After lucking out in Mare, one of the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia (everything is shut on Sunday), we visited Noumea, where a number of attractions are shut on a Monday. I’d convinced Mrs Bladdamasta to enjoy a lunch of some advertised Alsatian cuisine at a bar in return for some shopping at some nearby clothing boutiques on the Bais de Citron (Lemon Beach). I’d even mentioned that the bar might have actually been a microbrewery. Everything was going swimmingly. Shopping was successful and bellies were rumbling as we approached our target. Unfortunately, the 3 Brasseurs microbrewery had decided to open its brewing vats and an overpowering smell of yeast pervaded all parts of the pub, including the first floor restaurant. Appetite gone, Mrs Bladdamasta and offspring returned to the ship, whilst I battled on and gave the 3 Brasseurs taps a go.
3 Brasseurs is a big place with plenty of capacity despite all the brew equipment and a large ancient truck, where the tray acts as a raised table. The brewing equipment is all copper and looks old school compared to the gleaming steel tanks in Oz. The range is (sic) Blonde, Blanche, Ambree and Brune. The Ambree is the standout with a good caramel vibe. They also do a special from time to time and recently featured a coconut beer. When in Rome, I guess. There’s plenty of shade out the front and you can see the beach. Not the worst thing to do in Noumea, but pick your day! The large Barca bar is a couple of doors down and looked capable of turning into a music venue later on.
The dominant brewer in New Caledonia, based on signage and a quick visit to the supermarket would appear to be Grand Brasserie de Nouvelle-Caledonie. GNBC are behind a number of brands including Number One, Manta and Havannah. Number One and Manta then offer varieties such as Zest, Citron, Extreme. Havannah is a pleasant brown in the still of Kent Brown Old. Apparently Grand Brasserie offers a brewery door, but it is off the beaten track.
It is slim pickings on a Monday arvo in Noumea, but I did stumble across a dive bar down an arcade in Centre Ville. The Pacific is a tiny little bar with a couple of Mantra taps on the go. Friendly staff and a tiki feel to the joint. I was actually given a couple of Manta glasses and some coasters on my way out!
It feels like Noumea would offer plenty more options after 5, but cruising doesn’t really provide that opportunity.
3 Brasseurs: 33 Promenade Roger Laroque, Noumea, New Caledonia
Pacific Pub: 20 Rue du General Mangin, Centre Ville, Noumea, New Caledonia