Introducing the Quebec Craft Beer Series

Before B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and virtually every province in Canada started to experience a surging interest in good beer, it was Quebec that reigned supreme in the Canadian craft beer realm.

I don’t know how many breweries there are in Quebec, but it is well over 100. If you ask around about the best beers in Canada, you’ll find many of them – a disproportionately high number – hail from Quebec.

Microbrasserie La Diable

Taps at Microbrasserie La Diable in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

 

Quebec reminds me of rural Belgium and Germany in some ways, as every small town seems to have a microbrewery or brewpub nearby. Not all of them are worth trying, but many of them are fantastic – and a lot of them are only found in Quebec!

This beer series is dedicated to the many breweries, both relatively unknown and somewhat famous, that you’ll find in Quebec. It’s mostly a craft beer series, with plenty of smaller breweries being featured, but I’ll deviate from the “craft” label here and there to mention selected big brewers as well.

Esprit Rafting Beer Tower

If your Quebec beer is served in a beer tower, like this one at Esprit Rafting, it won’t be in this Craft Beer series

 

I’ve had the pleasure of featuring around 20 different Quebec beers in the past. My favourite beers from Quebec are still made by Unibroue in Chambly, Quebec. Once a great craft brewery, they’re now owned by Sapporo in Japan, but thankfully their beers remain solid, with Trois Pistoles and Quelque Chose being among my favourites.

Unibroue - Trois Pistoles

Trois Pistoles, from Unibroue, a great Quebec beer

Then you have beers like Boreale, which are somewhat simpler, but oozing with Quebecois pride. So, before the beer series officially begins, here is a selection of 12 Quebec craft beers I’ve already profiled in past beer series posts on Red Hunt Travel.

St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale in Montreal – featured in the 95 Beers of Summer series, I chose this as one of my favourite fruit-flavoured beers, made by McAuslan Brewery.

Serie Signature – Hopfenweisse in Brossard – a high-calibre hefe by LTM, I’ve been impressed with virtually every beer I’ve tried from Les Trois Mousquetaires.

Peche Mortel in Montreal – featured in the Imperial Stouts Beer Series, this beer is consistently ranked among the top 5 beers in Canada. Brewed by Dieu du Ciel.

Gros Mollet in Saint-Gedeon – this craft beer from Quebec is the perfect example of what many small breweries are producing in the province. It’s not mind-blowing but it is flavourful, from the people at Microbrasserie du Lac Saint-Jean.

Blanche de Chambly in Chambly – when it comes to wheat beers, this is world-class. Complex and refreshing. Give it a try, from the brewers at Unibroue.

La Chronique in Rouyn-Noranda – one of the most northern brewers in Quebec, even the people of Rouyn-Noranda have a solid brewpub pumping out tasty craft beer like this Irish Red, brewed by Le Trefle Noir Brasserie Artisanale.

475 Blanche de Pratto in Anse-a-Beaufils – it used to be that I had to venture to eastern Quebec to find beers from Microbrasserie Pit-Caribou, as they’re way out in the Gaspe region of the province, further east than New Brunswick. But the success of this small brewery has let them expand recently, buy a new building and increase production. Good news!

Rooibos Africaine in Montreal – brewers throughout Quebec are very open to experimenting with interesting ingredients, from absinthe and hibiscus to rooibos. Apparently rooibos is some type of South African legume often used in teas? Whatever, it made for an interesting wheat beer, crafted by Brasseurs De Montreal.

IPA Belge in Dunham – as with a number of Quebec craft brewers and micro breweries, Dunham has a Belgian influence to many of their beers. This particular Belgian IPA is one of the best I’ve ever had, thanks to Brasserie Dunham.

Dominus Vobiscum Blanche in Baie-Saint-Paul – rolling hills with farms and fromageries is what comes to mind when thinking of the Charlevoix area of Quebec, where this beer comes from. What a better way to enjoy some fine beers than with some fine cheese? If you find any beers from Microbrasserie Charlevoix, do yourself a favour and try them.

Barnstown Blanche a la Lavande in Sherbrooke – I’m not certain why I had previously reviewed so many wheat beers from Quebec, other than some being part of my Wicked Wheats Beer Series. This one from Boquebiere is their highest rated beer, although I preferred some of their other brews.

L’Infusee in Saint-Hyacinthe – an interesting tea-infused beer that is ideal for summer. I enjoyed this, and other beers from Brasseurs du Monde, many times while guiding tours around parts of Quebec.

So there you have the kick-off to my Quebec beer series! Watch for new craft beers from Quebec starting next month.

About Red Hunt

A former journalist and business analyst that now works in the world of travel marketing. Based in Toronto, Red Hunt has travelled to more than 40 countries over the past 10 years. You can follow Red on Twitter @redhunttravel.