There are two pub/restaurant micro-breweries in the Toulouse area. One alone is deserving of attention and it’s right in the middle of Toulouse, rue de l’Industrie: Frog & Rosbif
Easily reached by bus or Underground (car parking is also available but one should never drink and drive, it spoils the appreciation of a good pint), and a short brisk walk away from Place Wilson and its cinemas, the Frog & Rosbif resembles a traditional British pub, minus the bottles of spirits in optics and the Greasy Pie Display. You can, however, order an inexpensive meal. These are provided by local restaurants (one is Indian and includes a vegetarian option) and the one I had was most enjoyable.
Ales are brewed on-site. A fair variety is on offer and the nice man behind the bar kindly allowed some friends and myself to sample all the house ales on our first visit. I prefer dark beers, my friends tend to prefer lager.
- Darktagnan stout, A.B.V. roughly 5%, not as dark as Guinness (if you want a draught Guinness, you’ll have to go to the Dubliners) and very tasty. Definitely cheers you up on a cold wet evening. I rated it a close second to…
- Brew de l’Industrie, A.B.V. 5.2%. A pleasant, light yet malty affair. Possibly a little on the bland side, although during a hot, dusty, Toulouse summer this can often be counted a plus for those who don’t like lager or white beers. Actually, I don’t usually like bitters, but this is my favourite out of the six house beers.
- Aeropostale, A.B.V. 4.4%. A bitter, and according to the pub’s website it’s the most popular of the six house beers. Personally I don’t like it, as I found it tastes of caramel (please note, this doesn’t mean it’s a sweet beer, in fact it’s quite the opposite) and I hate caramel. In fact none of our group liked it. Possibly you need to be English to appreciate it.
- Ginger Twist, A.B.V. 4.4%. Described as “amber” on the site, although in the gloom of the pub it’s hard to tell apart from the lager, this one left us cold at first taste. Then we had another go at it while eating my vegetable biryani, and found the touch of ginger and lemon just right. Highly recommended with spicy food.
- Frog Natural Blonde, A.B.V. 4.2%. Yer lager. I don’t like lager as a rule, so I’m not the best judge here. It seems well made and full-bodied, so lager-drinkers should enjoy it. The ones in our group did.
- Maison Blanche, A.B.V. 4.2%. A white beer. For those of you who haven’t come across this Belgian invention, it’s a light beer often served with a slice of lemon in, much appreciated when the sun’s blazing down. This one’s good, without being outstanding. Must try it again in summer.
The Frog & Rosbif is actually part of a small group, with pubs in Paris and Bordeaux. Each will have its own specialities.
- Frogging around in Paris (gigglewater411.wordpress.com)