The Gallia brewery has been producing artisan beers in Pantin (on the edge of Paris) since 2016, but the adventure started a number of years before that, and the brand itself was initially founded in the 19th century!
Their success is now so great that demand exceeds supply – you’ll only find their beers in the Paris region, simply because there aren’t enough bottles to ship elsewhere.
Now, the brewery has started doing guided visits, and have opened heir own bar in a leafy courtyard with an exhibition space, dancefloor and DJs.
We went down to check out this funky venue and learn a little about beer brewing. Here’s our photo report…
The Gallia brand dates from 1890. Back in the day, the brewery was to be found in the 14th arrondissement, not far from our hotels.
Although successful, and surviving two World Wars during which brewing continued, the brand eventually fell out of favour and production stopped in the 1960s. Only forty years later would the name be reused – with the agreement of the inheritors of the brand – by two young men passionate about their beer. The Gallia 2.0 adventure could commence!
(You can read the full story about the rise, fall and rise of Gallia here.)
Despite the brewery’s success, production is limited, with four main beers brewed regularly, with several limited edition beers added to the roster from time to time.
We decided to take part in one of the guided visits on offer (for just 10 euros) every other Sunday to discover the place, its beers and the philosophy behind it all.
If you’ve never heard of Pantin, it’s a suburb on the north side of Paris, and quite the up-and-coming area by all accounts, with advertising agencies and art galleries flocking there recently. The metro runs through Pantin, so it’s like going to anywhere else in Paris really, except there’s more space and perhaps a slightly more relaxed vibe.
Five minutes from the metro, Gallia is in a courtyard that includes a hangar housing the actual brewery, a building with their offices, and a second smaller hangar that serves for exhibitions, workshops and other events.
Further down the courtyard you’ll also find lots of tables and chairs so you can sip your drink outside, as well as the bar itself, the DJ booth (er, table), the dancefloor (open until midnight) and even a tiny swimming pool (so small in fact that it’s more like a big plastic crate that no more than three people could fit into).
Even at 2pm on a Sunday, the atmosphere was cool and positive!
Our young guide wlecomed us and explained how they choose the ingredients for their beer, and how the brewing process can modify the taste and strength of the final product…
The place is spotlessly clean, which is very important as certain microbes can alter the flavour of the beer (sometime they are introduced deliberately in a controlled fashion for exactly this reason).
The size of the vats is impressive, and apparently more are ot be added soo in order to ramp up production.
We also learned that their output is a drop in the ocean compared to most industrial brewers, and even some micro-breweries. And in a world where everything can be bought anywhere, we were surprised to leanr that you won’t find Gallia outside of the Paris area, simply because there isn’t enough to go round.
It’s at this point that we were able to realise fully the huge differences in taste that different beers can have.
It also struck us that in addition to their great beers, the company’s smart and stylish logo and graphic design probably aided their success.
We loved spending a couple of hours at the Gallia Brewery, tasting the beers and soacking up the atmosphere
It’s an ideal place to finish off a long summer evening or passing a long Sunday afternoon. Try and book the guided visit if your interest in beer and knwoledge of French are strong enough!
Visits (10€ per person) are everyy other Sunday at 2.30pm. Book online here
To chekc out all our photos of the Gallia Brewery in Pantin, simply click here.
En France, on est très attaché aux couleurs des bières, même si ça ne veut pas forcément dire grand chose sur leur goût. On aime les bières “blanches”, “blondes”, “brunes” ou encore “ambrées”, et pourquoi pas rose comme notre dernière éphémère ? Sans colorant, cette Berliner Weisse a été généreusement infusée avec des framboises et de la rhubarbe. Notre “rose” est faite pour séduire toutes les papilles (tous genres confondus !). Venez la tester au Bar Gallia, mais attention elle partira vite ! #biereartisanale #craftnotcrap #lavieenrose #craftbrew #pantin #galliaparis #apero
L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé