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Beer Spots in Montreal

  • mactoo Mar 17, 2009 08:10 AM

Hello:

I’m visiting Montreal on Thursday. Could you please give me the names of pubs/bars with an extensive beer list? Ones that feature beers of Quebec would be appreciated. I’m also interested in microbreweries and brewpubs. I’m staying at the W hotel but I’m willing to travel around the city.

Thanks a lot.

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  1. You'll find a pretty good rundown in the following thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5406...

    Bières et compagnie's website is www.bieresetcompagnie.ca

    Still haven't made it to Brasseurs de Montréal www.brasseursdemontreal.ca

    1 Reply
    1. re: carswell

      Great. Thanks.

    2. Hi Mactoo,
      Montréal has amazing brewpubs. here are my favs (in order of preference):
      1) Dieu du Ciel (29 Laurier West @ St-Laurent). Offers the most extensive list of homebrews (always at least a dozen), along with amazing atmosphere and great service. I've never been disapointed with any of their beers. Decent food too. It definitely represents the spirit and life of Montréal the best. Not very close to your hotel, but definitely worth the trip. www.dieuduciel.com
      2) Cheval Blanc (809 Ontario East). Nice selection and ambiance, but can be rather loud and busy. Closest to your hotel. www.lechevalblanc.ca
      3) Benelux. I like this place mostly during the day, a lot less at night. Some of their homebrews are pretty good (Cuda, Batch#200), others I find a little too watery for my tastes. www.brasseriebenelux.com

      I'm not too crazy about the other brewpubs (St-Bock, l'amère à boire, Brutopia).

      If you're looking for whisky/scotch, I would recommend
      1) l'Île noire (342 Ontario East @ St-Denis - not too far from Cheval Blanc, also closest to your hotel) www.ilenoire.com
      2) Whisky Café (5800 St-Laurent) www.whiskycafe.com

      And if you want to bring Québec beers back home, you can make a trip to Marché Jean-Talon and swing by Le marché des saveurs du Québec where they have an impressive selection of bottled local beers (and other local products). You'll find a better selection of Québec beers there than at any other bar/pub, including Bières et Compagnie or Les trois brasseurs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinkatronica

        Agreed with the Cheval Blanc and Dieu du Ciel rec., though Dieu du Ciel gets just as loud and maybe even less elbow room than Cheval from what I've seen.
        Also agreed Bru (topia) is basically a brewpub in name only - a younger, bit cheaper Crescent bar in every other (though having said that, the only Crescent bar I set foot in... speaking of, Happy St. Patty's Day!).

        1. re: Shattered

          mactoo, seek no longer. Dieu du Ciel is where you must go.

      2. Too by & go home
        Le Paradis de la Bière 151 Laurier O, Metro Joannette 349 de l'Eglise

        1. Agreed with everything that's been posted so far.

          I'll also give a nod to St Bock even though pinkatronica doesn't approve. From my experience the service is very friendly, the menu is extensive, and the decor is warm.

          They have something like 25 brews on tap, mostly Quebec brews. I didn't even get to the bottled import menu but supposedly they have over 100.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joel_L

            Vices et Versa on St. Laurent at St. Zotique in Little Italy. They have over 20 local beers on tap at any given time, and you can get this cool sampler deal with a choice of 6 beers, for like 11 bucks.

            1. re: chililala

              Vices & Versa are now up to 33 beers on tap.

          2. I very much like Saint Bock. Especially the #3 Blanche (the name escapes me).

            I find Benelux to be hit and miss... I agree that at night time it can be a bit hectic. It's better in the summer when there is a terrace.

            7 Replies
            1. re: The Chemist

              Dieu du Ciel brews are, simply put, the best in Canada.

              I'm surprised others here don't like L'Amere a Boire. I really enjoy their beers (porters especially) and atmosphere.

              1. re: foodinspace

                L'Amère à boire's Cernà Hora is a gorgeous pilsner, the best made in Quebec and worth a detour in and of itself. And their lamburger is one of the city's great sandwiches. I like the atmosphere, too.

                Haven't been to Brutopia in a couple of years but, as far as I know, it's still a genuine brewpub, with a constantly changing selection of "home" brews and a resident brewmaster. And while I don't find their beers exciting, they often have/had McAuslan's world-class and hard-to-find (especially in that part of town) Oatmeal Stout on tap.

                1. re: carswell

                  Howdy!

                  I would disagree 100% and completely about L'Amère à boire. The Cernà Hora only gets a 3.52 on ratebeer.com (there are four other beers from L'Amère à Boire that are rated higher) and personally I found it weak and watery. It didn't have much taste at all and after trying one I quickly switched to their Fin de siècle which while better wasn't anything to write home about either.

