By RED HUNT
Montreal has a burgeoning beer scene and is home to more than its fair share of Canadian brewpubs and microbreweries offering everything from Belgian-style ales to thirst-quenching wheat beers and savoury stouts. There are literally hundreds of flavourful local beers to choose from, making a quest for great beers a somewhat daunting task in this city.
This selection of best bets includes some recommendations for beers to try and covers both brewpubs that produce their own beers and a handful of great bars that serve a wide selection of local beers.
1. Broue Pub Brouhaha
With more than 20 beers on tap and 60 bottles to choose from, the Quebec beer selection at Brouhaha is enough to keep any beer drinker satisfied. The bottle list also includes many great imports from Belgium. Beer of choice: Brouhaha Blanche Soleil, the in-house take on a Belgian witbier (wheat beer). Refreshing and spicy.
5860 Avenue De Lorimier
Montreal, QC H2G 2N9 [map]
2. Fourquette Forchette
Right downtown, this is the place to go if you want to enjoy many beers from what is arguably Quebec’s finest brewery, Unibroue. The cuisine is French-Canadian, with an upscale atmosphere. Hours are often limited, so drop by for lunch instead of dinner. Beer of choice: Go for one of the strong Belgian-style ales on draft, either Trois Pistoles or La Maudtie.
3. Dieu du Ciel
DDC is the pre-eminent brewpub in Montreal. If you’re a beer geek or beer nerd, you know the name well. The selection of beers on tap is constantly changing with unique collaboration and cask ales on offer. Beer of choice: Go big and get the Péché Mortel Imperial Stout or take it easy with a Mild-End ale.
4. St-Ambroise Terrace, McAuslan Brewery
McAuslan produces some solid brews and have become known for producing great seasonal beers including Pumpkin and Russian Imperial Stout beers. A bit out of the way, the terrace is located at their brewery. You can drive there or rent a bike and make a leisurely day of it. Beer of choice: Check to see what seasonal beer is available, but don’t skip the Cream Ale, a great choice for a summer session on the terrace.
Expect a lively vibe late at night at this little brewpub on busy Rue Crescent. If you prefer quiet times, stop by during lunch. Two or three experimental or “special” beers are always available and the brewery’s Raspberry Blonde has recently won some brewing awards. Beer of choice:Try the Raspberry Blonde if you’re not averse to fruit-flavoured beers.
6. Le Cheval Blanc
The original brewpub in Montreal, Cheval Blanc serves up a collection of fine imported beers and a variety of Quebec beers, including house brews. The dark tavern has simple food and good music. Beer of choice: Look for the Double Bonheur beer, a strong IPA with a mix of citrus, herbs and hops.
7. Vices et Versa
With a stunningly large selection of local brews (around 30 on tap), Vices et Versa is a must visit for anyone who wants a good Canadian beer in Montreal. Attracting a younger mix of people, it’s a popular spot for the university crowd. Beer of choice: Ask the bartenders and servers; the selection is huge. Beers from Quebec brewery Hopfenstark as usually good, or try a cask ale.
8. Le Saint-Bock
A popular spot along the Rue Denis strip, Le Saint-Bock has 20 beers on tap and plenty of bottles, including many fine Belgian ales. The bar itself is fairly simple, but if you’re solely focused on sampling good local beers, you won’t be disappointed. With plenty of other bars and restaurants nearby, it’s an ideal bar-hopping stop. Beer of choice: Try the house beer, Traitre, a nice English bitter.
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