We recently visited Paris and whilst enjoying the magnificent sights of this exciting capital city such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Champs-Elysees, we also checked out the beer scene.
In addition to the many French beers on tap such as Kronenbourg, 1664, and Pelforth (Blonde & Brune) there is also an abundance of top quality Belgian beers on offer such as Leffe Blonde, Grimbergen Blonde and Affligem Blonde.
In one particular bar we found Grimbergen Cuvée Blanche, which is a superb Belgian Wit with 6% ABV and a hint of what tasted like nutmeg to give it a slight spiciness – a must for any witbier fans! Here is how this beer is described on the brewery’s site:
Grimbergen Blanche is a true wheat beer in the most traditional sense. This pale yellow beer is cloudy, and fruity. Notes of citrus and light carbonation add character to the creamy palate and make Grimbergen Blanche an excellent thirst-quencher. The delicate aroma of spices and bergamot combined in this beer is typical of Grimbergen beers.
After a visit to the Trocadéro to take in a great view of the Eiffel Tower we headed along to the Arc de Triomphe via Avenue Kléber where we stumbled upon the Frog XVI brewpub which is part of a chain of brewpubs in France that also includes:
- The Frog & Rosbif, Paris
- The Frog & Princess, Paris
- The Frog at Bercy Village, Paris
- The Frog & British Library, Paris
- The Frog & Rosbif, Toulouse
- The Frog & Rosbif, Bordeaux
The Frog XVI brews a total of 6 different beers, including some with names that play on the theme of Paris, and although their menu does not mention a beer sampler, if you ask for a taster then you will be served one containing 6 x FREE 1oz glasses:
- Frog Natural Blonde (4.2%, 10.5 IBU) – uses a lager yeast but is not lagered so tastes a bit more like an American Blonde.
- Ginger Twist (4.2%, 7.9 IBU) – same recipe as the Frog Natural Blonde but with less hops and 3kg of ginger per 800 litres. Style wise it is called an Amber Ale.
- Inseine (4.4%, 20.2 IBU) – a hoppy and sweet English Pale Ale.
- Maison Blanche (4.2%, 10.8 IBU) – a Witbier with coriander and orange zest.
- Parislytic (5.2%, 22.6 IBU) on Nitro – brewed with Roasted Malts that tasted very malty with some hoppiness and caramel. Style wise it is referred to as an Extra Special Bitter (ESB).
Dark de Triomphe (5.0%, 35.4 IBU) on Nitro – lots of coffee flavor and style wise a Dry Irish Stout.*
* denotes our favorite from the above sampler.
This bar has a modern feel, very relaxed and good service. Downstairs there is a second bar with plenty of additional seating and a set of four fermenters behind glass with colored lighting that changes through a sequence of different hues.
If there is a group of you, or you are likely to visit multiple Frog locations, then pickup a Frogpubs Beer Passport because for every pint you get a stamp and after 25 stamps you can claim a free jug of beer worth Euro 24!
After our sampler we ordered a pint of Dark de Triomphe and were staggered at the difference between this and the sampler 1oz pour. With the sampler pour it was not apparent that this beer was on nitro and just tasted of coffee, whilst with the pint the head was thick and creamy and the body was smooth and brought out the dark malts. The reason for this would seem to be that with the 1oz taster there is insufficient agitation to bring the nitrogen out of suspension whilst with the pint there was sufficient time and volume for this to happen.
We couldn’t help but wonder if it would be better for the Frog chain of brewpubs to do larger samplers (say 3-4oz) and charge for them as it would probably do their beers far more justice. Whilst free beer is great it is not always the best way to go.
Later on during our stay in Paris we were walking back from the Louvre Museum and happened to stumble upon The Frog & Rosbif, unfortunately we did not have time to visit this location but another good reason to participate in the Frogpubs Beer Passport as you never know when you might need another pint and clock up one more stamp.
If you are in Paris we can recommend calling into one of the Frog brewpubs and if you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to leave them below.