The expat crowd here in Paris is a fairly tight group.
We commiserate, we comfort, we pull out all the contents of our homes to open our very own Duty Free shop.
The beer drinkers here bemoan the lack of good hoppy brews though. Not being ones to sit around and bitch and moan without offering a solution, plans were made. Grand plans.
A small brewery's worth of equipment was purchased from the UK, and hops and grains and yeasts were ordered from far away places. The Brooklyn idea of DIY beermaking has yet to take hold in France. There are a handful of hobby brewers in Paris and they have the same issues with getting supplies. We're considering this to be the start of the Brooklynification of Paris. Hopefully we will soon be able to take a hog-butchering class, and then make our own letterpress labels for our home brew.
While the first brew was not easy and fraught with small disasters such as THE WATER BEING TURNED OFF and much time spent hauling buckets from 2 floors up, and a few minor issues with UK to French voltage being converted, but the brew has not suffered. All 15 gallons of it is currently in the fermenters, bubbling away as I type as the yeast turns sugar into alcohol for us.
We will see if the ultra-hard water in Paris yields good results. Softners had to be added, but part of the charms of homebrewing is the characteristics of the local water. This is purely theoretical to me as I am still a fan of the grape, and if we distilled the brew I would probably drink that as well. I keep trying it, but I just don't like la bière.
Another week before it is ready to be bottled. I'll get my letter press skills fired up.