Monday, December 30, 2013

Tasing Biérocratie!!

Looking for neighborhood beer culture inspiration?

Newly opened cave à bière has just the bureaucratic thing the 13eme needs


Holiday bottles to share

The newly opened craft beer bottle shop located at 32, rue de l'Espérance is owned by a young and beautiful married duo on hand at all times to lead you through the growing selection of local and import brews available in Paris, France.

Horaires d'ouverture :
Lundi & mercredi : 16h30 - 20h
Mardi, jeudi, vendredi & samedi : 11h - 20h

In French or in English, Pierre and Jaclyn are ready to help you discover your newest beer addiction. For me, it's Cycle Éphémère or Corinne Louise which we sampled during and meet and greet last week.


Holiday bottles to share

[caption id="attachment_2325" align="alignnone" width="696"]DSC_2153 (1) The bigger the bottle, the more to share! (or horde)[/caption]

and a full refrigerator stocked with beers to go

[caption id="attachment_2320" align="alignnone" width="687"]DSC_2144 Beers chilled for your immediate enjoyment[/caption]

With everything from beer soap, to beer vingaire, to beer fashion asscesories.

[caption id="attachment_2322" align="alignnone" width="696"]DSC_2148 Hand made local beer soap[/caption]

Beer hunters beware: Biérocratie is addicting! shelves packed with the best beers France has to offer, knowledgable owners on hand to educate and prices at a wallet friendly level. One is bound to spend more than passing time.

[caption id="attachment_2326" align="alignnone" width="696"]DSC_2155 Hand made up cycled bottle crown earrings[/caption]

those lucky enough to live in the area have learned that, although Heinekin might be cheaper, a share bottle of craft beer carries better than a case of green glass and cardboard. (feel free to leave your macro brew box outside when entering)


Follow Biérocratie to get up dates on the growing Parisian craft beer scene and high five the power couple behind the name who is holding down for craft beer in the 13eme.

CRAFT FRENCH BEER- coming to a neighborhood near you!



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tasting- A la bière comme à la bière

A la bière comme à la bière


Located at 20 Rue Custine, 75018, this cave a biere/sampling bar/beer-shake hut is one of Paris's new cool craft beer kid hang outs.

Six month old A la bière comme à la bière is a play on a classic French proverb: à la guerre comme à la guerre. Which literally means at war as at war but is translated more like all's fair in love and war, or the ends justify the means.


Jean baliste and Clarel are on hand to help fit a beer to your current mood. And, if for some reason you aren't sure what you are in the mood for, they'll let you buy a few and take a sampling seat.

If they don't have enough room in their mini back area (as was the case when we were visiting) then they'll pull out some fold out tables and chairs. Why not sit right in the middle of the room, like we did, for a front door view and arms reach to all the beer shelves.

At beer as at beer

Taking it's fighting stand, ready to do what it has to do to survive- beer culture in Paris is blossoming at a spring fever rate!

If you haven't had a chance to stop by A la bière comme à la bière and aid in the cause, then I'd suggest hopping over for your favorite hoppy brew on a Friday evening. Just the right balance of bustle and body mass to make the shop stand out in the lonely, dim winter street but no drunk patrons or over pricing.


The young, hip and well mannered crowd inside were drinking a huge range of beers from Sierra Nevada to Rouge Dead Guy Ale.


My Ridiculous Co-Host and I here there for big bottles. Show me the big guns! Christmas bells ringing in our ears, we started by snatching up the last bottle of Rouge's Double Chocolate Stout. Ridiculous Co-Host chose it himself, and commented on how beers like this double chocolate stout make for a great after sex sip. Answering the question posted in a recent comment here on TastingNitch.


I chose to keep things holiday G-rated and picked out a Biere d'hiver by St. Rieul and Bon Veux by Dupont. After drinking the Rouge and Biere d'hiver at our randomly placed table, we decided to get our take home groove on because, like most of the other Friday night people, we had places to be.

Bon Veux got consumed over conversation and laughter.

We got drunk.

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien was spilt all over the house ( don't worry, a great deal got into our mouths) and was reviewed for beertube in a team effort to show young people the detrimental effects drinking has on one's ability to profile a beer.

Thank you A la bière comme à la bière for selling such outstanding beer for me and my Ridiculous Co-Host to slobber all over this winter season.

Looking forward to my next trip to the beer war zone where I'll be loading my belly with beer-shakes!




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Papa Noël's shrimp and Kernel loving beard


Noël !


