Deck & Donohue: Monk brown ale
Mike Donohue and Thomas Deck are friends who managed to go from drinking the beer they love to making it. Open just over a month, their brewery, Deck & Donohue, is already making waves in Paris. Located in the Parisian suburb Montreuil, the brewery is one of the few close enough to Paris to bike to. I made it out there during a Saturday open house to taste their Monk brown ale and see what else was on tap.
In addition to four delightful beers, I found a bright, friendly brewery with some sleek new equipment. A super-mobile 500L Braumeister, the first of its kind to be used commercially in France, was pretty impressive gleaming in the corner across from a group of fermenters, conditioning tank and a semi-automatic bottling machine. The guys do everything themselves from start to finish. They’ve also worked out a pretty cool deal exchanging spent grain for vegetables from a local farmer.
Of their 5-beer line up (the fifth is on its way!), the Monk brown ale is my favorite. It’s dark and, in the brewer’s own words, “jazzy.” It’s smooth from the addition of oats, and not too bitter. Notes of chocolate, licorice and caramel ring out on a malty background that tapers to a gently bitter finish.
Deck & Donohue like to do simple beers that put a unique spin on a traditional base. Hops seem to be “the thing” in French beers at the moment, so it was nice to find something that’s a little more subtle, but still flavorful.
You can add this to the growing list of craft brews to check out on your next trip to Paris.