“Beer,” Benjamin Franklin is famously misquoted as saying, “is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Which is why it’s such a tragedy that so many Montrealers imbibe flavourless big brands. This, especially in a city with so many fine local brewers, many of whom get the hops hoppin’ in their own brewpubs. A few of the best.
Le Cheval Blanc
Perhaps Montreal’s most celebrated brewpub, Cheval Blanc’s fine froths can be found in dépanneurs everywhere, but the best place to guzzle down their delicious wheat blanche or rich noire is at the cozy horse itself. 809 Ontario St. E., (514) 522-0211.
L’Amère a boire
This lower St-Denis hotspot makes Cerna Hora – a Czech-style Pilsner so authentic, they serve it at the Czech consulate here. Another highlight is “Montreal Hell,” a lager based on Spaten’s popular “Münchner Hell.” 2049 St-Denis St., (514) 282-7448.
Dieu du Ciel!
Popular with students and 5-a-7ing francophones, Dieu du Ciel! features glass walls to reveal the secrets of their delicious brews, from Irish cream ales to stouts to hemp-powered ales. 29 Laurier Ave. W., (514) 490-9555.
Great beer and tasty, tapas-style menu make this a popular and lively spot just off the St-Laurent strip. The homemade blanche, with a squeeze of lemon, taken on the rooftop, is precisely what Benny Franklin was talking about. 9 Duluth Ave. E., (514) 849-7779.
A beacon of sanity on Crescent, Brutopia offers killer India Pale Ale, Honey Brown and Raspberry Ales. Nightly entertainment – bands, open mics, and trivia – is also offered. 1219 Crescent St., (514) 393-9277.