CRAFT BEER IN GENEVA
(PLUS an Open Air Craft Beer Festival)
by Geli Carney
Believe it or not, beer is having a moment. Recent medical research suggests we should drink more of the fermented grain for better gut health and who am I to argue with the experts? And, as elsewhere, that moment is no less happening than here in Geneva. Rather like Swiss wine (who knew, right?) locally crafted beers – while they may not have a huge profile outside the region – not only do exist, but there is an excellent choice available and a variety of pleasant ways in which to enjoy them. So in the interest of better gut health I set off to find out more…
A lively and friendly bar
My ‘research’ began with an evening at ‘Au Coin Mousse’ in Les Grottes, a lively and friendly bar exclusively serving beer. Daunted? Don’t be! With 21 different varieties – mostly local and all small-scale productions – on tap and plenty more available in bottles, you’re unlikely to get bored of beer or struggle to find something you like. If you’re unsure of your choice, the friendly staff will offer guidance and maybe even a small sample for you to taste before you buy. Even then, with the beers sold in relatively small servings (25 to 33cl) and prices starting from only 5chf/glass you definitely feel encouraged to experiment!
Listing of beers updated daily
The bar itself is very attractive with an imposing black board listing the beers available (changes daily) and, while the seating – at least downstairs – has a rather functional look of dark wood, bistro-style tables and chairs (there are cosier-looking wooden benches up on the mezzanine level) I found this did not detract from the convivial atmosphere of the place which quickly filled up with locals, expats, younger and older customers and – perhaps surprising given its exclusively beer-focused nature – a refreshingly balanced mix of men and women.
Something to nibble on
As you can imagine with a bar that prides itself on serving 21 different types of optimum-stored and perfectly served beer, food plays second fiddle here but there are a couple of choices available to you: if, like me, you enjoy a few nibbles with your beer, platters of charcuterie and cheeses are available to order at the bar. Alternatively, time your visit for a Thursday evening when the market at Les Grottes (just down the street) is on. Treat yourself to some artisanal weekend groceries and savour a few samples of market-fresh produce along the way before wending your way to Au Coin Mousse and you have the perfect formula to kick-start your ‘jeudredi’/weekend vibe.
If another bar exists in Geneva where it’s possible to choose from such a wide and interesting selection of artisanal beers, made with care by local producers and served with passion and a smile, I’ve yet to find it!
Au Coin Mousse, 21 rue du Fort-Barreau, 1201 Genève. Telephone: 022 740 57 50.
OPEN AIR CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL
Turns out I was wrong – if only temporarily:
Mid-June sees the arrival of the first ever Open Air Craft Beer Festival! Explore the world of Geneva-brewed beer at the first and biggest festival of its kind!
Open Air Craft Beer Festival – 15-18 June 2017
- 25 craft beer makers and over 125 beers to try
- live music and food trucks
Festibiere de Genève, place de la Sardaigne, 1227 Carouge.
Fee: CHF 2 to CHF 3 per/dl for beer tastings. Entry is free.