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Montreal

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world, and other chat that is not specific to Ontario.

Moderators: Craig, Cass

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BartOwl
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Post by BartOwl »

Yes the draught selection is good and so is the bar scene here in Montreal. As for hotel, I am staying at hotel chrome. It is downtown, but it is one of the cheaper ones. Although long weekend prices are much higher than usual. You can also find places in hotels.com.

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lister
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Post by lister »

Belgian wrote:Where do you guys find it s good to stay (clean, north of downtown, reasonable price.)
All my visits accommodations prior to the last one were downtown. The last visit was with eight people and we split an AirBnB near the Outremont Metro. I was initially like "Why all the way up there?!" until I realized that DDC and V&V were 20 minutes walks away from the AirBnB. :D
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Belgian
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Post by Belgian »

lister wrote:
Belgian wrote:Where do you guys find it s good to stay (clean, north of downtown, reasonable price.)
All my visits accommodations prior to the last one were downtown. The last visit was with eight people and we split an AirBnB near the Outremont Metro. I was initially like "Why all the way up there?!" until I realized that DDC and V&V were 20 minutes walks away from the AirBnB. :D
That's great! Yeah, the real 'soul' of Montreal for me is not downtown, it is somewhat closer to the Parc and Mile End. Some trips I barely ventured downtown, if at all. This bit of 'uptown mystique' probably keeps (IMO) the best of Montreal a special destination. V&V and DDC are both worth at least one daily visit, heh.

Thanks Lister. If you other guys have other specific reccs on accomodations, please post them! AirBNB doesn't sound like a bad idea. I often stayed at a hotel Cass recommended on Ave du Parc (Hotel Parc Avenue), kind of basic but tout bien.
In Beerum Veritas

Esquandolas
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Post by Esquandolas »

Has anyone here ever been to the Mondiale de la Biere festival in Montreal?

It's coming up May 22-25, 2019.

https://festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca/en/

Looking it over, I'm skeptical of it being anything special.

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JerCraigs
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Post by JerCraigs »

Esquandolas wrote:Has anyone here ever been to the Mondiale de la Biere festival in Montreal?

It's coming up May 22-25, 2019.

https://festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca/en/

Looking it over, I'm skeptical of it being anything special.
I have been several times but haven't been recently. Our usual approach to it was to try and get there for opening on a weekday and leave once it starts getting too busy. There is (was?) no admission cost so it's practical to stay as long or as little as you like. Beer selection varies, the foreign imports typically offering some of the more interesting offerings but also often the most expensive.

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Craig
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Post by Craig »

JerCraigs wrote:
Esquandolas wrote:Has anyone here ever been to the Mondiale de la Biere festival in Montreal?

It's coming up May 22-25, 2019.

https://festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca/en/

Looking it over, I'm skeptical of it being anything special.
I have been several times but haven't been recently. Our usual approach to it was to try and get there for opening on a weekday and leave once it starts getting too busy. There is (was?) no admission cost so it's practical to stay as long or as little as you like. Beer selection varies, the foreign imports typically offering some of the more interesting offerings but also often the most expensive.
I'm in the same boat, including not having been in ages. I'll just add that you did tend to get good Quebec offerings too, of course. It was a fun excuse for a guys weekend in Montreal.

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Heading to Montreal this weekend with a couple friends (that may be members of BT!) to break the ice on friend-travel. Any tips for new / unique places to visit?

Last visit was 2019, and was able to check out some spots for the first time including the area where Mabrasserie & Beauregard are. Looks like there are a couple of new places close to downtown including Shefford & Dispensary which I have pinned on the map.

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cratez
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Post by cratez »

I was last there in 2018, so my recommendations may be a bit dated, but I enjoyed the following spots on a brief work trip:

Pub BreWskey
Benelux Rue Sherbrooke
Pub Pit Caribou
Dieu du Ciel! Brouepub
Isle de Garde Brasserie
Vices et Versa
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott

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Tapsucker
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Post by Tapsucker »

I really miss Montreal. Please have some fun for me.

Feb 2020 was my last hurrah, literally days before I went and hid under my bed until, well, now...

The usual culprits were in good form:
Benelux
Dieu du Ciel!
etc.

I always have a soft spot for L'Amère à Boire, especially their cask ale, even though their continental lagers are a treat too.

Over the last few pre-pandamedic years, I really warmed up to Les Soeurs Grises. A bit on the fancier after office (sometimes louder) side, but great beer and food.

If you happen to be driving, an excellent stop on the way home for smoked meat (beer not so much) is Smoke Meat Pete. They have great take home pouches too. They were going through some off and on days for opening, so check in advance.
https://www.smokemeatpete.com
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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Thanks for the tips! Last time we were there we tried to go to Les Soeurs Grises but it was too late and they were closed up. Will try again this time.

A couple of folks on Twitter recommended the following, all new to me so added to the list:

- Poincaré Chinatown (bar)
- Brasserie Silo
- L'Espace Public
- Mutoïde
- Messorem

And I do love Smoke Meat Pete! I did drive to Montreal in the summer (but didn't go downtown) and stopped for a smoked meat lunch. Delicious.

You know it's funny mentioning L'Amère à Boire, as another guy did on Twitter too. I've been going there forever (it's longevity is commendable) and have always liked it. What's always been a slight knock for me is how it generally never had much of a lively vibe, the way someplace like DDC always does. When I'm in MTL I do like to seek out those kind of places!

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Tapsucker
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Post by Tapsucker »

I have some accounts I visit right near L'Amère à Boire, and it makes a great place for an end of day stop because it's quiet and I can take a few people out for beers and snacks and actually be able to have a discussion. The tiny patio is an extra bonus in warm weather. A few years back they had a street patio during the circus festival and we found ourselves directly under a trapeze performance. That was exciting but unnerving. Not sure how that got insured. :o

But I agree, there are much livelier places later at night.