What is better than stuffing one's face with oysters, shrimp with home made mayonnaise, vegan falafel, deviled eggs (aka mimosas en français) and sauvage saumon?

Stuffing one's face in good company while listening to christmas songs and discussing beer! That's what!

The Noël Box

This winter season left Nitch family-less, partner-less and in a general, "bah-humbug, it's just another day," kinda mood.

Until recieving a box on christmas eve.

Santa came early and he came in the form of a a three headed english man: The Craft Beer Channel. Jonny and the gents from The Craft Beer Channel had sent over a box of hand selected craft brews from the UK and mailed them over to Paris just in time for christmas diner!

Watch me unwrapping the box of goodies here.

The Noël Drink

With two bottles of beer mail in tow, I attended a private dinner party with the family of my Marilyn Monroe like friend.

The Kernel


Santa's Beard


Marilyn picked up on the caramel notes of Santa's Beard but explained that champagne was the chocolate cookie of Christmas in her French upbringing:
"We always had to leave a glass of champagne out for Santa before we went to bed."

The Noël Food

Marilyn's sister is married to a Columbian man who whipped up a guacamole like it was bread and butter. He also happened to be a beer fan and had some nice German lagers on hand. We were able to wade through Spanish vs English accented French to discuss the differences between lagers and ales. Education is key to enjoyment, I educated myself with his guacamole recipe while he sipped on the best fermented hops this side of the ocean.

La Mère buzzed around with arm loads of excessively delicious foods in quantities that would have suggested an army was in attendance.

I did my personal best to put a dent in the two kilos of shrimp. Because I wanted to eat them and no one else knew how. I realized that no matter how badly one might want to stop eating, there is always room for more cheese... cheese cake... chocolate tiramisu... and beer... or champagne. At more than one point we made references to La Grande Bouffe.


The Noël Bisous!

Kisses to everyone this holiday season! I can't wait to see what everyone else eat, drank and discussed for this year's Christmas eve feast.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tasting- 3ter Triple Blonde au cafe


A Goutte D'or and Lomi Cafe collaboration

urlTwo of Paris's leading innovators in hand crafted sipp'ables have joined forces like Rocky and Bullwinkle to create a beer the likes of Paris (and the world!) has never seen:

3 ter

Triple Belgian blonde ale with coffee

The unveiling of 3ter drew in the who's who of Paris's craft beer scene with an invite only event at Lomi Cafe on 3ter (thus the brew name) rue Marcadet, 75018 PARIS.

We've seen stout and coffee, porter and coffee, and even some lager and coffee but not yet have I had the pleasure of crossing paths with a belgian blond and coffee (if you have, please share the information!).

Check out a kickass film clip created by Monsieur Brice showcasing 3ter and the men behind like rockstars.

The Beer

Appearance wise 3ter is a delight with a slightly chill hazed tawny orange.

Smells of yeast breads and belgian beer spice abound but some apple/fruity tangs creep in around the edges.

The taste is where things go slightly array as the word cafe sticks in one's mind while the Belgian yeast esters blast banana and fruity apple zing. Spiced breast, banana and finishes with a slightly roasted bitter... coffee?

Mouthfeel is best described as a slick and buttery breaded roll that lingers on the palate- Hello Belgium!

Overall I'd say that 3ter is a great Triple Blonde ale! And if I sip on the two coffees brewed for the event, which were added to the beer, then I can say things like, 'yeah, I get some of that coffee bitter at the end," or "some of the roasted notes some through on the nose," but in actuality my mind is willing a change to reality. The coffee might add some of that spiced apple wassle to the finish, but then again my over caffeinated mind might be playing holiday tricks on me again.

How much caffeine does 3ter pack? Will we be able to substitute this for our morning coffee?

Not likely. There wasn't any testing done to determine how much caffeine 3ter will inject into your brain, but the amount isn't likely to be very noticeable. Bummer. But it also means that we can safely drink without becoming Four Loko health risks.

The Coffee


Not all Parisian coffee is equal and not all beans are created equal. Lomi Cafe uses only Aribca beans,
"...not because we are prejudice but it's hard to find a Robusta grown with the same care."

Two coffee additions were made to 3ter:

Kenya roast (the larger cup pictured above) was fresh ground next to the brew kettle, added to a muslin sack and let to rest in the wort for about 7 minutes before. The Kenya brew is tangy and bitter with huge roasted coffee notes and a crazy strong earthy smell. This bean was processed using the washed method.

