The Art of Craft Beer: The Top Brewing Workshops in Paris

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For the beer connoisseur and the home-brewing novice, the allure of crafting your own beer is as intoxicating as the beverage itself. In Paris, France, the city of artisans and fine arts, this pursuit of the perfect pint has found a home in the form of local breweries that offer workshops to guide you through the magical transformation of raw ingredients into liquid gold. If you’ve ever been curious about the alchemy behind brewing, or if you’re a seasoned enthusiast ready to expand your skills, read on as we explore the craft beer scene in Paris and the top workshops you can’t miss.

The Basics of Beer Brewing

Brewing beer is a centuries-old practice steeped in tradition. While the process has evolved, the fundamentals remain the same. Here’s a brief overview of what you’d typically experience in a workshop:

  1. Malting:
    • Grain Selection: The process begins with selecting your grains, usually barley, though wheat, rye, and others can be used. These grains provide the sugars necessary for fermentation.
    • Preparation: The grains are soaked in water to germinate, then dried in a kiln. This process activates enzymes necessary for converting starches into fermentable sugars. Home brewers typically buy pre-malted grains.
  2. Mashing:
    • Mixing Grains with Water: The malted grains are mixed with hot water in a process called mashing. This step allows the enzymes in the malt to break down the starch in the grain into sugars, creating a sugary liquid called wort.
    • Temperature Control: It’s essential to keep the mixture at specific temperatures to activate different enzymes that work on breaking down the starches.
  3. Boiling:
    • Boiling the Wort: After mashing, the wort is strained from the grain and boiled. Boiling sterilizes the wort and stops the enzymatic processes.
    • Adding Hops: During the boil, hops are added at various points to contribute bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer. The timing and types of hops used can significantly affect the beer’s final taste.
  4. Fermenting:
    • Cooling and Transferring: Once boiled, the wort needs to be cooled as quickly as possible before it’s transferred to a fermentation vessel to prevent unwanted organisms from spoiling the beer.
    • Adding Yeast: Yeast is added once the wort is cool. Yeast consumes the sugars in the wort, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide in the process. The type of yeast and fermentation temperature can greatly affect the beer’s flavor and character.
  5. Conditioning:
    • Primary Fermentation: The beer undergoes primary fermentation, which can take from a week to several weeks, depending on the type of beer and yeast.
    • Secondary Fermentation (optional): The beer can be transferred to a new vessel for secondary fermentation to clarify further and mature the flavors.
  6. Bottling:
    • Priming: Before bottling, a small amount of sugar is added to the beer to promote carbonation during bottle conditioning.
    • Bottling and Capping: The beer is then bottled and capped. It’s left to condition in the bottle for a few weeks to allow carbonation to develop.
  7. Enjoying:
    • After the beer has conditioned, it’s ready to be chilled and enjoyed!

At each stage, various techniques and ingredient choices affect the nuances of the final product. Workshops offer a hands-on approach to learning these intricacies.

Brewing Workshops in Paris

Paris may be renowned for its wines, but it’s increasingly becoming a hotspot for craft beer. While the beloved La Montreuilloise brewery and workshop is sadly no longer in operation, there are still plenty of fantastic opportunities to learn brewing in Paris. Here are a few top choices:

La Beer Fabrique

Location: 6-10 Rue Guillaume Bertrand, 75011 Paris, France

Workshop Focus: La Beer Fabrique is a mecca for DIY beer enthusiasts. Their workshops guide participants from grain to glass, teaching everything from recipe development to the bottling process. La Beer Fabrique in Paris offers a unique and immersive beer brewing workshop designed for both novices and enthusiasts eager to delve into the art of craft beer making. Situated in the 11th arrondissement, the workshop provides an intimate setting for learning, with a keen balance between theory and hands-on practice. Participants engage in a detailed introduction to beerology, tasting six different styles of craft beers, followed by an interactive brewing session where they’re guided through each step of the beer-making process. The experience is enhanced with quizzes and engaging stories, culminating in participants taking home bottles of beer they brewed themselves. Ideal for small groups, this workshop serves as a perfect setting for special occasions, offering a memorable and personalized brewing experience.

