Reportin' for duty.
I got acquainted with a French couple who quit their respectable daytime jobs to open a beerstore. In Nîmes, of all places.
Yes, France has a beer scene, but it's so much grassrooted you practically need a lawnmower to find evidence of it.
What there is, is either
a) boring, bland and forgettable (the ubiquitous "blonde, ambrée, brune" which invariably won silver at some concours régional
our other). You'll also find the bières de garde here, which, frankly, are underwhelming to the extent of being depressing.
b) inspired and somewhat interesting, but eventually same-ish and unsurpassing
c) stellar. Yes, I'm talking about Brasserie de Mont Salève.
I posted a blog entry
about France about a year ago; pretty sure not much has changed, except maybe the momentum's increased somewhat.
France is a country to watch. Slow to wake to the craft/indie scene, they've enough ambition to make a ripple.