Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ughh... KB is full! Oh... Chocolate!

... Or, how to avoid the cafe wifi crowd by enjoying chocolate


On a daily basis the Parisian Anglophone herd moves from one Australian owned coffee to another. Fountation, Lomi Cafe, Ten Belles etc. Meeting up for bisouses, gossip and work while drinking finely crafted cafe filtre and eating delicious handmade goodies.

My local joint is KB :




Trendy looking, no?

Finding a seat is can be a game of human jenga.

Oh... Chocolate!


Three months ago a chocolate boutique opened two doors down from KB. Cafe, lounge, imported goodies and homemade chocolate fondue, all circling around a generous owner who sells the finest products of his mother land: Pays Basque.

Alexandre Passadellis Lafourcade speaks English, French, Spanish and Greek so there is no way to miss his cheery "Welcome," when you take a seat.

[caption id="attachment_2572" align="alignright" width="250"]Basque is that round area in the lower right hand corner: learn more here. Basque is that round area in the lower right hand corner: learn more here.[/caption]

Did I mention the pimente chocolate? You heard me. Order an espresso and you get a delicate nugget of pepper spiced 70% cocoa chocolate.

Best part is that there is free wifi and ample seating. Stay as long as you like! There are power outlets galore!

FOR THOSE OF YOU (and you know you who you are) to whom it greatly concern- the bathroom has chocolate Sephora hand soap and an airblade drying machine. Fear not.




 You didn't think I would be writing this if there wasn't a relation to beer did you?

Oh... Chocolate! will be importing a speciality beer from the owner's homeland: La brasserie AKERBELTZ.

Akerbeltz Gorrasta-Ambrée

This spanish blog reviews some of the Akerbeltz beers with favor, saying that although he'd like something with a bit more strength, it beer is fairly well rounded.

From now on, I'll walk past KB (to say hello to my trendy friends) and step two meters down Rue Trudaine to Oh... Chocolate! for my coffee wifi lounging needs.

Get on my level.

XOXO -Nitch

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mout & Mocca will you marry me? Non, peut-être

De Molen, the Amsterdam based brewery, may have the keys to my beer beating heart! They consistently rock out liquids that are unique and well balanced with great flavor profiles and beer geeky labels. I like that I the inside is clearly written out in simple black text : EBC, EBU, Plato, ABV, Bottle date and ingredients. What more could a single girl ask for?

Mout & Mocca



DSC_0122Notes of chocolate, dried red fruits, raisin and fig with a toasted caramel coating on the mouth and just a hint of boozy-ness, just the way I like it. My man Greg says that Mout & Mocca maybe be a 10/10, guys while Dr. Beer gives it a 3.4/5.

Personally, if this beer asked me to marry it. I'd look it right in it's bubbly head and say :

Non, peut-être

Non, maybe. Typical independent woman style answer. The best you can ask for honestly when dealing with a flagrant beer slut such as myself. I couldn't really be faithful to one brew, now could I?



DSC_0108Non, peut-être is a new beer from Belgium! American hops give off sweet candied orange scents over a caramel and banana bread spiced yeast. Sugary and slightly bitter on the finish, my friend Tuesday says it tastes like what the sky looks like :


What beer would you marry? Rules are: gay marriage is accepted, polygamy is not. Go!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Deck & Donohue

the new age D&D.

Around Paris when people refer to D&D, they no longer mean the 70's mash hit paper and pencil gaming adventure that turned so many single men into single reclusive men. We mean Deck & Donohue!


Located along metro line 9, the French/American duo behind Pari's newest micro-brewery is opening it's doors to tastings and spreading around the bar/restaurant scene like wildfire. For a back story on how Deck & Donohue made their way to Paris take a look at their colorful 'something brewing' blog.

Collagedd DSC_0063

Sniff, sniff and hands on (with a beer in one hand), tours through the brewery are in French, English or Franglish as required.

Collage3 DSC_0003

DSC_0013 copy


There are currently five brews available: Trouble #6 Blonde, Mission Pale Ale, Indigo IPA, Monk Hoppy Amber. All fantastic, well balanced and simple. Although I'm usually a 'darker the better' kinda girl, the Pale ale with it's citrus and orange blossom notes is heavenly. I ran into D&D's Mission Pale Ale on draft while on an adventure with Not drinking poison in Paris at Les Trois 8. Meg over at de quelle planete es-tu? is a hoppy beer fan and an IPA fanatic,
"their Indigo IPA did just the trick for me."


Happy Beer time goes into detail about the 10 year friendship between Deck Thomas and Mike Donohue. Their lives went different directions with Thomas in France home brewing through his business degree and Mike gaining professional experience with legendary 21st Amendment brewpub.


For more of Nitch's pictures from the tasting event, head over to her facebook or check out Whats so great about Paris from my buddy Kate.



New hot spot cafe HolyBelly cafe carries Deck & Donohue! Check out their beautiful event photos or hop over to La Moustache Blanche for a take home bottle.


