The Tuesday Stat Attack: 7 France

Welcome to the 7th attempt to get people using the forums more, this week we are looking at France. What’s France famous for? I hear you ask. Well, Paris mostly, with all it’s fine monuments/buildings and the rude people who live there. It’s also got some of the Alps and Pyrenees, lovely countryside including a huge coast line that boasts a few famous names like Calais, Dunkirk and St Tropez. You can add wine, sparkling wine, onions and berets if you must. Oh, it’ also has a bike race that’s pretty popular.

1442 active breweries, 99 closed according to RateBeer.
298 Cideries, 43 Meaderies and 1 Sake producer.

@VDuquerroux has sampled beers from 360 of those breweries, @jaghana is second with 324 and third comes @darsh97 on 253.

Most beers sampled again sees VDuquerroux and and jaghana at the top with 2470 and 2084 respectively, third is @calisky on 1466. There is a spattering of British raters in the French top 50 with the top three being @zacgillbanks, @harrisoni and @minutemat.

We’ve split France into 13 regions, but 11 people have somehow manged to rate beers from 14 of them. Obviously a glitch in the system somewhere.

OK, over to you.



So is Biere De Garde a variation on Saison or something completely different?


Thanks for keeping these forum threads going. I rarely have much to contribute but I enjoy reading everyone else’s posts.

France is not a country I associate with beer in general really, so the fact it has that many breweries is a bit of a surprise to me. It doesn’t even make my top 20 countries, it’s down in 24th place with an insignificant 15 rates for me so far, with one beer from PRIZM in the fridge so 16 soon.

PRIZM and Popihn are the only two modern craft breweries I’ve sampled from, both very decent, the former especially for NE IPAs. The remainder is made up of mass produced lagers and a few classics like Castelain Ch’Ti.
I did drink copious amounts of Kronenbourg back in my uni days though as it was one of the cheaper mass produced lagers and frequently on offer.

I’m keen to try more (good) beer from France, I’d also like to try some French cider to see how that compares to British stuff. Happy to hear any brewery and cidery recommendations people might have.

That’s due to breweries without a region assigned. I took a look before posting this and ended up finding 6 culprits in total, so I’ve fixed them all and those 11 people correctly have 13 regions now :slight_smile:


No cheese?? :cheese::cheese::cheese:

I’d also add toll roads and chateaus… And quite a lot more actually. Will write a proper report when I get back from watching seal pups being born in Jeremy’s beloved home county.

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In terms of French beer, I appear to be semi-virginal. 3 beers from 1442 active breweries suggests that I have barely gone beyond a French kiss. As with so many of my Ratebeer stats this one draws a veil over a dubious past when trips to France certainly included beer. However, it remains true that wine figured more prominently with a meandering drive in Burgundy staying long in the memory. My children also occasionally remind me of their increasing alarm as I drove from farmhouse to farmhouse sampling Calvados. Well, this is becoming less a beer and place commentary than a signed confession of DWI.
The most painful part of the saying that the British love France and hate the French is that it is equally true in reverse and for many of the same reasons. I remember my delight in discovering the sheer variety of landscape to be found in Normandy, which most French people I suspect would regard as the least auspicious region of the country compared to the Auvergne and elsewhere. I think most English people could readily adapt to French cuisine so if they can also do really good beer, as good as their wine, we should all find a boat and sail across the Channel. However, since my one high rating of the three French beers sampled is Brewdog’s recent collab Export porter, maybe I should stop writing now and order some beer.


Love stat attacks!

France is tied for my 14th highest rated country with 14 rates.

I spent 24hr or so in Paris with wife back in day but was just wine and site seeing no place rates. Also spent a couple hours in Eze on coast a lovely medieval town but no place rates either. Countries I’ve visited with no place rates really irk me.

On flight home from Paris to New York City about 4 hours in they annnounce something in French and whole plane groans, then they do in English and say technical issue with air system and while safe can only be fixed in Paris so we turn around. Basically a 8hr flight to no where. Then just give us meal voucher for airport and we leave again in few hours.


Indeed, as stated by @minutemat : no cheese???

With an offer ranging from very smelly to horribly smelly, I would have hoped this would be mentioned. The rude Parisian here is shocked. XD

I somehow managed to be in the top 3 somewhere… Nice.
I might be in the top contributors too for adding new beers. Do we have access to that stat?

