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Paris Gone Yankee

September 2012

By Stephanie Wells, Paris

A quotidian question in Paris, "What’s on tap?” is not. France has always been associated with wine, champagne, pastis from Provence, and even hard cider from Normandy. But there's never been a commotion about beer -- either producing or consuming it.

Yet a surge in the street cred of American cuisine and style has brought a taste for premium beer to Paris. The trendiest restaurants now feature their beer lists over their wine lists. The menu of the hottest burger joint in Paris, Blend, includes hopped-up beers selected by American pastry chef and beer aficionado, Camille Malmquist. Seductive French brew Agent Provocateur, native Parisian Gallia and Sierra Nevada Kellerweis are unlikely tap-mates at the new restaurant. But why is this place so popular? At Blend, classic American sweets and savories-- like whoopee pies, strawberry cheesecake, veggie burgers, sweet potato fries and their signature burger (lauded by the New York Times)-- keep the line of customers out the door seven days a week.

The phenomenal success of Blend and similar establishments offering American cuisine, including Ralph Lauren’s new diner on the Boulevard Saint Germain, show how French taste buds are becoming more open-minded towards premium-quality Yankee cuisine.

They may have just cut their ribbon, but La Fine Mousse is already garnering rave reviews as the premium beer bar in Paris. Evoking a wine-bar feel, La Fine Mousse crams its beer-only list with artisanal brews. Hipsters savor Page 24 blondes, floral Belgians, honeyed Scottish I.P.As, German Hopfenweisse and (improbably) imperial French stouts in the bar’s sparse surroundings. 

It might seem not unusual to Americans, but craft beers are quite a novelty in Paris. So if a Parisian hipster is a bit tired of having to chose from amongst the standard options - Kronenberg, 1664,  Leffe, Heineken, or Pelforth – he needn't fret. A beer revolution is on the horizon.

Retail & Dining
Liquor, Beer & Wine
Food & Drink

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