Our stop at the Express de Lyon is indicative of my early days of beer hunting. Rather than heading to a destination for the sake of the destination, as I do more often now, this was a stop of opportunity while in the midst of being touristy. We spent the morning at the Chateau du Vincennes, a true 12th century medieval castle to start our fairy tale July trip to Paris with our nieces. En route back to the heart of Paris, we had to pass through the Gare de Lyon and took the opportunity to eat lunch.
|French Double IPA Rothen Skull|
One of our few sit down meals in Paris, I had a fromage (cheese) and mushroom omelette with frites (fries) on the side. The clearly fresh made mustard was fantastic on the fries. Reports all around were enthusiastic about our next to the street dining at a French cafe--living the cliche and having fun doing it.
Hard to get, I started with a draft of Brew Dog Punk IPA. While I've had a couple of good beers from Brew Dog, I haven't been as impressed as the fan boy media would make out the iconic brewery. My present theory is that this brewery is pushing the envelope for England; however, they haven't developed the finesse and sophistication of hop usage that is required for the American market. Next, I tried a French double IPA by Brasserie de la Vallee de Chevreuse, according to my notes. Again, not as elegant as I would normally prefer, but the delight of drinking a French Double IPA was worth the trip.
Express de Lyon would be just another restaurant with a few good taps in most beer beer locales. Even in a developing market like Minnesota, it would barely show on the radar of geeks. However, in France, the dearth of good beer bars makes it one of the better places to go. At this point of our vacation, I'd been in Belgium for a week and France for several days and the hop demon had grown restless. Express de Lyon was a welcome respite from tourist attractions, street food and beer low on hops.