Anyway and more seriously: yes, the craft beer scene has been very active and it’s not a recent trend. As many other European countries, we used to have a dense network of small local breweries 80 years ago. Then they gradually disappeared and were later replaced by mass (shitty) products avilalbe worldwide. 20 years ago, beers connoisseurs here would be drinking Belgian double only or Trappists.
Now we are back to lots of local brewers, some trying to restore some old/forgotten local hops. I have to confess we still have a long way to go before reaching quality levels par with the current standards…
But we have some gems here. Popihn was mentioned and, IMHO, totally unoivadable if you like IPAs and NEIPAs. They tend to produce more or less the same beers but if you’re really into those ones, you’ll be able to taste many (slightly) different ones.
La Débauche from Angoulême is also a very interesting brewery.
If you want to try other very good products, I’d recommend Hoppy Road, Sainte Cru and Piggy Brewing Company.
All those being quite large and well established microbreweries, their products are probably easier to source abroad than other breweries’.




83 Ratings puts France at #9 of my most rated countries list.
Rated 9 of 13 Regions.
4 place ratings, all in Paris / Ile-de-France. None of them particularly impressed us (this was 2010). The top rated place we tried to visit was closed because the owners were on vacation!

My Top 5 Ratings
Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie
Thiriez Vieille Brune
3 Monts Bière de Flandre
Thiriez Extra
Fleurac La Triple Brune I.P.A. Vieilli en fût

None of my top 10 ratings were consumed in France! The Fleurac may have been infected but in a way that I enjoyed!

Random Bits:

  • I actually won a free trip to Brussels and Paris in an online contest. I almost hung up the phone on the person thinking it was a scam.
  • Our Paris trip started out very poorly. Our train from London broke down just past the chunnel so we arrived in Paris several hours late. We went to the wrong hotel with a similar name which we discovered after carrying our luggage up two flights of stairs. Fortunately the correct hotel was not that far away.
  • Our first day in Paris I misjudged the scale of my printed maps and took us on what I thought was a 3-5km walk through the city and it was more like 12km. We arrived at the Louvre exhausted and cranky. We had other map related issues in Paris, including finding the toilet at the Louvre! :slight_smile:
  • Musee d’Orsay and the Rodin museum were far more enjoyable experiences than Louvre overall, largely due to having much smaller crowds, and fewer obnoxious tourists as a result.
  • We stopped at a cafe near the Eiffel tower mostly to use the washroom. I said one word to the waiter “Bonjour!” and he swapped out the French menu for an English one.
  • Looking back at my trip notes it’s funny how much easier it is traveling with a cell phone data plan and Google maps now!

I have been a bit poor in responding on these threads recently. I even missed posting on Rutland which I’m top rater in. So starting with my normal school report “must do better”

For France. I have not been in my rate beer days except a Eurostar to Brussels (travelled through France obviously).

I did once years go to the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, I was about 7 or 8. I managed to get split up from my parents. Apparently when they found me, I said “I wasn’t lost. I knew exactly where I was.“

I have tried 8 French regions and for those who like to tick these off added Occitanie to my regions. Earlier this week With this beer:

I got it from RAD beer if you’re interested.

So my 38 beers are from 8 regions. Top marks go to a couple of beer @harrisoni brought to Cotteridge back in 2017 and 2016.



120 rates from France for me, sharing top spot at 4.1 are these 3 ciders:
Les Vergers de Kermao Cidre Cornouaille, Bordatto Basandere & La Cidrerie Du Golfe Cidre d’Ici

Have been to France quite afew times over the years, mainly Paris, from interrailing in the 1990s, to watching Catalan Dragons play Castleford in Carcassonne in the 2000’s, to a EuroDisney Paris visit with the family in the 2010’s. My focus these days is on ciders and there are plenty to be had in France, with 298 active Cideries, Les Celliers Associés having the most with 59 listed.

I’ve extended the top lists of Ciders & Cideries raters for France to show the top 10, just so I make it in the lists! Have abit of work to catch @sjogro in top spot.

FranceCider Ratings



I begrudgingly like France, but I tend to just use it as an entry into mainland Europe and carry on into Belgium or Germany. Stopping on the return journey at some hypermarket to buy a few bottles of wine and whatever beer takes my fancy.

My first ever trip was to the Paris Air Show (1971 or 1972). The bus took us straight to the show from the ferry. I got so drunk on the way that I fell asleep on the bus, my mates woke me up on their return, didn’t see a single aircraft or display, just the coach park. Luckily the second day at the show was OK and I was sober, got lost in Paris that night though.

I have had two holidays in the South of France, the first glamping years ago in Argelès-sur-Mer, which is close to the Spanish border, the children loved it, OK so did my wife and I. The second a leisurely drive and back to Sainte-Maxime for a wedding, which also incorporated a visit to Monaco (so I could rate some beers and review a bar).

France is my 9th highest rated country with 146 and I’ve sampled beers from 10 of the 13 regions with over half coming from Hauts-de-France (83 actually). 47 different breweries in that total, 4 rates are ciders, coming from 3 different cideries. No French Mead or Sake has touched my lips yet!

