Montreal was our first stop in Quebec, the French province of Canada. I’d heard good things about the beer here, and I wasn’t disappointed. Our Montreal highlights included:
– Eating our first Poutine! For those that don’t know, Poutine is French fries covered in gravy and cheese curd (or ‘squeaky cheese’ as we came to know it). Yes, it’s as good as it sounds, and it matches beer perfectly – seriously, bars in Australia need to start serving this stuff. The best we had was at La Banquise, arguably the best poutine restaurant in Canada, and therefore the world. I washed mine down with a tasty Boreal IPA.
– ‘Bar Hopping’ through Old Montreal at night. It was cool seeing old cobblestone streets lit up with the garish neon lights of nightclubs and bars, strewn with drunken young people searching for a good night out. I’m sure I would have been offended by this scene if I wasn’t a part of the drunken rabble…
– Outdoor ice skating in Mont Royal Park (and I didn’t even fall over!) Actually, Mont Royal Park was just awesome in general. It was the first time we really got to trudge through some snow. The fact that it was two degrees out didn’t matter – the sun was shining and we were feeling the heat. I’ve now decided that two degrees is the optimal temperature for humans to operate in.
The biggest beer highlight was a trip to the Dieu Du Ciel brewpub. This place came up as the top beer destination in Montreal, and could possibly be the best beer place in all of Canada. I was doubly excited because they also brew three beers that appear on my epic list – I was going to get to try them at the source! At least that’s what I thought…turns out they had none of them available on the day. However I quickly shook of my disappointment when I saw what they did have to offer.
During the afternoon I had six beers – the Baraque (an American IPA), Chaman (a Double IPA), Heretique Aux Mures (a sour ale), Penombre (a Black IPA) Histoire Dun Soir (an American Amber ale), and the Aphrodisiaque (a Chocolate stout, and best beer of the day). Some of these were tough to pronounce, but all tasted great. We also had some food I think, but I honestly can’t remember – the beers were quite big after all. The atmosphere was great, and the place was at capacity (thank god for table service). Overall this was one of my top beer experiences in the entire trip.
So go to Montreal, climb Mont Royal, and visit Dieu Du Ciel. Do it!