Costa Rican roast (the smaller cup picture above) smells of cinnamon and warm apples, tasting like a spiced christmas wassail and bitter apple peel. This blend was dried with the cherry bit still attached and then removed before roasting. This distinct ground was brewed and then added to the bottle conditioning.

We aren't coffee experts here at Tasting Nitch, we are beer people, but it never hurts to learn some other crafty lingos and get our equatorial bean on.

Fun Fact: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR GROUND COFFEE IN THE FRIG! According to our professional friends at Lomi Cafe it not only does not prolong the life of your grind beans but the change from heat to cold and moisture will absorb away the better flavors of the batch. Leave your grounds in a cool, dark back cupboard for best results. And this is coming from the 2011 Latte art champion, people so, ya know, he knows some shit about coffee.


The Label Let Down

rocky_bullwinkle1Although not 100% bull, beautiful label design and slick movie clip advertising can't change the fact that 3ter isn't what we were expecting. Label let down:

"le café n'est pas la, mais c'est très équilibré"


What were we expecting? To be impressed but not attacked by coffee and malts. Creating something new is always a risk and if there had been too much coffee roast on the Belgian blend then no one would have drank at all. So the safe road is to down play the coffee, catering to the traditional Belgian brew aware French palate.

But, personally, if something has an ingredient on the label (cough, cough- coconut) then I'm expecting a distinct representation of that ingredient.

3ter is a beautiful triple Belgian ale that has yet to display itself as a triple blonge with coffee. Give it more time perhaps and that duel yeasting might settle down a bit and allow the ample amounts of added coffee to stand out more, but for the time being we are looking at a beer that shines in concept. At least it is enjoyably drinkable unlike some strange ingredient french beers we've encountered.

Beautiful people, beautiful mouth amusings and simply the best Paris to offer- until the next batch. We want more COFFEE! We want more Lomi Cafe and Goutte D'or!

Thank you both companies for hosting such a great event to display your lasted experiment, Paris awaits your next batch with caffeine glazed eyes and yeasty lips.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

After work beer review- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

What to drink after work?

Nitch's got you covered with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale video review.

I finished working at the pub and, although I usually go for a Brooklyn IPA because the hops will blast through all the vodka shots I've been taking all night, I picked up a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and was delightfully surprised by how enjoyable it was. Simple, crisp, clean and not mass produced muck I had thought it was.

urlSomething about Sierra Nevada had me thinking that the company had sold to one of the big macro brew companies, thusly landing itself on my "it's fine but I don't want to give my money to the man" list.

After some net searching I found I was completely fucking wrong (nothing new there) and was thinking out my ass.

If anyone knows WHY I would have thought that (something in the news?) please let me know.

Sierra Nevada might be a staple of normality where you come from, but we are one of the only bars on the block that sells it (for some strange reason) and I recently got around to drinking a bottle. My first Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in decades.



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Friday, December 6, 2013

The Session #82- A Late Night December Beer

session Welcome back

to another beer blogging friday session circle! Tonight's topic is brought you by Beers I've Known

"The nights are drawing in, there may even be snow, what better way to enjoy a beer than in front of a log fire. Turn that TV off and talk to your drinking compatriots."

Here in Paris, as the days get colder and colder, the streets get more and more gaudy, and we are forced to greet the fact that less of our paychecks will be dedicated to boozing. Tis the season for sales and forced family enjoyment.

Unfortunately, yours truly has neither the paycheck for sales nor the family to avoid. So I've decided to share my beery tales of woe and heartbreak around a smokers circle on a late Parisian Sunday evening.

Let Uncle Tom play, while you read:

Warm beer and cold women


I don't have anyone to go home to in the cold, so after closing the pub on Sunday night, or rather Monday morning at 4am, I joined the buzzing drunks at

The last late night beer joint in Paris

 An underground beer drinking adventure in December.

As we close our bar late, we are nearly the last ones standing.

But not the last. So we few, partially sober souls, go for an after work drink. This isn’t a simple 'quick one with the friends before heading home because you have to work tomorrow', this is the last open beer joint in Paris.

By the time we (the second to last crew) shuffle into the bar and remove our layers of winter gear, our security man, who leaves with the drunk exodus as we close, is already having relationship issues and finding new romances.

The bar’s bar staff are all men and women of the saloon area. They chose family life and also a night time existence- they are some of the most insane people on the planet. Rotund, expressive ex-Hell’s Angels and gothic ex-beauty queens.