Top Beers

Just two place reviews, both supermarkets. No bridges to report about, the Chunnel is a fantastic piece of engineering though and I’ve used it many times since it was built.



Just the 3 French rates for me, covering 2 of the regions - it aint a country I associate with beer at all to be honest, and I’ve seen very few beers from there over the years, so a little surprised to see the number of breweries - in my mind’s eye I see them all churning out little stubbies of nondescript grassy lager! Have been to France many many times over the years, but not recently - it was a family-favourite holiday destination when I was a child, and I’ve been to all 4 corners I reckon. And just for @BlackHaddock I have to mention the spectacular bridge over the Tarn:


I like France, but beerwise I have a very poor showing at 44 ratings, which makes it my 16th most rated country. This is mainly because French beer is hardly available here… for some reason importers here only import a small number of French beers but lots of ciders (mostly 750 ml bottles), which I don’t drink that often.

Used to visit France almost annually in the past (also as a favourite family holiday destination), but that was many years prior to joining ratebeer. Since joining I have unfortunately only been to France once - a short Eurostar trip to Paris in December 2018, during which I mainly drank African pale lagers from France’s former colonies and a couple of supermarket Bière de Gardes. :grinning:


France is a country very close to my heart. I met my wife there, lived there for a short period of time and have travelled extensively throughout the entire length and breadth of the country over many years.

It tends to get a bad rap beer-wise, but the North (Le Flandres / Le Nord / Nord Pas de Calais) has a great beer and brewing heritage, with influential brewers such as Brasserie Thiriez starting in 1996 at the cusp of the craft beer movement, and a great network of country gastropubs (Estaminets) in the region serving an often huge selection of beer and home cooked Flemish food, often using beer as an ingredient.

I’ve often recommended a stop at Cassel for those travelling to Belgium, which also received the prestigious ‘Beau Village de France’ appellation a few years ago. There was even a ceremony in the square live on national TV! In the last few years there has been a huge amount of craft breweries starting up in Dunkirk all the way along the coast and down to Lille, and new bars cropping up like the excellent ‘Chope n Shop’ in Hazebrouck to seek such breweries out.

Nationally France is blessed with a large network of V&B bars, usually located in out-of-town retail parks. Mostly Belgian / German beer, but there’s usually a ‘biere artisanaal’ section (French term for ‘Craft Beer’) with local and EU craft gems. Pretty much wherever you visit in France, there will be a V&B close by, but the sheer amount of small specialist independent craft beer stores around the country have usually prevented me having to visit them.

Also, France has really taken to the concept of ‘pour-your-own-beer’ bars, where you charge up a card, scan at a self-pour station, select your beer and pour away, with a petrol-pump style amount accruing on the screen. Personally, I quite like them. One chain tends to focus mainly on national blands like Grimbergen and Kronenbourg, but another chain Beer o Clock has a good range of EU craft beer. You could easily tick off the full range and only pour yourself a pint’s worth.

Spent a lovely 10 days in France a few years back - 3 days in Paris exploring every touristic sight and attraction, then 3 days in the Loire Valley, visiting every chateau and wine producer, then 3 days in Normandy, visiting just about every ciderie. Thoroughly recommend it, although needed another break to recover.

Have good touring memories from France such as taking a Jamaican reggae / dancehall artist and crew for a gig in Chamonix and having a snowball fight for the first time in their life. Another with a grindcore band at a squat in a remote barn in rural France, run by crust punks serving free pizza to everyone, and a sheep called Biquette standing at the front of the crowd in front of the stage watching and listening the entire set. I posted a video on YouTube that went viral and Vice wrote about it Grind Goat Will Never Die But You Will

(The video was deleted by their record label after I refused to give them youtube royalty payments)

Many more memories, but I realise this post is already quite long so need to cut to the beer stats.

499 ratings, putting France in 7th place.

Top rated beers are below, which I think if I tried them today wouldn’t get such high scores, but there you go:

Rated beer / cider from only 5 regions strangely. If only I could turn back the clock and rate beers from all the towns I visited!

Normandy / Brittany is of course known for producing excellent cider and perry, and I fully recommend exploring either region, including the circular Route du Cidre, and spending a couple of days visiting these farmhouse producers. French cider does taste quite ‘samey’ after a while, but the keeving process produces a consistently high standard. A very scenic part of France, with the Eretat cliffs, rolling hills, Eric Satie museum and extensive network of cycle paths.

Right I’d better stop there.


24 in total.

My wife’s aunt used to run a B&B in France… in the middle of nowhere near the Belgian border. About 2 years before joining RB we stayed with them. I bought quite a few beers at the local supermarket (presumably from the biere artisanaal section referred to above) but made no notes so no idea what I had. Come to think of it, going to the supermarket was actually most interesting thing to do as the area was dead.

