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Delirium Tremens (or finding quality alcohol outside the SAQ)

kudos Sep 20, 2009 07:07 PM

I just discovered this but it's only sold by the bottle at the SAQ. Are there specialty beer/wine shops in the city that might sell in larger quantities/cheaper?

  1. TheSnowpea Sep 20, 2009 07:23 PM

    New in the province, eh?

    Wine and hard liquor can only be sold through SAQ outlets as it's government-run. Depanneurs (aka cornerstores) and supermarkets also sell wine but it's got extra tax and it's plonk grade (their very silly "vin d'appelation de qualité" is meaningless)

    Some specialty beers are sold at SAQ but most beer is sold in supermarkets and depanneurs. There no beer stores here like they have in Ontario. I have no idea how you can buy a keg, like from a frat party -- I'm just too old for that LOL

    The SAQ has discontinued its bulk wine (bottle your own) point of sales in Montreal: I guess people thought the wines offered were so awful that they stayed away in droves!

    I keep an eye on sales, sometimes the SAQ puts up a worthwhile rebate and then I stock up.

    You can also tackle making your own, I suppose: several shops in town offer beer or wine kits.

    6 Replies
    1. re: TheSnowpea
      The Chemist Sep 21, 2009 07:57 AM

      Buying a keg on the island is not legal, although some bars will sell them to enterprising young students. Don't ask me how I know.

      As for making your own wines, it's an interesting endeavor but takes a few years to get good at it, and about 2 years to even properly sample the work of that first year, if you buy proper grapes and age it correctly. Making beer, in contrast, is fun, cheaper, and fast =D

      I recall hearing that you can have the SAQ order in stuff for you. Perhaps this is something to try?

      1. re: The Chemist
        eat2much Sep 21, 2009 08:58 AM

        The SAQ has a monopoly on wine & beer sales and/or pricing. Therefore even if you can find Delirium Tremens outside the SAQ (i.e at a specialty depanneur or through the distributor) you will have to pay the SAQ price.

        1. re: eat2much
          SnackHappy Sep 21, 2009 09:05 AM

          It's the Régie des alcools that sets the price of beer, not the SAQ. And even then, they only set the minimal price for beer. They don't control what a store decides to charge for premium beer.

        2. re: The Chemist
          Shattered Sep 22, 2009 01:07 AM

          "some bars will sell them to enterprising young students. Don't ask me how I know."

          I wouldn't, since you're clearly getting those at a substantial mark-up and you're not so enterprising as you fancy yourself. Anyone I know who's had a keg had no prob getting it directly from your friendly neighbourhood beer company rep. In fact, they often got it free or near-free with sponsorship of event (a surefire sign that its "illegal", lol).

        3. re: TheSnowpea
          souschef Sep 21, 2009 02:35 PM

          "Wine and hard liquor can only be sold through SAQ outlets as it's government-run. Depanneurs (aka cornerstores) and supermarkets also sell wine but it's got extra tax and it's plonk grade (their very silly "vin d'appelation de qualité" is meaningless)"

          I think of it as Cuvée du St. Laurent.

          BTW check my thread on Chez Bernard in St. Sauveur. They are private importers of wine. It's the only non-SAQ place where I've seen wine.

          1. re: souschef
            carswell Sep 21, 2009 02:57 PM

            «It's the only non-SAQ place where I've seen wine.»

            Olive & Gourmando and Les Cons Servent used to sell wine to go and may well still. Bouchonné and a couple of others I'm forgetting have begun doing so, too. I believe they're exploiting a loophole following a change in the law that allows wine and beer to be sold with take-out and order-in meals. If so, you probably have to order food along with your bottle.

        4. w
          westaust Sep 21, 2009 08:52 AM

          The easiest way to get a keg in Montreal is to drive to Ontario, and buy one at the Beer Store, might have to call in advance to make sure they have some (especially if going to smaller stores)

          1 Reply
          1. re: westaust
            Shattered Sep 22, 2009 01:02 AM

            Um, not quite. The easiest way is make yourself a regular at a friendly bar and get the manager to introduce you to the beer rep. You'll get it easier and cheaper than any other way. It's not rocket science, and its definetely not illegal.

          2. c
            Campofiorin Sep 21, 2009 08:53 AM

            Back to the request of the OP, which is where to find said beer, if it's sold as a specialty product at SAQ outlets, ilts very unlikely to be found anywhere else in the province. What sells at SAQ doesn't sell elsewhere aside from a few Quebec made products sold at Marché des Saveurs at JTM.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Campofiorin
              Mr F Sep 21, 2009 11:41 AM

              "What sells at SAQ doesn't sell elsewhere..."

              Isn't there some overlap with beer? Not that I've paid close attention, but I'm pretty sure my local SAQ Express has a few beers that can also be found in grocery stores.

