This is a Christmas shout-out for Allez-HOPS! What is Allez-HOPS, you ask? It is cave à bière (beer cellar) in the heart of Nice, France. Now, those of you who know me or have seen my pictures KNOW that I am a wine drinker. White at lunch; red at night. That wasn’t always the case. Here is the back story:
Back in the day, when I was a student at the University of Wisconsin, it was beer all the way. In the ‘80’s, I started having reactions to malt (along with basil, cilantro, herb teas, and other things). I quit drinking beer and eating Mars bars (just kidding about the Mars bars. Yuk.)
Last Christmas, I went to an American Club of the Riviera event – A Christmas Local Beer Tasting and Lunch. http://americanclubriviera.com/ I wasn’t sure what would happen if I tried to experience a “tutored beer tasting by Daniel Deganutti”, one of the governors. https://allez-hops.com/ I was willing to try. This was my first Christmas after Steve’s death. I needed to get out of the condo.
The Tasting started at 11:00 a.m. Beer, IN THE MORNING??? No matter. I could call Uber if I needed help home. Plus, the French 3-course lunch “by an accomplished chef at the nearby Pastry Plaisirs” sounded delicious. http://pastryplaisirs.com/en/
What a fun day! I enjoyed every minute of it. Met interesting people, sipped a lot of beers, learned the type I like (forgot what he said), ate delicious food, and discovered I can handle malt.
Pastry Plaisirs only opens for lunch Monday through Friday, and dinner on Friday and Saturday. Plus, it caters to private events, birthday parties, and such. It is small, intimate, and delicious, starting when the chef, Louis Dubois, born at Poitiers, decided to open his restaurant, tea room and pastry shop with his girl friend Aurore Parrant. He cooks; she serves. Yum.
As for Allez-HOPS, I am not certain how it started. I asked, got the Readers Digest version, and quickly forgot what he said. Well, he was preparing for a tasting while I wanted to know where he and his family lived in the Mid-West. Haha. I will get the facts and get back to you. What I do remember, a guy, Daniel, from the Mid-West moved with his family and his life savings to Nice in 2015, to open a craft beer shop in Nice. What???? In the middle of wine country? It was inaugurated in July 2016, and has a selection of more that 400 local and international references, and contains a micro-brewery, making on the spot the beers of their mark called “Brasserie Bluee”. And, he is doing quite well!!
Since then, I have walked by Allez-HOPS many times, going to and from my physical therapist.
I have not stopped in because, as I said, I am a wine drinker. But, last week, I was having a couple of friends in for cocktails, and one drinks Duvel beer. So, I went to Allez-HOPS, bought 4 Duvel beers, 4 Duvel-type beer glasses, and got “delivered” home by Daniel because the package was heavy and I was walking. What a nice guy. He and his family live in Grasse, and he commutes every day. I am pulling for him and his shop.