I actually also like the vibe, actually weird vibe, of the Cheval Blanc brewpub nearby, but it has really quieted down. I've been the only person in there on occasion. The beer is also really hit and miss. Not that its bad, it's just they are so experimental that I've been there and actually not found anything I want to drink. On the other hand, I have also had some amazing gems. It's a short walk to gamble on...
Brands are for cattle.
Fans are cash cows.
The herd will consume until consumed.

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

I've always really enjoyed Cheval Blanc. Feels like an old-style Quebec bar that became a brewery. It's on the list to hit up again this weekend!

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Some updates from a fun weekend in Montreal:

Poincaré is an awesome addition to the downtown scene. It’s right on St-Laurent just beyond the Chinatown gates heading down the hill. It is easy to miss and would be hard to stumble into as it is on the top floor of the building. They call themselves a 'Kölsch Club', and I believe they serve in a near-traditional Koln style where they keep bringing you stanges of Kölsch and tick the coaster until you put it on top of the glass to finish. Now I only observed this at the next table, so they may still ask before bringing you a new one unlike the way it really is in Koln. But pretty cool nonetheless. They also have a “Lager Mystere” series which included a number of different lager styles. A lively place and definitely will be going back.
IMG_1864.jpeg
https://poincarechinatown.com/wp-conten ... -04-12.pdf

Messorem is a roomy taproom and brewery in a graffiti-ed old building south of the Lachine canal. A nice walk from Atwater Market along the canal to get there. Speaking to a local about it it has a reputation as the “trend” brewery of MTL and that is bang on - pretty much everything available was a hazy IPA, pastry stout or milkshake IPA. The beers were enjoyable but pretty limited style offerings. A good food pop-up is there which is nice to have. A nearly constant stream of beer folks stopping in to get 4-packs of whatever beer dropped recently.
IMG_1831.jpeg
https://messorem.co/liquidus/en-fut/

We walked from Messorem into Verdun and to the Benelux outpost on Wellington. This was my favourite place of the weekend. A super cozy taproom, with a totally different vibe than the Sherbrooke location. Way warmer and nicer to settle in at. They even had a Xmas market while we were there with local artisans and were serving mugs of spiced warm beer. A different line up of beers from the downtown one. On a nice little strip with shops and stuff. Would go back again in a heartbeat.
IMG_1842.jpeg
https://brasseriebenelux.com/wellington#calendrier

We decided to venture to the east side of the city, and hit up a few places there. First stop was Avant Garde, a cavernous taproom & brewery in a multi-purpose industrial facility with paintball and other stuff. Huge beer lineup, I believe 24 house beers were available. They’ve also got a large pizza oven so have food too.
IMG_1847.jpeg
https://www.brasseursavantgarde.com/fr/ ... urant/menu

We trekked to Hochelaga and went to the L’Espace Public brewpub on Ontario. A small, cozy space with a really nice local neighbourhood bar vibe. We didn’t go to the production brewery space but I think they do have a taproom there too.
Attach01.jpeg
https://www.lespacepublic.ca/menu/

From there we walked to Mutoïde, which I can only describe as a very traditional brewery taproom. About 10 beers on tap. The real feature of this spot is it is literally across the street from the Metro station (Préfontaine), so super accessible.
Attach01 (1).jpeg
There’s a new-ish spot on Prince Arthur at St-Laurent called Dispensaire. Evidently they just opened their taproom in the last month, which is literally a bar against the window with about 8 seats. A very cozy spot and friendly bartender where we had a nice chat about beer in MTL along with some friendly Canadiens & Leafs banter. One notable thing I remember is that tall boy cans of beer retail for $5.95 per can. Definitely a bit of sticker shock compared to Ontario but keeping with the general trend of upward moving packaged beer pricing at small places like this.

https://dispensaire.beer

Before heading off back to Toronto we hit up the Time Out Market on St Catherine in the Eaton Centre. For those that don’t know, this is a global kitchen/assembly hall concept named after the city magazine. A very nice space with a bunch of food options but also featuring a beer bar with about 10 offerings. All counter service so easy for a quick stop in. Certainly not going to replace some of the top tier places but a definite nice addition to downtown, where there isn’t much beer-wise. And only a 5 min walk to the train station too.

We also went to old favourites Dieu du Ciel, Vices & Versa and Cheval Blanc, all great as usual. Cheval Blanc was packed on a Saturday night so good to see them doing well.

Cheval Blanc:
IMG_1857.jpeg
DDC:
IMG_1816.jpeg
And a telling sign of the times, not a single one of these places either has, or has an active Twitter account.

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Tapsucker
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Post by Tapsucker »

OK now you are just trolling us. :wink:

I usually hit up Benelux on Sherbrooke because I stay near there. It looks like the Wellington location has food options (beyond chips and hot dogs), is it worth going the extra distance for their offerings?

That Koln club looks interesting, do they brew on location or is it just a pub?

When I was last in town, I think L’Espace was just starting up, but I had a local colleague bring me a couple growler samples of stuff that was still in development. I was impressed and will have to go and re-investigate!

Also, packaged beer prices in Quebec. Don't get me started. And that's before taxes.
Brands are for cattle.
Fans are cash cows.
The herd will consume until consumed.

seangm
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Post by seangm »

Awesome, thanks for the great writeup and photos Cass! There's just something about Montreal, I need to get back out there one of these days. Poincare sounds awesome, I'd love to have something like that here though I suspect our stricter Ontario serving laws might discourage true Koln-style service.

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