One very French moment stood out for me. There was a beer museum in the local town so we got dropped off at noon and were told that the aunt would pick us up at 14:00. Of course that was the period during which the museum was shut for lunch.


The beer museum in Poperinge perhaps? That 2-hour lunch closure was the bane of my life the entire time I lived there.


Went to France a lot on family holidays as a child & also quite a lot of boozy day trips when I was in my twenties. Since being a parent the booze cruises have had to stop & I think I’ve only been twice since joining RB (and both those were family orientated trips).

So… sadly no place ratings, and a mere 11 beer ratings - which are obviously dominated by macro crud, as my average score for France is a mere 2.61. My top French beers to date are:

My 11 rates have actually come from a reasonable spread of brewers - 7 different brewers across 5 different regions. I was quite astonished to see how many brewers there are in France now - clearly I need to try some more!

My wife and I both got together and got engaged in Paris, so it will always have special memories for me. However, I’d agree that the people of Paris (and north-east France) are often pretty rude and unfriendly - a complete contrast to the people of the south and west of the country, who always seem very warm and welcoming.

I have a few memories to share of France:

  • Being ejected from a bar in Lille because one of our group was from Quebec, and therefore (in the barman’s eyes) a traitor because he was French but didn’t live in France!
  • As a child, rolling down the Grande Dune du Pilat near Bordeaux, which is apparently the highest sand dune in Europe (reached ludicrous speed, probably lucky not to get injured!).
  • The amazing La Defense business park in Paris (trust me on this one, you’ll never see a more impressive business park!),
  • The freaky mirror-and-video screen maze in the Pompidou Centre in Paris, where you are surrounded by images of yourself going in unexpected directions.

One slightly unexpected French fact I’ve just stumbled across - the Village People (YMCA and… errm… some other songs) were founded by a couple of french guys.


What a wonderful country, for the most part anyway. I’ve been to France 3 times. Paris in 1995, Nantes in 1998 and Lyon & Annecy in 2015. Desperate to go again. I’m terrible with languages (all three of my kids speak French better than I do) although I’m improving.

The highlights of the last trip had to be Lac d’Annecy, the olde-fashioned town of Yvoire and discovering Reblochon cheese.

Beer-wise, I was only rating in my last visit but found some gems (although I probably rated more Belgians on that jaunt). I’ve also picked up the odd gem in the UK but for the most part you don’t see a lot of the better French breweries round these parts. I’ve managed a paltry 31 rates, the best of which are:

I’ve rated the very average Ninkasi Fabriques the most (5 beers) followed by 3 each for Sainte Cru, Brasserie Saint Germain (Page 24) and The Piggy.

9 places rated all in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (if Ratebeer had split France into regions then, I might have tried to get around more). Best of the lot, by some way, were:

Au bon coin was quite a shock to find, such a decent little craft beer bar in a village with a population of 376 (according to Wikipedia, and I’m surprised there are that many).


France for me is that big land mass on the eastern horizon, only 13 miles away. I’ve been around 20 times including day trips, not for 3 years though, had visits to Amiens, Cassel & Caen booked eroute to the Netherlands that I had to cancel last year. Hope to re book that for the spring.
It’s a big country that I’ve only covered a small part off… highlights include Loire valley chateau’s, Brittany’s towns & coastal routes, Normandy spine tingling landing beaches, Strasbourg & Paris.
Beer highlight would be my visit to Cassel a few years ago, which I loved. A evening in Kerelshof where I got to know the very friendly owner & shared some of the best local beers from Nord.

I’ve 308 rating for France, recently slipping into 3rd place of my countries rated list with a 3.16 average, around 0.15 lower than England & Scotland.

Top beers - Ninkasi Grand Cru - Wheat Wine 4.2
La Debauche Super Vanilla Brew 4.1
La Debauche Nevermore 4.1
La Debauche Black Ale India Stout 4.0
Matten Imperial Black IPA 4.0

Top breweries - La Debauche 3.65 average over 18 beers
Thiriez 3.53 average over 6
Goutte d’Or 3.48 over 5
Ninkasi Fabriques 3.45 over 8
Matten 3.39 over 9

I’ve rated 12/13 regions missing the very difficult to get Provence-Alpes Cote d’Azur
I’m in 4th place for Brittany rating with 117 ratings
Also make an appearance with Pays de la Loire, 40th with 12 rating

I’ve rated 12 places from 5/13 regions

    • Kerelshof, Cassel
    • La Cave Bulles, Paris (closed)
    • 'T Kasteelhof, Cassel
    • Bieres des Terroirs, Dijon