Top French Cities - Microbreweries and Artisanal Beers in Western France

Press release


Over the past decade or so, Bordeaux has transformed itself into a noteworthy gastronomy hub. This year marked the fourth edition of BLIP, the Festival de Bières artisanales à Bordeaux, a five-day event with over 150 microbreweries from France and the rest of Europe.

• A restaurant-pub with its brewery in the basement, Au Nouveau Monde is 100% organic with a French-Canadian attitude.

La P’tite Martial is a traditional hand-brewed beer, labeled as organic and vegan. The brewery, centrally-located, welcomes visitors Tuesdays to Fridays, from 4-6pm.

• More than a trendy brewery, La Brasserie de la lune is an integral part of Bordeaux's eco-friendly movement. Darwin Beer is its glory, though it also has several others for all tastes.

• Less is more at Azimut Brasserie, which explores the different dimensions of creative craft beer making.

La Brasserie de Bacalan calls itself a neighborhood brewery, where the legend is more real than the story.

Brasserie PIP stands for Pression Imparfaitement Parfaite, and is a one-of-a-kind collaborative brewery, where visitors can also learn to make their own beers and partake in the whole process.

• An urban brewery in the heart of the wine district, the Bordeaux Beer Factory encourages tastings of its five staple artisanal beers.

Burdeos, which brews in the nearby town of Villenave d’Ornon, is best known for its blond with triple fermentation.

• In nearby Pessac, eco-friendly Gasconha beer is rustic, inspired by traditional English ales and bière de garde from Northern France.

• Young Brasserie L’Effet Papillon in Mérignac offers tours and tastings to discover their classics, as well as their quirkily named ephemeral collection.

See Bordeaux at a glance


Home to one of France's largest marinas, La Rochelle has a number of waterfront terraces and top quality seafood. The galette de Beurlay, a savory, crumbly cake, goes surprisingly well with beer.

• The award-winning Science Infuse from La Rochelle University is a pedagogical brewery, teaching the scientific and commercial aspects of beer making.

See La Rochelle at a glance


Toulouse, a vibrant city along the Garonne River, is full of surprises. For one, it's a European City of Science, which could indicate why so many locals are hitting the beer lab and experimenting with brewing techniques and recipes.

Brasserie Le Barboteur is a friendly beer counter that serves up its own brews on tap along with tapas from local producers.

• With its large selection, Brasserie Barallel is a popular beer and wine bar that also brews four of its own.

• Bar L'Autruche brewpub is a lively cultural venue also home to Brasserie du Bec.

Brasserie La Garonette hosts brewing workshops and has a good selection of artisanal beers, including a couple of gold medal ales.

Brasserie la Perle Toulousaine produces award-winning organic beers made with local grains.

See Toulouse at a glance


In October, the creative city of Nantes held its second Food Forum, which aims to raise awareness on food-related issues and the benefits of eating better. Following that, the city hosted its third edition of Bierfest, a fun event involving some 20 regional craft breweries.

Les bières de Charlotte, found exclusively in Nantes, brews three favorites year-round plus a few seasonal beers.

• Also a welcoming restaurant-bar, Les Brassés grows its own hops and produces light, bubbly beers.

Bubar is an easygoing bar and microbrewery that serves its non-pasteurized, non-filtered craft beers.

• Recently opened in Rezé, minutes from Nantes, Brasserie Nautile brews surprising farmhouse-style beers with fun, colorful labels.

Brasserie Philmore, located near the vineyards in Rezé, brews organic Trappist-style beers that only get better with age.

See Nantes at a glance


Angers, in the heart of the Loire Valley vineyards, is also Europe's largest horticulture center. It's not surprising then that beer lovers and brewers are taking advantage of the locally grown hops.

Brasserie Angevine tells the history of Angers through its beers, with each brew dedicated to a famous local.

• Made with organic local ingredients, Fabrique des Bières d’Anjou - La Piautre also ventures in whisky and eau de vie made from beer.

• Since 2012, Brasserie de Bouchemaine - la Belle de Maine has been brewing aromatic organic beers with pretty labels.

See Angers at a glance


A cultural hub renowned for its music, dance and theater, Rennes is also home to creative microbreweries. Try these beers with the local Breton-style hot dog, galette saucisse.

• Small, urban brewery Brasserie RZN produces what it calls City Ales, high fermentation English-style beers.

• In Melesse just outside of Rennes, Brasserie Drao is a farm-brewery run by two women who grow their own grains 100% organically.

Brasserie Skummen in Acigné brews creative craft beers, one of which is a gold medal Imperial Stout aged in Cognac barrels.

See Rennes at a glance

About Top French Cities –

Top French Cities is an association of 29 cities, from regional capitals like Bordeaux to important towns like Avignon and Versailles. They are perfect for young travelers, families and anyone else looking for fun and authentic French experiences that will fit their budget. Most of these cities are university towns with a youthful atmosphere, but all of them reflect the heritage and distinctive flavors of the regions to which they belong. Many are forward-looking too, with historic buildings repurposed to house contemporary art and activity centers like Les Docks in Marseille. Many have created or integrated new, modern museums to contrast with their classical, architectural heritage, like in Nimes, where the cutting-edge Museum of Roman Civilization (Musée de la Romanité) is located across from the historic Roman amphitheater, or in Nantes, where whimsical mechanical creatures are being created, or in the UNESCO World Heritage Site concrete city of Le Havre.


Atout France – The France Tourism Development Agency
(212) 745-0983