Les Houblonneurs

Location: 32 Rue Lemercier, 75017 Paris, France

Workshop Focus: Specializing in all-grain brewing, Les Houblonneurs’ workshops are designed for those looking for a more advanced brewing experience. They offer classes on-site with their professional brewing equipment. Les Houblonneurs, nestled in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, presents a dynamic beer brewing workshop that combines practical brewing experience with the joy of beer tasting. This workshop is structured to impart comprehensive brewing knowledge in a concise timeframe, led by professional brewers. Participants go through the entire brewing process, from selecting ingredients to the final bottling, ensuring an in-depth understanding of each step. A distinctive feature of the Les Houblonneurs experience is the customization aspect, where attendees return after 14 days to bottle their beer and personalize it with their chosen labels, leaving with 40 bottles of 50cl each. This workshop caters to both individuals and pairs, offering a hands-on approach to brewing that appeals to beer aficionados looking to explore the craft in depth.


Location: 2 Rue Gustave Rouanet, 75018 Paris, France

Workshop Focus: Mashrooms takes a more casual and educational approach to home brewing with activities for small or larger groups. It’s a great place to begin your brewing adventure. Mashrooms, located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, offers a diverse and engaging set of beer brewing workshops tailored to different levels of brewing expertise. With options ranging from “Discovery” to “Advanced,” each workshop is designed to cater to the participants’ brewing knowledge and interests. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about and participate in the entire brewing process, from mashing the malt to fermentation, across a variety of beer styles including Witbier, Weizen, Porter, Stout, Berliner, and many more. The “Advanced” workshop allows for exploration into lagers, goses, sours, tripels, and other ales using stainless steel cylindrical-conical Grainfather fermenters for precise temperature control. A distinctive aspect of Mashrooms is the personalized experience, with workshops allowing for up to two people to share a brewing session, emphasizing hands-on learning and experimentation. At the end of the experience, participants take home 18L of their crafted beer, encapsulating the essence of home brewing in a professional setting.

Brasserie du ROI

Location: 9 rue Montbauron, 78000 Versailles, France

Workshop Focus: Brasserie du ROI’s workshops are led by experienced brewers and cater to all levels, from beginners to those seeking to improve on specific brewing skills. Brasserie du ROI offers a distinctive beer brewing workshop set against the backdrop of Versailles, combining the art of brewing with the allure of organic ingredients. This unique experience allows participants to immerse themselves in the world of beer making, starting from the selection of 100% organic recipes specially designed for the workshop. Under the guidance of professional brewers, attendees engage in the entire brewing process, including mashing, rinsing spent grains, boiling, and hopping. A highlight of the workshop is the local beer tasting sessions during breaks, enriching the learning experience with flavors of the region. After two weeks, participants return for the bottling phase, leaving with 15 liters of their own brewed beer, equivalent to 30 bottles of 50cl each. This workshop is notable for its commitment to organic brewing and the unique setting of Versailles, offering a blend of culinary craftsmanship and environmental consciousness.

What to Expect in a Paris Beer Brewing Workshop

Attending a brewing workshop is not just about making beer; it’s a social and educational experience that can be tailored to your skill level and objectives.

  • Hands-on Experience: Most workshops provide all the necessary ingredients and equipment, giving you the opportunity to actively participate in every stage of the brewing process.
  • Expert Guidance: Skilled brewers oversee the workshop, offering guidance, tips, and answering any questions you may have along the way.
  • Community: Whether you attend a workshop solo or with friends, you’re likely to meet fellow beer enthusiasts, fostering a sense of community around the craft.
  • Tasting and Knowledge Sharing: Part of the fun is sampling different brews and learning from the various experiences and palates present.

Enhancing Your Beer Brewing Journey

After you’ve brewed your own beer at one of the workshops, the learning doesn’t stop there. Here are some ways to continue your brewing education:

  • Join a Homebrewing Club: Get involved with a local club where you can share experiences, get feedback on your brews, and continue learning.
  • Read and Research: The wealth of books and resources on beer brewing is extensive. Arm yourself with knowledge and consider investing in a few key texts.
  • Take Advanced Classes: With a firm foundation, consider taking more in-depth brewing classes to master specific styles or techniques.
  • Stay Curious: The most important ingredient in crafting great beer is your passion. Stay curious, experiment, and continue pushing the boundaries of your brewing skills.

For those who love a good pint and are looking to turn a hobby into a true craft, the brewing workshops in Paris offer a unique and enlightening experience. With dedicated breweries and the right guidance, you could be well on your way to becoming a home-brewing artisan — crafting beers that tantalize the taste buds and bring joy to any gathering. Remember, the secret to great beer is as much about the love and attention you pour into your craft as it is about the ingredients and the process itself. Santé! (Cheers!)