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Good Beer Hunting

Jan 6, 2022

Emily Monaco’s latest story starts off with a very loaded concept, that controversial T word: terroir. This romantic, albeit somewhat undefinable term, has been synonymous with wine—and especially French wine—for generations. But now, as French beer continues to come into its own, the tastes of right here, right now are being emphasized by a number of breweries, but one in particular: Deck & Donohue.

Not that Deck & Donohue would use the word “terroir” to describe its mission. In Emily’s piece “Liberté, Égalité, Authenticité — Deck & Donohue in Paris, France,” which was published on November 24, 2021, she takes a deep and deeply personal look at what makes this opinionated, locally driven brewery tick. Accompanied by a collection of arresting photographs by Eileen Cho, the piece looks at the brewery’s beginning, its goals, and its future as a hyper-local producer of artisanal beers that relies on as many organic and France-sourced ingredients as it possibly can.

In today’s conversation about the piece, Emily reveals her own entry and evolution in beer, and when this particular story began to take shape in her mind. We discuss how French craft beer culture has seen beer evolve from mostly an aperitif to a legitimate beverage to pair with food. We also look at how the history and tradition of winemaking differ from the more forward-looking beer scene, how the United States has influenced French beer (and how it hasn’t), and even where to find the best chai in Paris. But most poignantly of all, she reveals what else she learned in her research for this story, and how it has inspired a number of other stories she hopes to share in the future.