              1. re: Mr F
                Campofiorin Sep 22, 2009 11:27 AM

                That's possible, note that I said it was unlikely not impossible. It could apply to a few beers.

                1. re: Campofiorin
                  SnackHappy Sep 22, 2009 11:39 AM

                  I know that certain brewers like Cheval Blanc have beers both at the SAQ and at grocery stores, but they are not the same beers.

            2. carswell Sep 21, 2009 09:08 AM

              By "larger quantities," do you mean by the case or in large-format bottles?

              If the former, you should be able to buy it by the case at the SAQ. Go to www.saq.com and do a search on the name. On the product's page, click the Outlets button. Select the area you're interested in. A listing of the outlets in that area, plus the number of bottles they have on hand, should appear. Choose outlets that have significantly more bottles than are found in a case (24 for most beers) and give them a call and ask. As far as I know, case discounts apply only to wines and spirits purchased at the SAQ Dépôt outlet. The other outlets sometimes have 10%-off and other promotions, though a minimum purchase (e.g. $100) is often required.

              If you're talking about, say, 750-ml bottles, you should find out which agency (aka private importer) represents the beer in Quebec (the first place to look would be on one of the 330-ml bottles). Then give the agency a call and ask about distribution. If they bring the big bottles in, you can probably order a case (usually 6 or 12 bottles) through them and have it delivered to a nearby Sélection outlet, where you can pick it up and pay for it. The price will be slightly higher than if the SAQ stocked it, and promotional discounts will not apply.

              2 Replies
              1. re: carswell
                Campofiorin Sep 22, 2009 11:30 AM

                Actually the scale discount applies to everything sold at SAQ Dépôt and goes as high as 15% for 12 products or more. You can mix and match as much as you want. I know a lot of people who buy 6 bottles of wine and fill the case with 6 beers to get the 15% discount.

                1. re: Campofiorin
                  carswell Sep 22, 2009 11:54 AM

                  If you say so. I've only bought wine there. Their pre-Flash website mentioned only wine and spirits and the mixed cases in the pics on their current website and in their current circular don't include any beers. In any case, the question is moot as far as the DT is concerned, since the Dépôt outlet doesn't stock it.

              2. estilker Sep 21, 2009 11:21 AM

                If you're looking for speciality beers like Delirium Tremens, try
                Le Paradis de la Bière (Rahman)
                151 Laurier ouest, Montréal
                or look on the SAQ website to see which store has the best imported beer selection. I've found a couple of trappist beers on the SAQ on 440, boul. De Maisonneuve Ouest.

                1. s
                  simrit Sep 22, 2009 10:19 AM


                  It's on the South Shore and has a huge selection of specialty beers that you won't find anywhere.

                  There's also the Metro grocery store on de l'Église in Verdun. It's a couple of blocks from de l'Église metro on the green line, so it's very easy to get to if you're a pedestrian like me.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: simrit
                    estilker Sep 22, 2009 01:25 PM

                    I just checked out Le Grand Duc website. Their QC selection is enormous, but not in the least bit impressed by their Belgian selection. SAQ has a much better selection of special imported Belgian beers.
                    BTW: was in DC recently and had pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso. Their beer selection was simply A-MA-ZING! Not only did they have a stellar Belgian selection, they also had my fave brewpub beer Dieu du Ciel. Pizza was good too. http://www.eatyourpizza.com

                  2. k
                    kudos Sep 23, 2009 08:00 PM

                    By larger quantities I mean cases of maybe 24, max. It'd just be nice to not have to cart individual bottles, and to not have to pay 3.80 for each one :\

                    I checked out the LCBO and they don't seem to sell it at all. The Beer Store is offering a keg for a few hundred dollars, but that's a tad much.

                    1. TheSnowpea Sep 24, 2009 05:38 PM

                      FYI just got my weekly email circular from SAQ. Seems there's a SAS Depot sale on

                      "GROS ACHATS, GROSSES ÉCONOMIES
                      Plus vous achetez dans les SAQ Dépôt, plus vos rabais sont conséquents : 3 bouteilles : 3 % de rabais, 6 bouteilles : 10 % de rabais, 12 bouteilles et plus : 15 %! Sans oublier les zones « Dernière chance » et « Rabais escalier ». Vous êtes sûr d’économiser!"

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: TheSnowpea
                        Campofiorin Sep 25, 2009 07:21 AM

                        Nope, that's the usual deal at SAQ Dépôt, that'S why it's alway excluded of the other promotion the SAQ network may have (eg: 10$ off $100 or more).

                        1. re: Campofiorin
                          TheSnowpea Sep 26, 2009 02:33 PM

                          Ah, well then. Thanks. I rarely drive far enough to get to the Depot, so I am Depot-inexperienced :-)

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