Lyon and beer have a love story that goes back a long way. All the way back to the Middle Ages in fact. More recently, in the eighteenth century, the brewer Christophe Bechtel created a very hoppy, bitter stout with low carbonation known as the ‘Noire de Lyon’ or ‘Porter de Lyon’.
In recent years, bevvy drinkers have watched with delight as craft breweries regularly pop up in and around Lyon.
Here is our pick of locally made brews:
The brewery Ninkasi (named after the goddess of beer in Sumerian mythology) was born of the desire of its founder, Christophe Fargier, to bring the American micro-brewery concept to France. After learning the trade in micro-breweries across the Atlantic in the early 90s, he moved to Gerland (in Lyon’s 7th district) where he opened the Ninkasi brewery in 1997.
Now based in Tarare, just outside of Lyon, Ninkasi has a wide selection to choose from, including classic, “craft experience”, seasonal and limited-edition beers, each with its own distinct character. Whether you like your beer light, strong or fruity, there is something to suit all tastes.
More than a brewery, Ninkasi is a bar and restaurant chain, and holds events all over Lyon and its region.
Where to find Ninkasi beers? You can find them in many shops in Lyon and the surrounding area, as well as its online store and via home delivery services.
No Lyonnais worth their salt has never heard of Brasserie Georges and its famous beers. Nothing short of a local institution, it was founded in 1836 by Georges Hoffherr, who was raised in Alsace by a family of brewers.
After having stopped production on its premises for several decades, beer production was resumed at Brasserie Georges in 2004. Including lagers, stouts and golden ales, these beers are full of personality and character, qualities that established the brewery as a major landmark on Lyon’s food scene.
Where to find La Brasserie Georges beers? You can find them in a dozen shops in Lyon and the surronding area and they can be purchased directly from the brewery to take away.
La Canute Lyonnaise
Located in Pierre-Bénite to the south of Lyon, La Canute Lyonnaise (named after Lyon’s former silk workers, the ‘Canuts’) has brewed natural, additive- and preservative-free beers since 2015.
The beers lovingly crafted by Simon, Anne-Pauline and François are named in honour of iconic places and neighbourhoods in Lyon: Confluence, X Rousse (for La Croix-Rousse), Tête d’Or, Hôtel-Dieu… And like each of the city’s places and neighbourhoods, each beer has its own characteristics and identity.
Where to find La Canute Lyonnaise beers? You can find them in many shops in Greater Lyon.
Tom & Co
After meeting in Shanghai, travelling together for several months, studying the art of brewing at an uncle’s brewery and attending the 2017 Lyon Bière Festival, Tom and Coline inaugurated their own micro-brewery in March 2018, in Lyon city centre.
Tom and Coline’s unfiltered and unpasteurized beers are made using organic ingredients and are brewed and sold on the premises.
Tom and Coline share a deep respect for the environment, a value that runs through each step of their beer-making process: the spent grain (brewing residue) is used to grow mushrooms in Oullins, while a dedicated 300-litre vat retrieves used water to cool down the wort during brewing.
Where to find Tom & Co beers? They are sold at 5 Rue des Capucins, Lyon 69001, as well as its online shop, via home delivery services.
To the north-east of Lyon, in Rillieux-la-Pape, Brasserie Dulion has a selection of original and innovative recipes, using exclusively local and organic ingredients: the grains come from Grand Parc Miribel Jonage and the hops from Vallée d’Azergues in the Beaujolais region.
This brewery stands out as a pioneer in the creation of drinks fermented using unmalted grains. Brasserie Dulion skips the malting stage when processing its locally sourced grains, which considerably reduces energy and water use.
The unique expertise developed by the brewery means it can use various grains, like buckwheat for example, and therefore offer more specific flavours than your average beer.
Where to find La Brasserie Dulion beers? You will find them on sale at specialist organic shops in the Lyon region.
Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to health; drink with moderation.