as Angelus, Sansculette (amber), La Goudale Blonde, La Choulette (amber), delicious Cervoise Lancelot, and Ch'ti.  Be sure not to confuse this pub with other "Tavernes" on the square.  Food items are typical brasserie fare with mussels being the standout.




Le Mazet
61, rue Saint-Andre-des-Arts
(Zone 6 from map above)
Metro:  Odeon
This was a fun pub, but not particularly outstanding for beer connoisseurs.  It features the standard range of beers in above average pubs in Paris, very friendly staff, and customers who love to smoke.  Jim Morrison even visited here shortly before his death in Paris.  The upstairs area has a nice view of the bar down below and the art on the walls and ceilings is pleasant.  If you are feeling adventuresome, try the expensive "biere flambee" where a spirit of some kind is poured into a large glass and set on fire.  A smoked or stein beer is then poured into the hot glass just before serving.  Snack type foods are offered.




Le Taverne de Nesle
32, rue Dauphine
(Zone 6 from map above)
Metro:  Odeon
This tavern has pop music in the background and appeals to a somewhat younger crowd.  Nevertheless, the beer selection is very decent with Trappists and other Belgian brews (including Forbidden Fruit) being the standouts.  It is amazing that some tasteless, imported lagers here are the same prices as some of the outstanding Belgian selections!  Many fine French beers are also offered.  The food menu is very limited.  The place opens in the late afternoon, and you should be sure to visit early if you'd like a quiet place to sit and enjoy a beer.




Horse's Tavern
16, carrefour de l'Odeon
(Zone 6 from map above)
Metro:  Odeon
This was the first pub we visited on our recent trip to Paris, and Kerri and I were quite pleased with the food and beer.  There is a huge menu here that features chicken, salads, and seafood.  There are beers mixed with fruit juices and liqueurs (be wary) and a big bottle list.  The interior of the Horse is attractive, warm, dark oak.




O'Neil
20, rue des Canettes
(Zone 6 from map above)
Metro:  St.-Germain des Pres
This brewpub is part of a chain of French establishments (they even have one in Montreal, Canada) that feature their own house brews and food.  The attractive brew room is up front, and patrons can get a sampler palette of the four homebrews.  The Blonde, Amber, Brown, White (Blanche), and Bock were all drinkable, but had a distracting house mineral, herbal flavor.  Perhaps this will improve in the future.  If you are hungry, try the flatbread pizzas called Flammekeuches (they are delicious). 




Frog and Princess
9, rue Princesse
(Zone 6 from map above)
Metro:  Mabillon
An English ale brewpub chain in Paris?  I know that the Frog's beers are not true real ales (they have gas additions and are served out of large tanks).  The beers are mild in flavor and easy to drink.  I still love these places!  They are cheery, fun, and have tasty, filling food items.  Paris also has the Frog and Rosbif (see listing and photo below), the Frog and British Library ( 114, avenue de France, M: Bibliotheque), and the Frog at Bercy Village (25 cour Saint Emillion).  Beers include: Froegaarden white beer (4.2% alcohol), Dark de Triomphe (5%), and Inseine Bitter (4.4%).  Happy hour is 5:30-8 pm.




La Gueuze
19, rue Soufflot
(Zone 6 from map above)
Metro:  Cardinal Lemoine
Spontaneously fermented Lambics from Belgium are featured here at La Gueuze.  The very best versions are the expensive brands from Cantillon in Brussels, but there is quite a range of other beers from which to choose.  Some French beers are on the menu along with Duvel and some Belgian Trappist varieties.  This is an attractive and friendly place that should definitely be a part of your Parisian itinerary.




Frog and Rosbif
116, rue St.-Denis
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Etienne Marcel
Pictured to the right is Frog brewer, Mike Gilmore, who is actually from the United States.  He's worked with many microbreweries in America before deciding to move to Paris with his French wife to work with the Frog brewpub chain.  The food at the pubs is very British oriented with eggs and smoked salmon, bangers and mash, a curry dish or two, and fish and chips.  The tiny brewery at the Rosbif is in the basement and shows signs of age and wear-and-tear, but it still cranks out plenty of ales to supply the pub.  Most of the staff and patrons at the Frog are British, so if you become tired of French cuisine and want to speak a little English with someone, stop by for an ale, a meal, and a conversation.




Hall's Beer Tavern
68, rue St.-Denis
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Chatelet-Les Halles
By now you probably have realized that "brasserie" in French refers to a type of restaurant rather than a brewery.  Students and quite a young crowd tend to hang out here at Hall's, and the beer selection is good with almost 200 bottles from which to choose and a heavy emphasis on Belgian brews.  There is also a big TV for viewing European sports.




Le Sous-Bock Tavern
49-51, rue Saint-Honore
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Chatelet-Les Halles
The funny name of this bar means "under Bock" and refers to a beer coaster (I think).  This is definitely a must-see beer spot in Paris for any fan of great beer.  There are Lambics, Leffe, and Guinness on draft and a huge range of bottled beers (including a whole menu section with some rare examples from tiny French breweries).  Try to avoid the gimicky "cocktails de bieres" and "bieres flambee."  The food menu is noteworthy as well with mussels and frites, beer cuisine, cheeses, meat dishes, soups, and sandwiches.  You'll also find dartboards and a huge amount of comfortable seating.  Thirsty for a Biere de Garde at 5 am?  No problem -- Sous-Bock is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!




