"When we sell out beer at the Levallois market, none of the locals believe that there is a brewery in the area. I even had a girl who said she went to the address, thus proving that there is no brewery. "
Perched on the top floor of a 5... 6... what feels like 7 story building, in a 10 meter squared office above his own family's flat, Fabrice Le Goff runs My Beer Company. With the help if his co-brewer Anthony Baraff he makes the many stair'ed march with bags of grain and the occasional brew equipment. The man is a legend.
Me, out of shape beer blogger that I am, and my internal collection of beers (beer gut) were sweating, panting and appalled at the idea of hulking malt up that mountain of a building, while Fabrice kindly offered water and said that is was a bit tiring. He wasn't even breathing hard, the animal.
Fabrice, a native of Brittany, founded My Beer Company two years ago and says that the craft beer scene in France has changed dramatically in the those two short years. But that materials are easy to come by seeing as how France is one of the world's (if not the) largest producer of malt.
Also joining our tasting session, the owner and founder of BièrEVOLUTION, William Faria, American born French citizen who is one of those beer geeky beard rubbing types.
[caption id="attachment_1802" align="aligncenter" width="995"] Will on the left, Fabrice on the right, Brewery in the back[/caption]
Fabrice and Will met a few years back and were over joyed to find one other, mentally hoppy-capped beer lovers both living in the same area.
"We were both so alone, it was nice to see other beer fools."
Both men agree that their biggest obstacle at the moment is storage. They both use the same underground storage facility that is handled by workers who are used to hauling around wine. When it comes to storing flats of beer, the French employees groan, grumble and merde.
Will hints that he might be making some big additions to his import list, so if you live in France, get your local shop to ring him up (+33 (0) 6 99 70 06 73) and soon, you'll be basking in the beauty of international beer bottles galor.
As the lone wolf operator of BièrEVOLUTION Will is at the forefront the changes that have been waving across the French beer scene in recent years.
But... the change is gradual. French craft beer isn't at a point there consumers are ready for seasonal beers even. Although there are a few places like, L’Eurelienne in Chandres who do a Christmas cuvee, don't expect to be seeing any pumpkin pints around Paris anytime soon.
My Beer Company
When asked if My Beer Company had any plans in the future of distributing to larger chain stores, Fabrice shook his head with an infatic no.
We are not looking to sell in the grocery stores because there is a huge difference between the small bottles shops who are able to educate the customer and a consumer who simply picks up a bottle. They won't know what hit them!
A: Chill hazed golden blond
S: Soft fragrant floral hops, sugared malt
T: Sweet hops, melting caramel and great exotic fruits. Almost like fruity pepples with it's great floral bouque and wild fruits.
M: Medium body
O: Great hoping wonder, here is a beer that you can drink all evening and not get your hop loving face melted off. Smooth and drinkable with just a perfect amount of aggressive bittering to give you a kick but not repeat the tongue lashing after it's down your throat.
Last batch was closer to an IPA admits Fabrice- hop addicts brewing beer need to show restraint.
MY BEER COMPANY- Citra Galactique 6.5%
S: Amazing NZ hops, citra galore
T: Dancing hops and a refreshing hop bite, palate pleasing and "yes I'll have another."
My first go with Citra Galactique back in the heat of June was no less in love than now.
The label of Citragalactiue is about to get an overhaul! French legislation requires anything consumable goods to have a certain percentage of and proper labeling to indicate the amount of, said ingredient. You put Citra on your label? That is a hop, please label your beer with the exact amount of that Citra hop used, Miseur et Merci, au revoir.
French legal system is a tough piece of jerky, so it is easier to change the label then account for the minuscule amounts of hops used in the beer.
A: Big, thick bubbled head
S: Vanilla, roasted malt, warm coffee and caramel
T: Yeasty, slight vanilla- caramel malt backbone.
M: Warming and dry
O: Smooth, bitter, lingering dry hopped bitter with balancing vanilla notes
Was dry hopped with vanilla beans!
We finished the tasting session with a a French Breakfast Stout that the pair pulled out from the back room, in back reserve and not currently being sold. (o.0) Special.
[caption id="attachment_1838" align="alignleft" width="300"] Pain au chocolate- common French breakfast item YUM[/caption]
A: No head- super dark
S: Meaty, malty , chocolate sweet
T: Like a French breakfast- pain au chocolate
M: Slippery and smooth
O: Great chocolate loving Mary this tickles the tummy! Stouts are a beautiful thing but when the coffee notes take over, Nitch takes a break. This stout hints at coffee without whamming you in the face with cold coffee grinds. Delicate and delicious! Literally like a dark chocolate bar, wrapped in buttery French croissant. Looking forward to seeing more of this French Breakfast Stout on the shelves at CaB.
We are at the dawning of a new age, in Paris!
It is black and white on the streets of Paris- New vs Old. You have classic belgian beer bars across the street from new craft beer bars and their are grumbling and eye rolling in both directions.
Belgian beer bars have matching glasses for each beer, traditional lagers and beers defined by their color while new craft beer bars have brews from around the world, beer educated servers and define beers by their style.
TRAVELERS NOTE: If you are out and about in foreign beer hunting territory try looking for beers with their style on the label rather than color.
Thank you very much to both Fabrice and Will for welcoming a lone beer geek into the Paris underground. We all look forward to many years of craft beer expansion, hop culture saturation and a shift from traditional to My Beer Company with an evolution of beer.
Merci beaucoup Fabrice et Will pour accueillir un passionné de bière solitaire dans la résistance de Paris. Nous attendons tous avec impatience beaucoup d'années d'expansion de bière de métier, la saturation de biere culture et un changement de traditionnel à My Beer Company avec la évolution de bière a Paris.