Les Brasseries Artisanales de Montréal (The Brewpubs of Montreal)…

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Oh Montreal, how I love thee.

Delicious food, friendly people, hip fashion, beautiful architecture, and of course, GREAT BEER.

This was my 3rd time visiting Montreal, and every time seems to get better and better. I’ve become much more obsessed with beer since my last visit, so I did some digging around to find out where we should go to sample some of Montreal’s amazing selection of beer…

1. Benelux Brasserie Artisanale et Cafe  

245 Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC, H2X 1X7

We dropped into Benelux on our first night in town. We loved the beer and the outdoor patio so much, that we went back a second time the next night! It isn’t much to look at, decor wise, but it has a very friendly atmosphere, and the beers are impeccable. Every beer I tried, not just here, but also at the following 2 brewpubs, were incredibly clean. Very fresh and well cared for. I could tell that the draft lines are well kept and sanitized. I’m very sensitive to dirty draft lines and always feel like garbage the morning after, even if I only have 1 or 2 pints. Not so with Benelux, and I definitely had more than 1 or 2. My favourite was a “Yakima Pale Ale”, which was almost identical to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I’d give it a 10/10 without hesitation. They also had an amber ale, which was similar, but had a more complex hop character and a darker hue. It was another exceptional beer and a 10/10. The second night we were there, I tried quite a few flights of different beers with some people we had met, but it was later on in the evening, so my recollection of them is a little hazy at best. There was a stout, a few different Belgian styles as well as various pale ales, all very well made. Definitely a great place to go for beers!

2. Le Cheval Blanc 

809 Ontario East, Montréal, QC, H2L 1P1

This vintage neighbourhood spot boasts the distinction of being Montreal’s first brewpub. It’s green marble formica walls and retro style furniture would be out of place just about anywhere else, but not here. The artistic flair works beautifully. It hosts a wide number of well made beers, served by very friendly staff. Again, all being incredibly clean tasting. My favourite was a pale ale hopped entirely with Saphir hops; a relatively new variety from Germany born out of the Hallertauer strain. It had a slight citrus quality to it, but not like North American varieties, more like a slight ‘iced-tea’ kind of flavour. It was excellent. I also had what is becoming a personal favourite of mine, a saison. I prefer ‘table’ saisons in the range of 4-5% ABV, but there are many great examples. This one had a very funky skunk to it, as most do. These ales are becoming more widely appreciated and available in and around Toronto, so hopefully our local brewers will continue to produce them.

3. Dieu du Ciel

29 Avenue Laurier Ouest  Montreal, QC H2T 2N2

Something of a paradise for eager beer enthusiasts and homebrewers alike, Dieu du Ciel was one place I had high expectations for. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t end up in this part of town until our last night. At which point we were all quite beat from late nights, early mornings, and lots of walking and eating, (not at the same time mind you). I also felt I had pushed my luck with my tired companions by dragging them around Montreal in search of great beers and brewpubs. They seemed to enjoy it for the most part, but having said that, we didn’t get to experience a lot of Dieu du Ciel’s reportedly incredible beers. I did however try their English Pale Ale called “Decibel”, which was a great example of the style. Their Belgian wit, (which I can’t remember the name of) was excellent. We left a little early because it was quite hot inside, having been another scorching day. The patio wasn’t open because it had just rained, otherwise we might have stayed longer. I really wanted to try their “White Cascade”, which, as you can tell, is an extra-hopped-up white beer with the famous American hop, but will have to save that for another time.

I can’t wait to get up to this wonderful city again and continue the beer exploration!

If you know of any good places to check out, let me know!



2 Responses to Les Brasseries Artisanales de Montréal (The Brewpubs of Montreal)…

  1. Great Post Jeff! I know what you mean about testing the patience of your fellow travelers in Montreal.

    Never been to Le Cheval Blanc I’ll have to check it out. I always love DDC! I had the best English IPA ever there… and I never like English IPA’s

    A few other places to check out are:
    Le Saint Bock – great bottle selection and huge rotating selection on tap (seems like the bar volo of Montreal)
    Amere a boire – pretty sure I spelled that wrong – has a small selection but, all are well made.

    Both those places are on St. Denis about a block apart

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