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La Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or

The golden drops at Paris' first and only craft brewery, inspired by its multicultural neighborhood

by Isabelle Doal in Food + Drink on 19 December 2013

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Chateau rouge, Ernestine, Charbonnière, Myrha—these names no longer refer exclusively to the streets of the popular Paris neighborhood La Goutte d'Or in the 18th arrondissement, as they have been given to the first bottles of beer made 100% in central Paris. With the opening of La Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or (LBGO), one year ago, the only craft brewery in Paris which produces and sells bottles was launched.

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Anchored in the vivacious, multicultural district of La Goutte d'Or aka Little Africa a stone's throw from the tourist-heavy Montmartre, the brewery produces original beers inspired by the local spices, smells and flavors. The brewery aims to offer both sophisticated and offbeat products. The all-natural, flavorful ingredients are fresh when possible and often come from local markets. The malts are French while the hops are chosen from a worldwide selection according to their floral, vegetable or fruity aromas. As a bonus, the process used at LBGO tends to preserve this natural product best by keeping it unpasteurized and unfiltered.

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The result offers tasty high-quality beers which, upon tasting, can actually be compared with a wine experience. The brews are made to be paired with food, and brewmaster Thierry Roche advises on what to eat with each beer (or what not to eat), and explain the subtleties according to each particular brew. The company even produced a chart to illustrate this: For example, the spicy and malted Chateau Rouge brew goes well with goat cheese, while the coffee aromas of the new 3ter are perfect with chocolate cake. One of Paris' most famous chefs, Thierry Marx, even selected the Golden Ale made by LBGO to go with his baked chicories in truffled cream at the "brewmasters dinner" which took place in his restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris.

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For now, the line includes a spicy red ale, brewed together with dried and fresh red peppers and hibiscus (Chateau Rouge), a fruity summer ale mixed with dates (Myrha), an India Pale Ale with exotic fruits and citrus fruits aromas, brewed with South African Rooibos and cola nuts (Ernestine) and a smoked amber ale, round and malted in mouth (Charbonniere).

Last week was the launch of the new brew, the 3ter. Conceived in collaboration with a local coffee brewer, Café Lomi, it's made with three kinds of arabica grinds, three different barley malts and three varieties of hop. This strong pale ale—in the Belgium style—brings yeast compounds together with coffee and tastes both strong and refined.

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The beer's inauguration took place in the coffee shop of collaborator Cafe Lomi, located in the same neighborhood. The 3ter new beer is available in a collectable package including together with a bottle of beer, a pack of Lomi Coffee and a coaster, all designed by another local, Cocoboheme.

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LBGO beer is sold in bottles at select liquor and wine stores throughout Paris. It is also on the list of many bars, coffee shops and restaurants. To complete the rich experience of LBGO beer drinking and multiply the opportunities to enjoy it, the brew is now available on tap. Thirty liter kegs can be purchased by bars or anyone looking to get their own party started.

La Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or is located at 28 rue de la Goutte d’Or, 75018, Paris.

Graphic image courtesy of La Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or, all other photos by Isabelle Doal

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