For craft beer lovers, Montreal is a joy to visit. Neighbourhood pubs specializing in craft beer are plentiful, both those that brew beer on site, as well as many that have a selection of microbrews from the region on tap. The microbrew industry in Montreal is robust, with frequent new additions, constant innovation, and creative recipes. Here are some of our top choices for quality of beer and pleasant ambiance.
Dieu du Ciel
Photo credit Paul Joseph
Dieu du Ciel is arguably Montreal’s favourite microbrew pub. Just a few steps north of the Plateau on Laurier Avenue, DDC has been passionately brewing impeccable and creative beers since 1998. The pub itself is small and unassuming, but the lively, friendly atmosphere is that of a neighbourhood hub. Nearly always packed, you’ll find people from every walk of life enjoying the outstanding quality and selection of beer. The beer is brewed on site and the menu changes frequently, normally featuring around 15-20 beers. Certain favourites remain on the menu at most times, such as the Rosée d’hibiscus, a rosy-coloured Belgian wheat beer brewed with hibiscus. Be aware you may wait for a table at peak times such as Friday and Saturday evenings.
Where: 29 Avenue Laurier West
2. Vices & Versa
Vices & Versa is little ways north of the Plateau on the edge of the Little Italy neighbourhood. In the summer, they have one of the best outdoor terraces around – a large walled courtyard behind the pub with a canopy of trees. They serve a great selection of 36 beers on tap from Quebec’s favourite microbreweries – many from Montreal. The servers are knowledgeable, helpful with recommendations, and will answer all your questions. The kitchen is also very good, with a limited menu of upscale pub-style cuisine, often with local, seasonal ingredients. Definitely a place to check out, you can easily spend a pleasant afternoon or evening here.
Where: 6631 St Laurent Blvd
Photo credit @misskruk
Brasserie Harricana is farther north still, on Rue Jean Talon. While it is a couple of neighbourhoods away from the Plateau, if you’re willing to grab an Uber or hop on public transit, it is well worth a visit. They have amazing house-brewed beer, an outstanding menu, and the décor is lovely. Although located in an undeveloped neighbourhood, the brasserie itself is spacious with high ceilings and lots of windows. Vintage-y and swank, the décor is reminiscent of the 50s and 60s, with a big U-shaped marble bar and beautiful light fixtures. The artisanal beer is brewed on site and the menu changes frequently. Great choice if you’re planning on having a meal as well as drinking.
Where: 95 Rue Jean-Talon West
Pub Pit Caribou
Photo credit Wagner T. Assimiro
In a handy location on Rachel near Parc LaFontaine, Pit Caribou is a Gaspé brewer that opened its Montreal location about a year ago. Their beer was already a big hit in Quebec, and has won international medals and awards – notably, best brown beer in the world, 2015. The pub quickly became a neighbourhood favourite and offers a fantastic selection of Gaspésian beers as well as a small menu with many Gaspé products.
Where: 951 Rue Rachel East
Photo credit Don LaVange
With great beer, great food, and friendly staff, Boswell is another Plateau favourite. They have 15-20 artisanal microbrews on tap from local Quebec brewers. They also feature a terrific pub menu with some vegetarian options. The grilled octopus is very popular. The pleasant mood along with good food and beer is sure to create a memorable occasion.
Where: 2407 Mont-Royal Ave East
Isle de Garde
Located in Rosemount-La-Patite-Patrie, Isle de Garde has a fantastic draft system and very good food. Casual, yet slightly upscale with lots of brick and wood, the atmosphere is lovely. Isle de Garde beer is brewed on location and the draft system ensures it is served at the proper temperature. They have a classy selection of craft beers from other brewers on tap as well.
Where: 1039 Rue Beaubien East