The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Beer Bars






Thoughts on Beer Drinking in France

The beer culture of France is different than I expected.
There were lots of different beers available, even in the smaller towns.
We stopped in the morning at a rural coffee shop. This place also had four taps of French beer. So most of us had beer with our coffee.
Later that night, while walking back from dinner, we noticed some of our friends in a snack bar. It too had four taps. I pounded down a Leffe Ruby and we continued on our way.
It seemed I didn't see any place with less than four taps.
Paris has many, many neighborhoods. Each seems to have an English pub, or an Irish pub, as well as a Belgian specialty bar, plus the typical neighborhood places...many have a dozen taps. The grocery stores were a disapointment in that they had lots of Euro macro beers, but hardly any local stuff.
Some of our friends discovered a Belgian place down the street...we discovered an English pub a block in the other direction. This one had a dozen taps, and about 20 bottles. Beers were 7 € except at Happy Hour when they were 5.50 € .
The guys stopped going to the Belgian place as it cost them 10 or 11 € for a nice Belgian.


The Bombardier
68 Rue de la Montagne
75005 Paris 5e arrondissement
01 43 54 79 22

The Bombardier is an English-style beer bar in the vibrant Latin Quarter of Paris.
It offers to bring you " the spirit and atmosphere of a traditional English pub ..."
The Bombardier offers 6 draughts and one of them is a cider. The lineup includes a John Courage, the mandatory Guinness, and the eponymic Wells Bombardier.
They also offer about 10 bottles, mostly Euro-macros.
The menu features English-style pub grub.

Entertainment ranges from quiz nights and happy hour, to student nights and darts.
I wish I could tell you more about The Bombardier but I fear it was my fourth stop on a pub crawl where three would have sufficed.



18 Rue du Pot de Fer  
75005 Paris
01 43 36 53 92

Brewberry is a beer bar in a busy student district in Paris.
You'll find no taps at Brewberry, but perhaps 1000 different bottles.
The selection is mostly European, but some come from the far corners of the world, including a selction of American beers.
The place seems small, and is quite cozy, seating about 15 at the small bar and at the 4 tables.
Brewberry can often be quite busy.
One can have a beer to drink or to take out for later. Its the same price one way or the other.
Cécile, the owner, is super-nice and very knowledgeable about beer.
Snacks are advertised and the kitchen consists of a small refrigerator and a microwave.



Académie de la Bière
17 Rue Adolphe Seyboth
67000 Strasbourg, France
+33 3 88 22 16 99

Cramped and dark, even on a sunny day, is how one could describe the Acadamie de la Bière, a beer bar at the edge of the no-car zone in Strasbourg.
It's a tiny place, perhaps the size of a three- car garage, with a low timbered ceiling and although there are windows all around, there is a dingy-ness that's probably been there since before smoking was banned.
A pace inside the door are three steps up to an area that might seat 15. There are three booths immediately to the right of the door and three along the left wall. The small bar has only 5 stools, but has some standing room.
Acadamie de la Bière has 10 good Eurobeers on tap. The bottled beer list has over 150 entries, sorted by region, i.e. Alsace.
They serve sandwiches and pizza.
When I was there, the house played non-stop Motown.


Les Frères Berthom
18 Rue Tonneliers  67000 Strasbourg, France
03 88 32 81 18

Les Frères Berthom is a beer bar in the no car area of Strasbourg. Straight through the door is a fair sized U-shaped bar with only a few stools. Not much standing room as only a step away the walls are lined with small tables. There are 10 taps of (mostly) Belgian beers and a large array of bottles.
The beers are served not only in the appropriate glass but often with the correct mat!
I was surprized by the age of the patrons. There seemed to be an equal distribution from very young to very old.
There is an upstairs, but no kitchen, only peanut snacks, which come with the beer.



O'Carolan's Harp
19 Avenue Robert Schumann
57000 Metz. France
phone: +(33) 3 87 36 88 44

O'Carolan's Harp is an Irish bar in Metz, France.
It is the first bar one comes to en route to the busy shopping district a block away.
The bar is darkly paneled and has small lights, with about 10 tables and a large bar that seats about 20. A larger dining area is in the back.
They have nine beers on tap including Guinness and Kilkenny as well as several Belgians and about 30 bottled beers.
Beware: The tax is 20%, thus a E3.00 beer costs E3.60.

Note: Our researchers tell us that O'Carolan's Harp is now known as The Shannon.