Just Brew it

The craft beer experts helping their customers discover new flavors

By Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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France has its beer capital: crossed by the Rhône and the Saône, the Rhône-Alpes region has the most microbreweries. There, Christophe Bechtel, the son of German brewers, created the first brewery in the 18th century, which was at the origin of Lyon's black beer. 

Today the region has 200 establishments, some of which are historic. No wonder why Guillaume and Constant chose the city to launch the Plante du Loup, a traditional beer cellar which perpetuates the tradition with conviviality. 

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Friendship first

It is a hybrid store: a beer cellar with a small catering and take-away service. "We have cider too, mainly bubbles! " tells Guillaume. La Plante du Loup, which he founded with an associate, is a tasting place rather than a bar. 

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In the 1970s, craft beers began to explode in the United States. The trend reached Europe in the 1980s and 1990s. 

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Before working together, Guillaume and Constant had been friends for more than fifteen years. They are both in their thirties and from Picardy. From their region, they have kept the taste for local products. 

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The training 

Working in craft beer trading requires a strong knowledge: after studying business in Reims, the team trained with beer specialist Elisabeth Pierre, who has over twenty years of experience. 

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La Plante du Loup encourages customers to discover new flavours and pairings: bitterness goes well with fatty foods, for instance. They offer tasting of four beers accompanied by as many dishes, or events revisiting a Lyon tradition with a craft beer sauce. 

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The district 

La Plante du Loup is located in a former grocery store in the Jean Macé district in the seventh arrondissement of Lyon, a former industrial district.

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The choice of the Rhône-Alpes region is no coincidence: it is the region with the most microbreweries in France, which allows La Pointe du Loup to work in partnership with local brewers. The food, too, is local, with meats and cheeses coming from local merchants. "The idea is to work in collaboration with people around us.”

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The store 

There are nearly 120 beers on the menu, and 350 references for take away. For each of the 120 existing styles of beer, the shop offers one national, one regional and one international option: such variety isn’t common. 

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La Plante du Loup also offers a new way to consume quality draught beers at home with the Growlers Station that can fill reusable 1L glass bottles. 

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From bitter to floral flavours... As wine merchants, their goal is to offer classic beers, while leaving room for experimentation. 

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Conviviality

Beyond its expertise and advice, the beer cellar aims to build customer loyalty with an emphasis on friendliness. "For us, a beer has to be shared. The aim is to discover new flavours, but not alone". 

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The future of brewers 

Guillaume is planning to open a second cellar in Lyon. Eventually, the Plante du Loup hopes to have its own brewery. For the time being, they produce their beer in collaboration with brewers who already have the tools. 

Craftsmen living from their passion share the desire to communicate different flavours to customers. So, for Guillaume, supporting them is essential: although beer is not necessarily an expensive product, it has a lot of taste, and even more human value.

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