I’m back from my trip to Quebec and I feel more Canadian the ever. My wife and I spent the past week drinking local Quebecois beer, gorging ourselves on the delicious Canadian food group known as poutine -they put pretty much anything imaginable in their poutine – eating cheese, pouring maple syrup over just about everything that is eaten before 12:00 noon, and walking over the ground where some of Canada’s most defining moment took place.
The first half of our trip was spent in Montreal, and the remainder of our time in historic Quebec City. As I previously commented, Quebec is an amazing beer destination, and I have quite a bit to post about. This first post will focus on Montreal, the second, which should follow shorty, will focus on Quebec City.
The people of Quebec are incredibly proud of locally produced products, which makes for a great beer culture. Most restaurants we visited in Quebec featured a number of local craft beers. Unlike in Vancouver, good beer is available just about anywhere. Although the style of beers available in Montreal is quite diverse, most breweries tend to brew with a yeasty Belgian flair.
While in Montreal we visited a number of brewpubs – Brutopia, Dieu Du Ciel and Les 3 Brasseurs. For anyone planning a trip out Montreal in the near future, avoid Brutopia, they claim to be Montreal’s premium brewpub, but their beer is terrible – the other two pubs served great beer.
After landing in Montreal and a confusing hour spent on public transit on our way to our hotel, we sat down for our first meal in Montreal at Les 3 Brasseurs. This establishment belongs to a chain of brewpubs headquartered in France, and they offer four beers on tap (Wit, Blonde, Amber and Brown) and a maple syrup bottle conditioned Belgian style ale. We started out with a taster of all four ales – all were delicious, but the brown ale was my hands down favorite. To end the evening we tried the bottle conditioned ale, which was great, but nothing overly impressive. I just don’t think that maple syrup and beer work all that well together, many people I’m sure will disagree.
The best brewpub in Montreal, and possibly even Canada, is Dieu Du Ciel. They offer 18 beers on tap and a limited menu of bar snacks. We were only able to try 6 of the 18, but all were impressive. Dieu Du Ciel’s beer is clearly brewed with passion, care and creativity – three critical element necessary to create great beer, and food for that matter. The styles available range from German kolsch to a rich espresso imperial stout. The only beer that I thought they could improve was the India Cream Ale – I just don’t think brewers east of the rockies can match the fantastic hop flavors that west coast brewers have perfected.
Brewery Creek in Vancouver carries a number of Dieu Du Ciel’s beers, I recommend trying all of them at least twice.