August 15, 2008
Blaspheming Quebec Beer
Like most former-lumberjack Canadians, I like beer. Quite a bit. So when contemplating the move to Montreal I was excited to discover Quebec's reputation for good beer at cheap prices.
I started drinking later in life than most, but I've slowly accumulated a sense of what I like (top of the list: Newcastle Brown Ale, then Stella Artois, and Moretti -and Napoleon's favourite beer, Bass, but only on tap -not from a bottle). I've got a long way to go on the road to becoming a beer connoisseur. In Montreal I hoped to greatly expand the list of what I enjoyed. Unfortunately...
I have been thoroughly disillusioned.
Quebec beer is terrible. Horrendous. I know I'm blaspheming, but somebody's got to say it.
In my focused internet-browsing one day I discovered a beer blog that claimed the best beer selection in Canada was at a grocery store called Metro Joanette in Montreal. I checked the address, and -surprise, surprise- found that it was located in a neighbourhood just south of us here in Point. St. Charles. So Joel and I walked over, and I was delighted to find that you could buy bottles individually. I loaded up on twenty different brands (some of which I had heard rave reviews about, and some which just looked cool -but all of which were brewed locally).
Then every night for a week I tried a new beer or three.
They were terrible. From that pile of twenty bottles only one brand was even half decent (La Scottish -credit where it's due). The rest were all similairly gag-inducing. Well, in fairness, there was a malt beer called Raftman that I didn't enjoy at all but I did respect, and so I've made a mental note to come back to it at a later point.
When first arriving in Montreal I tried the big local brands available at most local Depaneurs like St. Ambroise, Cheval Blanc, and McAuslan, and found them all desperately wanting; so with this dissapointment from Quebecois microbrewers my disillusionment was complete.
The problem with Quebec beer, nine times out of ten, is that it's way too sweet. I mean, Newcastle has a sweetness, I'm fine with that; But with most Quebec beer it's like someone added fruit punch for the final third of the bottle. It has come as no surprise to me to hear that Quebec is most famous for its "peche" beer. Yeah, peach beer. Good grief.
Quebec beer sucks.