A Weekend in Montreal – Part 2: Mmm, Beer

In addition to getting engaged on my trip to Montreal, D and I had plans to hit up a few microbreweries. We both love craft beer (we’re spoiled living in Brooklyn where it’s almost as readily available as water), and I found a few places to check out that I was looking forward to.

If you don’t like beer, you probably won’t care about this post. There, I said it. I’m just going to talk about how awesome beer is. I have a special place in my heart for beer posts since my second post overall on this blog was about beer and somehow ended up Freshly Pressed.

Vices et Versa. We went to Little Italy on Friday night, and unfortunately it was raining the entire time. After walking around a bit and checking out the iconic outside staircases, we made our way over to the bar. It looked homey, and I looked like a wet dog (somehow no one else did! How does that happen?!), and after looking at the chalkboard of beer offerings, we realized two things:

  1. They didn’t make their own beers, which was okay because
  2. They had an amazing selection. Seriously. There were more than 30 beers to choose from, and they all sounded wonderful.
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Looking at that beer list gets me happy all over again.

I ended up going for an IPA (that’s my usual go-to, I suppose, unless there is a coffee porter on the menu). The Yakima IPA is brewed by Le Castor right in Quebec, and it was excellent. It was nice and light for a humid summer evening, but had enough of a bitter taste to make it a sipper.

Benelux Brewpub. Later on Friday, we headed to Benelux. It was just a few blocks away from our hotel, and while I’d read that it was a bit college-y (being near McGill and all), I was hopeful that during the summer break, it would be less so. Bingo. Even though we got there around 10PM on Friday, we were able to grab a table and the waitress came over right away.

Sidenote: Not used to waitresses at bars. I know that’s weird, but usually we just find a table, go up and order a drink, and then sit back down. It was kind of nice not having to elbow in and grab a bartender’s attention.

At Benelux, I got their Benelux saison, brewed on site. Being a saison, It was a one-shot brew, so I’m not sure if even now it is there anymore. I think that’s okay. Of the beers we had over the weekend, this one was probably my least favorite. Not that it was bad, it was okay, but nothing special. The pub itself was nice though: lots of tables and communal seating, great service, and a lovely place to people-watch. They have a sizable outdoor space, but it was a little bit chilly so the inside was just fine.

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I was going to use this photo to send to friends being like, “Surprise!”, but then my hand was so much bigger than everything else and I felt awkward. Just look at the color of that beer! And 20oz of it!

Dieu du Ciel!  On Saturday (after I watched D eat a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s and he watched me eat a black bean/plantain arepa from Arepera du Plateau) we headed to DdC in the “trendy” Plateau Mont-Royal area.

Sidenote: I’m not sure if it’s actually considered trendy to locals, the tour books just say that. Don’t hold it against me.

I was a little distracted from the developments of earlier in the day to take any tasting notes, but I did try two beers: the Elixir Celeste (a Pilsner) and the Resurrection porter. Is there any way to petition that Brooklyn start serving 20oz “pints” also? Because that was pretty swell. DdC was phenomenal, both of my beers were well-rounded and fresh. I had a few sips of the beers that D got and they were great as well. If I could choose one of the three bars to transplant to New York, this would be it.

We ended up getting a more modest 12oz glass of our 2nd beer. My porter looks like iced coffee and tasted even better.

We ended up getting a more modest 12oz glass of our 2nd beer. My porter looks like iced coffee and tasted even better.

They were busy, but I have to commend the bartender on being super attentive to those sitting at the bar as well as filling orders at the same time. Watching the constant fill/level/serve motion was sort of mesmerizing.

Overall, I’m glad we did a little research ahead of time and picked out some great microbreweries. Montreal was pretty freaking awesome, and their beer was equally great. Go, try some.

P.S. Yes, we did go to other places, we tried poutine and climbed the clock tower at Old Port. But no one wants to read three separate posts about a three-day vacation.

P.P.S. Sorry for the blurriness of the photos. I hate looking like a tourist, so I snapped these without a flash and tried to keep as steady a hand as possible. Even blurry the beer looks good though, right?

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