The city of Montreal has become a major destination for foodies. Just this past May, two of its restaurants made it to the prestigious Food and Wine list of the 100 restaurants to discover in 2013 in the whole world!
But food is not all there is to experience in Montreal. The province of Quebec is also renowned for the quality of the beer it produces. Year in and year out, many of its breweries leave the World’s Beer Awards with their hands full of high-status prizes. And Montreal’s master brewers own a fair share of the honors that are pouring in. Next time you are in Montreal, make sure you stop by these five awesome microbreweries.
Dieu du Ciel
Located in Le Plateau, an exciting borough of Montreal, Dieu du Ciel is a 15 year-old microbrewery with a yearly production capacity of about 700,000 litres. With a menu featuring between 15 and 20 different beers that are produced on-site, this “brewpub” will undoubtedly please any beer lover. Which ones should you absolutely try? In my opinion, you must go for Rosée d’hibiscus, a fantastic white beer that has a charming rosé tint that comes from the addition of hibiscus flowers during the brewing process. This beer is your perfect companion for the hot days of summer. Otherwise, Route des épices – a rye beer with a peppery taste – is completely delightful. But it is not only the beer that is good at Dieu du Ciel: so is the atmosphere. This sit-down place actually has its own DJ!
Les Soeurs Grises
Adjacent to Montreal’s Old Port, Les Soeurs Grises is your perfect stop for a late afternoon break (or even for dinner) after a long day spent visiting the Old Montreal area. Its game dishes will certainly please any meat lover and its beers will quench any visitor’s thirst… which sounds like a weird thing to say when you discover that the place used to be a nunnery! I enthusiastically recommend Camélia, a sencha tea-flavoured white beer, or L’Appât-Si-Noir, an oatmeal stout that is impressively light (sorry, Guinness lovers), but tasty! Reasonable prices. Awesome décor.
Steps from the Place des Arts and the Place des Festivals is another fantastic, reasonably-priced microbrewery that offers an astonishing variety of quality beers and a menu essentially made of comfort food. Benelux is endowed with big windows and a look which is both modern and warm. If you are looking for a downtown, great microbrewery…here it is! The last beer I tried was Cigogne, which literally means the “stork”. Unsurprisingly, it was the birth of a new love for another locally-produced beer…
Although L’Espace Public is not located downtown per se, you may eventually find yourself close by as it is located in the same district as the Olympic Stadium which was built when Montreal hosted the Olympic Games in 1976. This microbrewery produces less beers than the aforementioned ones, but the ones they produce are just as good! At the moment, they are serving a refreshing ginger and Sichuan pepper witbier you really should try. Another great thing about this place is that they serve other Quebecois beers that are produced elsewhere in the province. If you ever go there and want to try a second Quebecois beer after having tasting one of L’Espace Public’s, my recommendation would go to for beer from La Barberie, a co-op microbrewery based in Quebec City.
Vices & Versa
Here is a fantastic “bistro du terroir”, or a “bistro from the Quebecois heartland”! There, local wines, terrines, pâtés, cheeses, ice ciders and beers are celebrated…at unbeatable prices. With its warm ambiance and charming terrace, Vices & Versa is an absolute must if you find yourself in Montreal’s Little Italy. Although Vices & Versa does not brew its own beer, it does serve 35 different Quebecois beers so there will be plenty of choices for your palate. I personally love Chi (a ginger white beer), that is produced by the Brasseur de Montréal. And if you realize you’ve had too much beer since your arrival in the metropolis, make sure you opt for one of Quebec’s greatest contributions to the world’s gastronomy: ice cider. The one from Domaine Pinnacle is nothing less than a sublime, golden, miraculous gift from the gods!
Photos are from the Microbrewery Webpages – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
Alexandre Duval is a freelance blogger for Tourism Montreal who offers information to travelers on Montreal’s trendiest pubs and bars, finest restaurants, festivals, attractions, hotels and more.