                  The lamburger was more bun than burger, had a greasy metallic taste to it that I think came from a grill that hadn't been cleaned in a very very long time. And to top it off there was a red pepper on it, but for whatever reason the pepper had absolutely no taste whatsoever. The fries were in a word 'meh.'

                  As for the atmosphere, their three separate rooms on three different floors gives for a schizophrenic sensation in that you can be completely isolated or you can be stuck in the middle of a party without much room to move. More of a house party feel (without a kitchen where everyone can gather) than a bar/pub style where the 'feel' of the room is larger than any one person.

                  I would agree completely and wholeheartedly with Joel_L and The Chemist about Le Saint Bock along with chililala and SnackHappy about Vices & Versa (especially now that the weather is getting better and their terrace can be enjoyed).

                  1. re: zekesgallery

                    There's no disputing taste, zekie. But the Czech consulate reportedly thinks highly enough of the Cernà Hora to have made it their house draft. And a respected beer judge once told me he considered it to be the top pilsner brewed in Canada.

                    The lamburger is the best burger I've had in a resto in this city since Il Était Une Fois closed, and one of the few that's not automatically cooked until well done. On a few occasions it's been greasier, and therefore less appealing, than on other occasions but never has it had a metallic taste (and given the overall high state of cleanliness in the establishment, your wild speculation in a public forum about a grill you've never seen borders on the irresponsible). The red pepper and goat cheese are the perfect minimalist garnish. At least a few other hounds think so, too.

                    As I've mentioned elsewhere, I find the fries (and the fish and chips) totally forgettable.

                    The wood-and-brick atmosphere I like. Feels central European, both airy and intimate. And, combined with the discreet sound track, it virtually ensures that sound levels never reach the shout-to-be-heard-across-the-table levels encountered at many other pubs (looking at you, Dieu du Ciel).

                    Le Saint Bock and Vices & Versa are fun, though Harrisionb's right when, in that other thread, he says Dieu du Ciel is the one place out-of-town brewpub fans shouldn't miss.

                    1. re: carswell

                      Any place can have an off night. Carswell, have you had the lamb burger recently? (Just asking.)

                      My recent experience was similar to Zeke's. I got the regular burger, which was pretty good except for two big (huge!) problems; the burnt metallic taste that Zeke mentioned -- which in my case was the dominant flavor -- and the bun, which was sort of rubbery. How TF do you make a rubbery hamburger bun? I don't know, but there it was.

                      Again, it might have been an off night, but man, it was WAY off. Can't comment on the pilsner because I didn't have it.

                      1. re: blork

                        Last encounter with a Cernà Hora was after Orfeo ed Eurydice, I believe, so early January. Last encounter with a lamburger was probably in September (the windows were open, the terrrace was full and there were leaves on the trees). The burger was as good as ever. Maybe mainsqueeze, another longtime fan and the hound who clued us all in to the lamburger, has been more recently and will chime in.

                        Have never tried the other burgers there. The lamburger comes on a bun that's a little like a cross between a Portuguese dinner roll and a ciabatta panino and has a slightly elastic quality. Not a hamburger bun but that's fine by me.

                        Given the dearth of decent sandwiches in the Quartier Latin, especially ones served with excellent pilsner, it'd be a shame if the food has slid in quality. Will try to check it out soon.

                      2. re: carswell

                        Howdy!

                        Carsbad, I would also assume that you can get Budweiser at the US consulate and Costabella wine at the Italian consulate. My guess is that consulates tend towards national pride more than they are known for being connoisseurs of adult refreshments.

                        I'd suggest that you broaden your horizons L'Anecdote, L'Orignal, Helm and Mechant Boeuf all offer lamb burgers (and I've even heard some good things about their lamb burgers) if you're waxing nostalgic for Il Était Une Fois, you're living in the past.

                        And since the mactoo asked first and foremost about "an extensive beer list" I'd return the thread to Le Saint Bock and Vices & Versa. I have not seen larger, longer or more comprehensive offerings anywhere in the city.

              2. One big issue that I have had consistently with Benelux is the service: When you get the attention of a server, they are friendly and helpful, but it's the 'getting their attention' part that can be a pain. They need to hire more staff, me thinks, to keep up with the demand for drinks. There is nothing worse than being in a pub and not being able to drink anything for a lack of service. I would go more often if I could be assured of not waiting a half hour in between pints. Ordering in French and giving hefty tips helps but it shouldn't be needed to ensure service.

                Has anyone gone to Benelux during a hockey game before? Can you get the $3 pints as they advertise or does the limited service make that offer a pipe dream? I don't much care for hockey (kick me off the island, I know) but I do care for $3 pints on a poor grad students salary. =D