La Fine Mousse
This elegant bar has been the centre of Paris’s craft-beer scene since it was opened by four friends in 2012. It’s an engaging place, with staff only too happy to recommend something from the 20 beers on tap and more than 150 in bottle. Like most of Paris’s best beer bars, halves start at €3.50; regularly on tap is Volcelest Blonde, a gently spiced ale made by Brasserie de la Vallée de Chevreuse some 30 miles southwest of the capital.
6 avenue Jean Aicard, 11th, +33 (0)1 9 8045 9464, lafinemousse.fr
There are two reasons to visit this relaxed, down-to-earth spot in the 18th arrondissement: a love of pop and a desire to drink craft beer. There are beers on offer from around France (including Alsace, from where the founders of the city’s original brasseries came). Look out, too, for beers from Brasserie La Goutte D’Or, the city’s first modern craft brewery, whose deft touch with unusual flavourings is typically Parisian.
3 rue Baudelique, 18th, +33 (0)9 5007 0490, supercoin.net
Express de Lyon
From the outside this looks like a typical bar-tabac but beer-lovers know better. Where most similar places offer Stella Artois and Kronenbourg, Express de Lyon has the likes of Mikkeller, De Molen and Magic Rock from, respectively, Denmark, Holland and England. Given its proximity to Gare de Lyon, expect a mix of travellers, locals and beer geeks.
1 rue de Lyon, 12th, +33 (0)1 4343 2132, expressdelyon.blogspot.co.uk
Les Trois 8
Space is at a premium at Les Trois 8, a hole-in-the-wall bar where glasses hang from the ceiling and the clientele spills out on to the street. The central feature is a chalkboard displaying the day’s eight beers on tap, which might be foreign (such as from Quebec brewery Dieu du Ciel) or French, like those from Craig Allan, a Scotsman who has become one of the stars of France’s growing beer scene.
11 rue Victor Letalle, 20th, +33 (0)1 4033 4770, lestrois8.fr
This Montmartre bar is for the open-minded. Briefly notorious last year for serving insect-based tapas, it boasts a small selection of the best beers, natural wines, cocktails and whiskies. Beer takes centre stage, though, with four taps (including one devoted to Pivovar Kout na Sumave, one of the Czech Republic’s most famous small breweries) and a number of bottles from France and further afield.
10 Rue de la Fontaine du But, 18th, +33 (0)1 4258 6064, lefestinnu.com
Will Hawkes is author of ‘Craft Beer London’. The first Paris Beer Week runs May 24 to June 1
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