The crowd are all the last men standing. They are each that one experienced drinker in the group who is always ready for another shot. That cheery fellow who chats with strangers, uses drug to excess for his entire life and is prone to wonder off in search of wilder landscapes. When he goes ghost- the last late night beer joint is where he goes.

The last girl standing before me had dropped out of the haze mid way into our first beer upon entering. She had likely already been there for several hours (or days), as she had three men in tow all flirting with her oblivious of their rivals equal intentions. She was able to navigate her way to the bathroom with efficiency, unassisted by said crew. As the last female in the pack, I must have looked like a giant stuffed chicken standing in a room full of bulimics.

A man in a holiday hat (unfashionably too soon, in my opinion) falls from the bar while asking the cherry cheeked bar man if Guinness has more alcohol than the other beers. I'll be safe as long as they can't see me.

This festive early December grew would have been interesting but my brain on a backwash of wondering what it was that my manager had ordered for me to drink. I could only stare at the glass in my hand appalled that he hadn't consulted me for my order, and this was what I got. I say that he ordered it for me as if it were a blended strawberry margarita and I was aghast by his presumptuousness when in actuality it was a commercial lager, much worse. He ordered in bulk and we all got our load of liquid gold. Many times was the beer sloshed around, small pieces of it being heartlessly discarded. Maybe it needs that rice adjunct so that it can feel better about losing so much of  itself to dirty beer joint floors.
"Joyeux noel!"

He shouted to our circle and we all made a clinking cheers to the winter season. I didn't want my beer, it made my hand cold and my stomach hurt. Maybe that was in my mind, not my stomach, but rather it was Heineken, Pelforth, 1664 or some other fizzy yellow mess, I could only ponder as to why someone would drink such a thing this close to Christmas. Is this considered being naughty? Will beer Santa punish me?

When I was done divining my future by way of beer froth, I had already made the rather forceful suggestion that we all have another drink. I make myself sound tough here, as if I was pushing the lager swilling like a frat brat but in reality I had handed my ½… 3/4ths… unconsumed beer to a larger male co-worker, mouthing something about how it tasted like failure. He accepted it with a concerned look and I roused the team to finish their drinks so we could surface for a second go. I wanted a whiskey to burn out the lager taste.

The surface level of the bar came with a welcome blast of nearly breathable air, unlike the lower level where the smokers are. The submarine downstairs is a windowless, black painted concrete box attached to the bathrooms. The outdoors is cold and wet, us careless drunks are likely to slip to our death and our jovial singing outdoors bothers the local residents. So if you feel the need to chain smoke your heroin high down then underground is where you belong. And where all the best mingling is.

As we settle back into the cigarette fish tank, I protectively hold my over priced Jameson like a cross, thinking "fizzy yellow beer is for wussies," and count the amount of people who are drinking pints of piss.


What an unlucky frickin number.

People can't see their beer, let alone smell or taste it, so no wonder they need drugs to help enjoy their evening.

I witness a moment of mixed childlike/apelike wonder where half the smog chamber assembly converge on one of the walls to inharmoniously bang out beats (artists, them all) and I realize that they think I am the most insane person they have ever met. I, whom hasn’t snorted anything in a nearly a decade, is trying to relate with people who are out at a bar at 6:30 am on a Monday. I carry baby carrots, hand lotion and 90% cocoa chocolate with me to all my bar shifts. I’m the perfect balance of flirty bar maid and assertive bar wench. I have detailed serving recipes sorted in my brain to such a degree that I can’t even access them without triggers. I have to be reminded of a drink before I can think of it, I am a professional drinker on a different level from these people but these late night monsters are my holiday relatives and I we are stuck together for the season. Might as well order another drink and try to speak French.

This is the place where you can do whatever you want, be whomever you want- wear sunglasses in the dark, proclaim your love for America after mocking John Wayne or creep around like a chicken and make dinosaur noises. It's the family living room. Most of these people would never converse on a normal occasion, but this is a holiday and we trapped here by the bar fireplace.

You don't have to say goodbye when you leave, everyone understands that there is only so much family time a person can handle. The security guy is like Dad at the door, asking where you are going for the rest of the evening. He is going to lock the door behind you and you won't be welcome back until the next day.

As the taxi rolls along the winter festival streets, starting to hum with early holiday shoppers, the sun is starting to melt up from the side of the planet where all the good beer is made. Hop plants have been soaking in the sun for hours and here I am, just ending a day that is starting. I hope my family is doing okay and that the late night beer joint doesn't run out of beer before tomorrow. See you there!