Au Trappiste
4, rue St.-Denis
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Chatelet
St.-Denis used to be known for its sex shops and strip clubs, but now the street has cleaned itself up and is home to some pleasant shops, cafes, and taverns.  Au Trappiste is on the south end of the street (near the river Seine) and is one of the most attractive beer bars in the city.  There is breezy outdoor seating during the warm months of the year and beautiful light wooden decor inside with matching beams, walls, and tables.  Here the beer fan will find a very nice selection of Belgian bottled beers and well prepared food items.




Le Tango du Chat
6, rue Saint-Severin
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame
The Cat is a small pub in a touristy area of Paris.  There is a respectable selection of French and Belgian beers and some tasty daily food specials.  Some say the beer selection has become smaller in recent years, but it is still a pleasant spot for a beer and a tavern meal.




La Taverne de Cluny
51, Rue de la Harpe
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame
Again, a pleasant pub in a bit of a  touristy area.  Cluny has standard pub food and eight draft (pressions) beers (including Leffe, Hoegaarden, and  Guinness) and 18 or so bottles (half these are somewhat interesting -- Lambics, EKU 28 from Germany, Orval, Rochefort, etc.).




Biere Academy
7, rue des Ecoles
(Zone 7 from map above)
Metro:  Cardinal Lemoine
The Biere Academy is an enjoyable pub manned by a fun-loving staff who really knows their beer.  Appropriate glassware is used for the most part, and the beers are served in good condition.  Try a French microbrew such as Ch'ti from Castelain, Korenwolf (a 5% white beer from the Gulpener Brewery), or a classic Belgian ale like LaChouffe. There is a cozy bar to the left of the entrance and seating for diners in the back.  Be sure not to confuse this place with L'Academie de la Biere (see listing below). 




Ti Jos
30, rue Delambre
(Zone 8 from map above)
Metro:  Edgar Quinet
This restaurant has food and beers from Britanny.  The upstairs restaurant is very popular, and there is a small pub downstairs for beer.  Upon our visit, there was one French cider on draft and two French beers.  The Cervoise Lancelot was outstanding along with Bonnets Rouges - a fruity, French amber ale.  Upstairs has a big, diverse menu with a wide range of crepes for dessert.  Don't miss this unique establishment.




Le Pantalon Bar
7, rue Royer Collard
(Zone 8 from map above)
Metro:  Cardinal Lemoine
The English translation of this pub means "trousers," and there is a big painting on the front of the building of women with no trousers.  The name is also a play on words from the nearby burial hall and landmark Le Pantheon.  Happy hour at Le Pantalon is 5:30 to 7:30 pm and is often populated with the local college crowd.  The beer menu is moderate here, and the night that Kerri and I popped in was very crowded and smoky.  Nonetheless, be sure to stop by if you are in the area.




Le Academie de la Biere
88bis, Blvd. de Port-Royal
(Zone 8 from map above)
Metro:  Denfert Rochereau
As mentioned above, this pub is different from the Beer Academy.  Here there are a dozen draft beers that are all noteworthy and a range of bottled beers that include: Affligem, Ename, Cantillon, Hoegaarden Grand Cru, Rodenbach Grand Cru, St. Bernardus Abt, and Karmeliet.  There are also some German and French bottled beers from which to choose.  The food is also excellent -- with mussels in Gueuze being my favorite.  If the upstairs is crowded, try the smaller downstairs dining area.




The Bombardier
2, Place du Pantheon
(Zone 8/9 from map above)
Metro:  Cardinal Lemoine
Right on the Pantheon square you will find another English pub in Paris -- the Bombardier.  This is a Charles Wells pub with front patio, bar inside the front door, and dining area to the left.  The afternoon that Kerri and I ventured inside, we were excited to see real ale hand pumps on the bar.  We were very disappointed to find that these pumps are not really authentic -- the beer seemed to be dispensed from serving tanks with added nitrogen gas (quite a shame).  The beers were somewhat tasty, however, and included a range of standard English Pale Ales and a Stout.  The place had loud music forcing its way from the speakers and was one giant cloud of cigarette smoke inside.  Happy hour is from 6-9 pm.




L' Envol Quebecois
32, rue Lacepede
(Zone 8/9 from map above)
Metro:  Monge
This delightful pub has a theme that encompasses all things Quebec.  The beers of Montreal's Unibroue brewery are featured here along with some cool decorations and wall hangings from French Canada.  The owner and waitstaff are very friendly, and the area of Paris where the pub is located is very interesting and off the beaten track of most tourists.  Be sure to try the Maudite, Trois Pistoles, and Blanche de Chambly beers from Unibroue.




La Pompe a Biere
52, avenue des Gobelins
(Zone 9 from map above)
Metro:  Les Gobelins
The Beer Pump is worth seeking out.. There are 12 draft beers here that are relatively standard for the better pubs in Paris, and their 180 bottles include: Paulaner Roggen (rye), Ch'ti, Trois Monts, La Chouffe, Angelus, Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort, etc.  This pub is near the Place d'Italie and has the best beer selection in the entire area.  There are full meals here with croque monsieurs, fried haddock, moules and frites, and onion soup highlighting the menu. There is a nice wine store next door called La Cave des Gobelins, and the English ale brewpubs Frog at Bercy and Frog and British Library are several blocks to the east.





"Bars and pubs serve as great entertainment centers for people to meet up -- no matter what part of the world you are in.  When there is great beer, it makes it that much better, and that's where this guide comes in!"




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