What local beer available in Montreal supermarkets is worth buying?
I saw quite a few local beers at the IGA supermarket last time I visited Montreal.
I will be in Montreal this week and wanted to buy some local beers, so wanted to know which ones are good enough to take home with me to New York.
I prefer white/wheat beer that is not too bitter (hefeweizen, belgian white, etc.). I think they call this type "blanche" in Quebec.
In supermarkets, you will find beer from the bigger smaller producers (as well from the bigger producers) like Boreal, Belle Gueule, McAuslan, RJ, Unibroue... those are good, but quite ubiquitous nowadays.
If you want to have a better selection of smaller breweries, you better get out of supermarkets and go to specialty stores :
Supermarché Rahman Le Paradis de la Bière (Laurier st) : also stock european beers.
Les Délires du Terroir (rue-st-hubert).
Marché des Saveurs : (Jean-Talon market).
All those 3 stores could be visited in 1 fun foodie day.
As for breweries to look for (the one I like):
Dieu du Ciel, Archibald, "Les Brasseurs de Montréal", Barberie,
Some of the breweries that market bottled/canned beers also have their own pub and/or restaurant :
Dieu du Ciel, "Les Brasseurs de Montreal", "St-Ambroise" (aka McAuslan)...
I like the Unibroue beers which are sold at iga, they would be blanche de chambly, blonde de chambly etc...you should check their website, as it gives tons of info on their brewing method, and food pairings, and some US stores carry them now too! I know that you love blondes, but when cooking, i really love darks, they make one called Les Trois Pistoles(3 pistoles) in english, that has undernotes of chocolate and caramel...I use this one as a braising component in beef short ribs, and also i addsome to fresh ground bison when making bison burgers....really good! check their site!! www.unibroue.com
Selection can vary a lot from supermarket to another one, even within the same chain.
Brasseurs de Montréal beer can be found in various supermarket, at least around the south-west area of Montreal.
Another place with a good selection of local microbreweries is Fromagerie Atwater, at the Atwater Market, great beer selection there if you are closer to that area.
I'm not a big fan of wheat beers, but I found the new Heffeweizen from Belle-Gueule pretty good.
Your best bet would be to go to a beer dep or a supermarket known for its beer selection. There are also a few specialized shops like Délires du terroir and Bieres Etc.
As for Unibroue beers, I'm sure you can get them in NYC. Anyway, I don't find them that great. They are too strong and over-spiced as if they were caricatures of Belgian beers.
Unibroue beers are very nice, but can now be found somewhat easily in NY -- I strongly recommend Boréale Blanche. It's not an obscure beer at all in Québec, but I've never seen it or any other Brasseurs du Nord beers in NY or the States at all, for that matter. It should be available in most Québec supermarkets. It's exactly what you are looking for, in terms of a white beer that is not too bitter. It has a quite interesting flavour, somewhat citrus-y but not at all like a citrus-y lager. Really excellent on a hot summer day!
Like others, I would recommend going to a specialty place like Depanneur Peluso (2500, rue Rachel E, Montreal, QC H2H 1S1). The owner is super knowledgeable and can walk you through the couple dozen types of blanches (all from Quebec) he has on hand plus there's a couple hundred types of Quebec beers in house.