Lyon, France: Craft Beer & Travel Guide
If you ever find yourself in Lyon, I'm sure it won't be because you're on the hunt for craft beer. Quite the contrary I'm sure. France is home to some of the most renowned wines and cheeses, Champagne, high-fashion and of course, quite possibly the most famous and highly praised cuisine in the world. In fact, Lyon is probably known best amongst foodies and travelers as the stomping ground of chef Paul Bocuse, who helped revolutionize French gastronomy, and for being the only place in France (or anywhere for that matter) where you can eat at a traditional Lyonnaise Bouchon restaurant.
All that being said, the craft beer scene has left very few stones unturned and Lyon is no exception. I was lucky to spend four full days in France's second largest city and explore.
Accasbel coins itself as "A blend of Irish conviviality & French sophistication”, which pretty much nails it- not that I have stumbled across many other Irish/French inspired craft beer bars. Accasbel is located in the Carnot-Gailleton neighborhood and boasts a reasonable 16 copper stills showcasing a variety of different Irish beers and styles. I sat at one of several small tables along the street, but inside the high-ceilings, beautiful wood paneling and friendly staff create a cozy atmosphere for a Sunday brunch or late night with friends. The menu looked great as well, although I didn't have a chance to try anything.
La Chope Lug (French Craft Beer Bottle Shop)
La Chope Lug is located in the UNESCO protected, historical city center of Lyon, Vieux Lyon. Lyon is pretty incredible in that its historical center is not just some relic filled with tourists, but rather a lively place filled with small local shops and quite a few locals. All retail/restaurant chains have always been banned from opening in this part of town.
Before I entered La Chope Lug, I had no idea it was a bottle shop. Up until then, I'd also had little luck finding any local, French beer (again, not entirely surprised). However, La Chope Lug was a great find. They had a nice little selection of local and French craft beer and the man working (not sure if he was the owner or not) was extremely helpful and recommended a few of his favorites including an IPA, Hoppy Wheat Lager and Belgian-Style Tripel, which I took for the road. *Note to self- always carry a bottle opener and don't try to use a key.
Ninkasi was one of the few breweries I discovered in Lyon. Founded in 1997, Ninkasi's brewery is actually about 45km outside of Lyon, but they have several small brew pubs throughout the city. I visited the Cordeliers location, which is in the "newer" part of the city. It defintely had a bit more of a commercial feel, but they offer 9 different beers on tap including an excellent Blanche or White Beer (Witbier) and Blonde.