I’ve always been a beer and wine girl over cocktails. Mostly wine, but eventually I was introduced to craft beer years ago while living in Brooklyn (of course). My interest in artisanal beer has only grown by moving to Paris, where thanks to friends like Meg and my sommelier friend, Maeve, I’ve been exposed to really great beers. My current favorite is La Batignolle and not just because it’s the name of my neighborhood!
Two weeks ago, on a chilly Monday night, I was invited to check out a new workshop space in the 11th called La Beer Fabrique to learn about beer brewing. I was greeted warmly by the owners and after a brief tour of the facilities, we participated in a shortened version of their ateliers, which usually last 4 hours.
They walk you through all the steps of the beer making process and you essentially craft your own beer with their assistance. You choose which type of grains you want and crack them in a mill to then go through the process of mashing, in which the grains are steeped in very hot water. After adding hops, the grains need to boiled for another hour. While you wait, the nice guys at La Beer Fabrique, try to teach you about different beers by doing a tasting. During our visit, we tasted beers from the brewery BAP BAP to see the differences between a blanche, blonde, IPA and Stout. My favorite was the Stout beer called Toast.
Once the boiling is finished and the malt is strained and filtered, yeast is added and the beer is stored for two weeks in their facility (those big white barrels in the photo below) to allow for fermentation. After going through all those steps, you’ve made your own beer! You just have to go back two weeks later to pick up your 30 cans of homemade beer. For our atelier, since we couldn’t go back, we got to bottle a beer that had already been finished. You even bottle and name your own beers! I chose to pay homage to where I was first exposed to craft beer and named it Park Slope, my old neighborhood in Brooklyn.
If you’re looking for a fun group event that not a cliché thing to do in Paris, and especially if you like beer, then this is the place for you! The guys that run La Beer Fabrique really know their beer and it is obviously such a passion project for them that it makes the experience all the more enjoyable. It’s reasonably priced, considering your experience comes with 30 beers of your own making. Give them a try!
La Beer Fabrique
6-10 Rue Guillaume Bertrand
Check website to book a workshop!