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mercredi 18 mai 2011

Beer Me in Gay Paris!

On June 10th the Gallia boys will be hosting a one year anniversary of their resurrected Parisian beer brand. Their success in launching the brand, shared among peers including Ky Lorch at Demory and local microbrewers such Florent of the Zymotik Brasserie in Montreuil and the Brasserie Chevreuse in Versailles, proves that these young entrepreneurial beer lovers are making their mark on the local beer scene, a scene was previously almost non-existant.

In celebration of the brewing beer scene in Paris, I'd like to point out a few spots in the city where you can go to stop your wine-ing and grab a pint. In a city that loves to sip, you'd be surprised how many beer bars are are just a hops(s) skip and a jump away!

Laurent Cicurel, who organizes Les Soirées Maltées, a series of regionally themed beer tasting events that take place regularly throughout the year, was recently kind enough to suggest some of his favorite beer hunting spots around the city.

On top of Laurent's list was Brewberry which recently set up shop in the charming Mouffetard neighborhood. This address is a must for any beer connaisseur. Owned by the former manager of the Academie de la Bière Brewberry's staff and stock is proof to this place's savoir-faire when it comes to la bière.

The first time I stopped by Brewberry I had just returned from Brussels and experiencing Belgian beer withdrawal. To my delight, Brewberry's shelves are filled with beers from Belgium, as well as France and Germany, with a few organic selections included in the mix. This is a great spot for an apèro, as you can settle in and taste beers as well as order cheese or charcuterie plates to go along with your selections.

While the chill atmosphere of Brewberry is a welcome calm among the Mouffetard madness; there are plenty of more lively locations you can go to enjoy microbrews. In Paris, there are two bars where beer is brewed sur place: The Frog Pubs chain and the Brasserie O'Neil .

Both breweries make enjoyable beer and offer the brew pub environment that many an American or Englishman may miss when spending an extended period in Paris.

While the Frog pubs tend to attract a crowd that most of us aim to avoid (a little too young, a little too loud, a little too drunk after one demi) I can highly recommend the Frog at Bercy Village, which is one of the few places in Paris where you aren't squeezed into your spot at the bar or booth. The spacious design and high ceilings of this multi-level pub make bumping into things a less immenent event (you will still have to watch out for people walking into you during their busy happy hour or weekends).

Last but not least, my favorite new beer address has just become even more interactive! For those of you that love beer and want to get in the game, the Brasserie Zymotik is now offering a series of beer brewing lessons.

For 100 euro you can enroll in the lessons which take place over two sessions; the first is a brewing session and then 10 days later you get to come back for the second installment where you bottle your beer and take it home with you! The fee includes all materials, lessons, bottles, and some quality beer tasting.

If you're not ready to start brewing, you can still visit the Zymotik Brasserie and see where the magic happens. Florent holds a weekly apero, on Tuesdays from 18h-20h, where you can taste the beer and buy your favorites for a very reasonable price. Zymotik is located at 65 rue Danton in Montreuil (metro° Marie de Montreuil, line 9).

The sun is shining and the apèro is calling, what better time to grab a cold one and discover what the City of Pints has to offer!

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samedi 14 mai 2011

Profile d'un Producteur: Audrey Fallope

Audrey Fallope's business-magical shoes caught my eye at A Little Market's temporary boutique a few months ago. The shoes radiate both professional sensibility and girly style, a creative and rare pairing with stellar results. It was a great pleasure to discover this line of shoes, and an even greater one to meet their maker at ALM's boutique. Audrey introduced herself and told me a little bit about how she came to find and love this metier. I'm honored that Audrey agreed to share her story with Paris Paysanne because she is a shoe-in for one of my favorite Parisian producteurs.

Audrey's passion for shoes started at a young age and was in part inspired by her own father's respect for fancy footwear. Audrey described her dad's weekly shoe waxings, "my father wore beautiful shoes, and every Sunday he took them out to wax and buff them. He could spend hours shining them, making them sparkle." This masculine influence is apparent in Audrey's shoes, which are adorned with mensweary touches such as tassles and little leather laces.

While studying at art school, Audrey began designing shoes and found her calling. A helpful professor indicated which classes she would need to take in order receive the proper training for her dream job and a little over a year later Audrey was ready and eager to design and assemble her own shoes. "It's great," Audrey said of her professsion, "sometimes it feels like I'm dreaming, I'm so happy. I love knowing that I'm capable of designing a shoe and then being a part of every step of its creation, from A-Z. It's thrilling!"

Audrey is deeply invested in every aspect of the shoe-making process, in fact it's one of her favorite parts of the job, "I really love the work involved in the creation and conception of a shoe" she explained, listing the various responsibilites in the process of shoe making, which include finding the materials, deciding on what form (and heels) the shoe will take, and creating interesting mixtures of shapes and colors.

Her attention to detail and the obvious fun that Audrey has contrasting colors and styles make these shoes truly unique. For Audrey, the one-of-a-kind element is among the most compelling arguments for buying hand-made goods. Buying artisinal goods, Audrey explains "is recognizing the handiwork of others, the production of a one-of-a-kind object means that you won't be wearing the same thing as your neighbor...it will be designed personally for you and for your tastes and needs."
Buying Audrey's hand-made shoes is not only a way of distinguishing yourself from others,-it's also a way of rewarding a special kind of work and talent. When we support artisans, Audrey argues we "recognize the beauty of the acts and knowledge of people who dedicate a great deal of time to creating beautiful products that will improve over time."

If you want to get some orginal Audrey Fallope's on your feet, check out her site where you can see more pictures of her shoes and get information for ordering your own personalized pair!

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samedi 7 mai 2011

Marché du Mois: L'Echoppée Locale

This month's marché is special because it is the only one of its kind. While not a marché in the traditional open-air market sense, L'Echoppée Locale embodies the farmer's market spirit more fully than many of the city's weekly outdoor markets. This is because L'Echoppée Locale stocks only products from producers in the Ile-de-France region.

The people behind L'Echoppée Locale are clearly loyal to their shop's mission statement, refusing to stock any product that wasn't made within the confines of the region, and the result is delightful. The shop manages to offer a wide variety of products (mostly bottled, canned, or preserved in some way) and shopping their is like taking a true tour d'Ile de France.

While there are few fresh vegetables for sale, one has a tempting choice of items that would make great gifts for your favorite locavore or creative accents to your next meal. La Rose de Provins and Le Coquelicot de Nemours make several appearances as pretty-in-pink limonades, bon bons, honey, and even in vinegar. A coquelicot liquor was also packaged up among a selection of great under 15 euro gifts which included local mustards and confitures.

Local beers are also on display, I picked up a bottle of Biere de Brie that I didn't get a chance to taste at the Ile-de-France Soirée Maltée. Next time I go back, I'll be sure to pick up a bottle of local wine, the Vin des Coteaux de Suresnes (15.80 euro). I'm sure this vin de table would go well with the Echoppée Locale's cheese selection, which advertises artisinal Brie amongst its choices.

Overwhelmed by the choice, and wanting to take something home that I could try that night, I settled on the Beer de Brie (6.30 euro) and a bottle of Coquelicot Limonade (5 euro) that I mixed with some of my homegrown mint and (store bought) vodka to make a refreshing pink and green cocktail.

L'Echoppée Locale is a requirement on the route of any locavore, check it out and take some of the Ile-de-France home with you!

L'Echoppée Locale
237 rue Saint Martin
Paris 75003
Open Tues.-Fri. 10h-19h
Saturday 14h-20h

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