Home Uncategorized Drinking Beer in France. And the U.K.

Drinking Beer in France. And the U.K.

by Krista

Beer in lille
I've been drinking a lot of beer lately. I've always liked beer. One of my favorite London blogs is Stonch's Beer Blog. (Now called Jeffo's Beer Blog, but same deal.) But my newly renewed beer obsession started in Lille. Yes, I was one of those bloggers/blaggers invited to take a foodie day trip to Lille on the Eurostar as part of Eurostar's "Little Break, Big Difference" campaign. And you know…it was great. Many thanks to the absolutely fantastic team at We Are Social for pulling off such a well-organized foodie day out.

I waited to write about my little break in Lille and all the fabulous beer in Lille because, well, it's not so exciting (for me) when everyone writes about the same thing at the same time. (Although kudos to Cheese & Biscuits for taking on the cheese angle. That was fantastic.) Also, I've been a little planes-trains-and-automobiles-busy as of late so it took me longer than normal to get my thoughts together.

But here I am. You have my complete attention. And hopefully I have yours. Because really, you should catch the next Eurostar to Lille and have your own little break. And then you should run around Devon drinking beer like I did. Because it's nice there.

So in Lille, we visited (amongst other places) La Capsule, a little beer bar, where we sat in their very dark and cool cellar, sipping beer and eating cheese.

La Capsule
25 Rue des 3 Molettes
59800 Lille

Lille aymeric

At La Capsule, we met the very charming Aymeric, who is the president of the French version of CAMRA. It's called ATPUB. Aymeric was explaining how most French beer isn't exported and in fact
very rarely makes it outside the small villages where it's brewed. I
included the list of beers we tried below…all from Northern France. I liked the first one best
myself–Page 24–it was lovingly golden and slightly clovey. (Might have been the chicory.) A close runner up was #4, which was really complex and
interesting–you could definitely taste it changing in the glass over
time; very wine-like, really.

1st Beer – Page 24
A La Chlcoree
Brasserie: St Germain

2nd Beer – La Bavaisienne
Biere de garde – pur malt
Brasserie: Theillier

3rd Beer Etoile due Nord
Biere Blonde houblonnee
Brasserie: Thiriez

4th Kaouet
Biere Artisonale
Brasserie: Du Caou

La capsule

The afternoon at La Capsule made me want to pick up French again and then head to France for a beer festival. If you know of any, please let me know.

So…as I mentioned…after Lille, I became slightly obsessed with beer. Small brewery beer. Hand pumps. Stuff I'd never seen before. I've even been considering joining CAMRA. Is that weird?

When I visited my friend Joanne in Devon last weekend (more to come on that later), she indulged my latest obsession and took me to a bunch of Devonshire pubs, just so I could take photos of their hand pumps.


At the first pub we dropped into, I tried the very caramel-y and toasty Otter Ale. It was very drinkable. I was happy.


At the Diggers Rest somewhere in Devon, I had the Butcombe Blond. Although I really wanted to try the "Proper Job," for the name alone. This was clean, citrusy and grassy. A summer beer. And hey, there's another Otter there. The Bitter this time. I didn't try it.

More beer in devon

At our last stop–somewhere in Topsham–I had a 1/2 of Tangle Foot. This was a tangle of flavors…biscuity and strawlike tastes, but yet a little fruity and flowery. It worked, sort of. But I think I liked the Butcombe best. I think.

It all just got me thinking…I need to get out of town more. And I need to drink more beer. I also need to run more to counterbalance all this, but I presume you're not here for the exercise tips. But if you want to cheer me on, I'm running the ladies -only Nike Human Race on October 24th in Victoria Park. Afterwards, I'm going to do something utterly unladylike and drink some beer somewhere with handpumps. Got any suggestions?

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An American in London October 5, 2009 - 10:56 am

I think it’s an interesting topic to consider what different food bloggers do to keep off the weight. : ) That 10K on 24 October sounds great (and I was going to say I’d plan to sign up, but I’m out of town that weekend – eating, of course, in Provence). Good intentions (to exercise) foiled again.

Knut Albert October 7, 2009 - 12:24 pm

I don’t know about French beer festivals, but Paris is also worth a visit for the beer. I was there last week:

Krista October 9, 2009 - 12:47 pm

Alice…I do periodic juice fasts. And I try to take January off…no booze, no carbs. Of course, you can see how wonderfully this works for me. (Back-handed compliment–Feathers once said to me she was surprised I didn’t way like 250 lbs. Thanks, huh?

Knut: If you’re ever around Lille, give the beer pub and the beer shop a try. I was pretty impressed with the knowledge and passion, even for such a small town. Sounds like Lille has a head up on Paris, beer-wise.

Justinho October 22, 2009 - 5:07 pm

So were you one of the lucky Eurostar to Lille competition winners then?
I am planning a trip to Lille soon this football season to take in some French league football (seeing as UK club games close to me are always sold out) and follow up with a cultural exploration with a nice bit of grub and museum visit perhaps the next day. I found a deal with Short Breaks Ltd, Eurostar to Lille from £115pp. That includes train from London plus 1 night hotel on bed and breakfast basis. It was when researching my trip I happened upon your blog. Nice work. I will certainly be following your tips to find the best bars for beer drinking. cheers.

Krista October 23, 2009 - 1:55 am

Have a great time! It’s a great little city. Definitely stock up at the beer shop as well! Oh, and look for the all macaron shop. VERY cute.

mark will-weber January 18, 2011 - 2:04 pm

thanks, Krista, for this posting! my daughter is an exchange student (from U.S.A) who is living quite close to Lille. I am visiting next month and I was wondering how I also might run around Belgium & try some great beers, but now I might just save myself the hassle & drop in at La Capsule! (BTW, I am a running coach, so if you ever need any tips…I can help 🙂

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