Seen the Moosehead?

photo: bar, beer, moosehead

Nope, not a moose. It's a Moosehead bottle of beer.

Perhaps No - Perhaps Yes

Email from Alan Pavlik. Sent via the Internet: Wednesday, 23. May 2001:-

Ric -

In December I spent an afternoon at this bar in the 6th - 'The Moosehead Paris' - and had one of their Mooseburgers. At the Thursday meeting you were home with a bum knee or I would have given you their business card.

As a native Canadian I suspect you've dropped by. Perhaps not.

My afternoon there was spent drinking Labatt's Blue with a seedy British fellow who claimed to be a journalist who ran an Internet news service. Perhaps he was such.

We discussed the summit meeting in Nice which had just ended, and the Bush-Gore business which was aboutphoto: moose sighting to conclude, and London, Ontario where I had lived for a bit, and London- for-real where he had lived for most of his life.

Then I stumbled off to buy a new pipe and some fancy tobacco at my favorite pipe shop on Boul' Mich and that was that. But the place and the conversation was a cultural - shock? No, just an odd rainy afternoon in Paris.

If this bit of decor is a 'moose,' it probably makes more sense after downing several 'Mooseheads.'

When I told my Canadian friends about this place I suspect they thought I made it all up. But there it was, and I was there. Perhaps you will confirm the place is not a product of my wistful longing for more time in Canada?

Here's a bit of the Moosehead's menu. It had a Mooseburger, which was a 'burger servi avec frites, comme au Canada - supplément bacon ou fromage 5 francs, comme au Canada' - otherwise 65 francs. With 'Bière en Bouteille' - Bottle Beer - Moosehead, 28 francs; Labatt's Blue, 32 francs; and 'Fin du Monde,' only 42 francs.

Alan Pavlik

Moose Sighting In Paris

Bonjour Alan -

Saturday, 26. May 2001:- In the course of carrying out my official duties in Paris I have had to pass the Moosehead in the Rue des Quatre-Vents near Odéon more than once but none of my duties required me to go in it.

It is not that it's fake birch-log exterior, its name or its sign for Moosehead beer is in any way uninviting. In fact, Paris is always on the lookout for monuments, no matter how strange, and this certainly looks like one of them.

Readers yearning for Canadiana will not want to miss this place. Right inside the door, which has air-conditioning hiding behind it, a nearly full-sized Mountie is also lurking - no doubt hoping to catch eager Moosehead seekers speeding in to get some.

Beyond the Mountie - aka 'The Horseman' - there is a wall mural showing typical Canadians practicing the national sport, which is hockey and not bank robbery - even though the sportsmen are wearing colorful masks made popular by bank robbers.

The bar is an impressive piece of wood, made out of a curved tree, which snakes down the long main roomphoto: mountie, hockey players and with hardly a pause glides around a corner into a dimly-lit cave sort of room, full of TV screens showing non-stop sports activities broadcast on cable by EuroSport.

Some of the Moosehead's decor, to distract customers from the all-sports, all-day TVs.

On tap, the Moosehead has typical Canadian beers such as 'Strongbow' - a cider, 'Newcastle Brown Ale' - an ale, 'Fosters,' 'Bud' and 'Strange.' The bar-sweetie, who is Australian during my inspection, does not know what 'Strange' is, and seems unaware that none of the other beers, ales and ciders were made by the Capilano Brewing Company.

'Moosehead' beer is available only in bottles and seems to be actually made in Canada, either in Saint John, New Brunswick or in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, or both. Geography fans should also note that there is also a Newcastle in New Brunswick.

Journalistic-type questioning also turned up the fact that the Moosehead's 'Mooseburger' is made out of beef and not moose. An inspection of the current menu turned up exactly one authentic Canadian dish, 'Poutin.' This contains 'fries, gravy and cheese curd' and only costs 38 francs.

Many of the Canadian-type signs and notices in the Moosehead were unfamiliar to me. For example, one reading 'Every Night 4 - 9 Wings 75 FF Pitcher Strange Brew' still has me perplexed.

While in the bar some possible customers wandered in, perched on bar-stools, and flopped on the bar's top. Onephoto: moosehead supplies asked another if they should share a 'big wings.' The cocktail called 'Saskatchewan Sling' tempted me, but I settled for a water instead.

One of the new customers was served some sort of cola, dispensed out of a hose into a glass full of ice. Fine French wines on offer are described as 'Red,' White' and 'Bottle.'

The Moosehead's collection of Moosehead beer in bottles looks quite tidy.

'Happy Hour' is announced as being from non-metric '6 pm - 8 pm' and 'Ladies Night' is on Tuesdays, 'All Night Long.'

The slogan 'The Moose Is Loose' captured my attention. I used to see this in ads in a German magazine, and assumed it referred to a Swedish beverage or resulting state of mind of some sort.

But by consulting the Moosehead's Paris Web site, I was led to the Moosehead Beer Web site, which cleared up some misconceptions. The latter Web site asks browsers to submit all verifiable moose sightings, so I left my name, today's date and 'Paris.'

Alan, you can tell your Canadian friends the Moosehead Paris is really real. If it satisfies any 'wistful longings for time in Canada,' wistful certainly has acquired a new meaning.
signature, regards, ric

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