71, rue de la Fraternité à Montreuil

Open to the public Saturdays 10am to 3pm, no reservation needed!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chop'in Cave à Bière

Local shop owner Lionel Libert (Mickey to his friends) knows his craft beer and is spreading love of the stuff to his neighborhood! On hand to answer home brewing questions, guide newbie beer lovers around the world of beer or simply hang for a chat, the 14th arrondissement's local beer spot is on!



With a generalized selection of French, Belgian and specialty imports, the store has a little something for everyone and a big something for beer nerds. One will find that Mickey is one of Paris's only locations for homebrew retail. And if you're feeling hungry, grab yourself some gourmet pate and sausages for your food pairing needs.

Click here to see Chop'in's full bottle list.


Customers who can't wait to get to their arm load of goodies home, like yours truly, are welcome to a bottle opener. Turn bottle into road beer! On your way out ask the Chop'in CEO for local dining and drinking advice, he won't hesitate to give you suggestions for the area and then go on to suggest some of Paris's better beer joints.


This is the first place where I spotted La P'tite Soeur brand! Check out the video of my morning sampling, where I begin the process of defining the common style of 'noire'.


What is a noire beer? As far I've found, it literally refers to the color of the beer. Is it a Stout or Black Ipa... meh, c'est noire. Gotta love the French mentality. It is in connection with how wine is categorized, I'm assuming. Red wine, is red in color and then it is defined by the grape and the region. Beer styles are color, region and then maybe a style. Weisse beer is a blanche (white), Russian Imperial stout (noire) and American Pale Ale (blonde). Rather convenient really.


Red, white or blue, Chop'in cave à bière's tailored advice and jolly atmosphere gain a big two thumbs up from this beer hunter. Stand around long enough and you'll see why no one leaves the shop without a big smile.

Beer samples anyone?


45 Rue de Gergovie 75014 PARIS

Open Tuesday- Saturday

11am- 2pm and 3:30pm-8pm

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tasting- Le Brewery's Odo and Old Cheese

Odo and Cheese

I came home and didn't have any bread to go with my cheese. I didn't have anything much at all in my frig but beer and some floppy carrots. Bare cupboards and beer bottles abounded but nothing to go with my cheese. I had picked up a bit of funky looking fromage from the Pigelle Bio c'bon and spaced the idea of what else to put it with. Surely not organic fair trade tea, bio-degradable sponges (we'll see how that works out) or kale.

I needed bread and beer is liquid bread.

Voilà-  à table!


Le Brewery

“Beers brewed with passion and the belief. Ale that is an art.

Le brewery is a family run business, founded by Steve and Jane Skews in 2001 in Normandy, France. The country is best known it's ciders, cheeses and military defense zones, not so much for it's hand crafted beer. Le Brewery, however, has been a mission for the past eleven years to produce good beer in France. Located in the heart of cider country, their British style real ale is now being exported all over Europe.

Spreading their passion for beer that is crafted by hand and using only the finest, Le Brewery hosts an annual beer festival, runs two pubs and houses campers in their hops fields. If you are on your way south for a  ‘sojourne en Normandie,’ Le Brewery is located just 1.5 hours south of the ferry port of Caen.

Not just touristy, Le Brewery is also picky about their ingredients: Normandy water, imported English malt from Warminster Maltings, live yeast from an old English yeast strain and home grown hops. Their 10-barrel system and hand picked ingredients roll together to bring out Odo. Their toasted, dark and brooding 6.6% stout inspired by a real historical dude, who was portrayed on screen by  John Nettleton in the two-part BBC TV play Conquest (1966), part of the series in the TV drama Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990).

Quel nerds.

Le Fromage

Sticking historical and hand made- I picked up some bio Fourme d'Ambert. Legend has it that Fourme d'Ambert was alreading being made at the time of the Druids and Gauls. Odo himself likely munched on the mold while plotting to become pope. It is certainly one of the oldest cheese in France along with Roquefort but not the stinkiest. The mildest of the blue cheeses, Fourme d'Ambert has a creamy texture and delicate mushroom falvor.



A: Pours a brooding dark brown with a slim, thin head and reddish hues.

S: Chocolates, roasty malts and a hue hit of vanilla bean- rather basic.

T: Dark, rich chocolates, velvety dried red fruits and a toasted caramel finish. No vanilla in the taste, but the smell is present through out. A few sips in and there is slightly black licorice after taste.

M: Creamy coating

O: Although not as milky stout as I would have assumed, Odo has a nice rounded presence with a lactose mouth coating and acute flavor layers. Not my favorite, not extremely memorable but simple, well done and perfect for my cheese mongering.

Pairing: The lactose lingering gets nicely cut to pieces by my fatty blue molded cheese. Cream on top of cream becomes a smoked dessert.

Two things made with so much love- coming together in my mouth! Historically balanced and indulgently rich.

Merci Anglophones for bringing your beer habits onto French soil. And then shipping it to Paris. So I can drink it with my cheese because I don't have any bread. Ho hum.