French Beer: where it’s coming from and where it’s going!

A glass Of Foam And Fury in Johnny’s Kitchen, Lyon

Festivals are back! My first mission of the year was the Lyon Bière Festival. Direct flights to Lyon are not daily so I had to head over there on Thursday. Our French friends Accasbel had a couple of things lined up to keep me busy in the run up to the main event. First stop was Irish Bar Johnny’s Kitchen for a Galway Bay Brewery tap takeover. The atmosphere was welcoming, the fish and chips were great and I made a few new friends. More importantly, the beers were well received!

Orgao Beer House, Lyon

Next stop was Orgao Beer House where Funky Fluid’s tap takeover was in full flow.  I enjoyed their Smasher: Cryo Pop B Blend.   An 11% Triple NEIPA that drank like fruit punch. A lively spot, I’d recommend checking out.

Põhjala in La Plante Du Loup

And then it was on to ANOTHER tap takeover. But it was pretty much over… undeterred, we asked if it was ok to have a night cap…and we were told there was no problem. La Plante Du Loup is a bottle shop but they have a long table for sampling. They had several chilled growlers of Põhjala beers and the Pime Öö PX 13.9% Imperial Stout was recommended. Some way to conclude the evening. If you are lucky enough to come across this one give it a try.

Brasserie Georges, Lyon

As always before setting off for a city that’s new to me I had a look at the very well travelled Beer Nut’s blog. One place that he had mentioned was Brasserie Georges and my colleague Cormac also had heard it recommended so, after setting up our bar on the Friday morning, and a brief siesta we headed there. This place is on the go since 1836 and has what looks like an art deco style to me. It’s a big hall with small booths and smartly dressed waiters. The food is very old school. I had a sausage that was made with veal, which turned out to be calf intestine with very buttery mash and a rich sauce. The flavour was nice, if the texture was a little chewy. And I couldn’t really think about it as I ate. Cormac had bone marrow, swimming in butter. He was also inspired to come up with the title of this post! I had the Munica Brune which I reckon was a fairly good pairing.

Platypus Brew Pub

We just had time for a brief stop in Platypus Brew Pub before heading to our next assignment. Cormac had the sampler flight which I robbed samples of and I had a pint of the Hoppy Lager. I thought the Hoppy Lager was a grand pint!

L’Alerte Rouge, Lyon

We landed in to L’Alerte Rouge to meet our opponents Big Mountain. This wasn’t a tap takeover, oh no, this was a BATTLE! Now the folks from Big Mountain turned out to be sound. And their beers were good too. We both had 8.5%ish dipas so it was a fair fight. But I’m not sure who won in the end. There was also some shenanigans with a loud hailer, siren and flashing lights. Great craic, en Francais. We didn’t stay out too late as we had a long day of festival to get through.

Lyon Bière Festival

We started off the day with a nice bit of soakage in the form of some fierce fancy hot dogs, green stuff and mustard on the outside, cheese in the middle. Apparently the chef is a big deal. The first beer of the day was a Pils from Mount Salève which was brewed with French malt. It looked hazy but tasted crisp and clean. We also took the opportunity to walk around before it got too busy and I really enjoyed a Czech lager from Sibeeria, a collaboration with Piggy, Jean Pierre Lager which was very traditional, and had a lovely bitterness to it. Then it was back to the bar…

Galway Bay Brewery taps at Lyon Bière Festival

We were pouring our two new specials: Caveat, the aforementioned 8.4% Double IPA which we brewed with Prizm and Sixty Ships Down, a 12% Imperial Stout which was a collaboration with La Pirata. They’re a pair of belters if I may say so, and the good people of Lyon agreed. We also had a 10 litre keg of 200 Fathoms and the anticipation was building for the 6pm tapping. I borrowed a cow bell from our neighbours to mark the occasion and rang the shite out of it. Even at 100ml servings the baby keg was gone in no time. Dot were our neighbours on the other side and I was delighted to get to try the delicious and fruity (red fruits) Big Bottle No. 4!

A mystery stairway

After the festival we made our way to the famous members only Darts Club. We had met the owner earlier in the day and Maud from Accasbel had signed us up. I honestly didn’t have high expectations for the beer selection. I was wrong. They had a Pils from Dupont and Bull’s Eye DIPA from Bapbap (Peter ex Wicklow Wolf is brewing there now)! And then the owner brought us down to the cellar and opened some of his stash. Unfortunately I was too tired to appreciate it fully. So it was definitely time for bed. I had sore feet but what a great day was had. Thanks to Accasbel and Lyon Bière Festival. Sláinte.

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