Just Another White Christmas in Montreal

This year I travelled back home for Christmas in Montreal. Despite the blue sky and sunshine when I arrived, I knew I was no longer in sunny Barcelona. I quickly understood this would be a specially cold trip. The streets were filled with snow and temperatures were ranging between -15ºC and -30ºC. Media said an unusually cold air was hitting the country, breaking a 20 years record for cold so early in the year. Welcome back home… welcome to Canada!

To keep warm I engaged in a serious exploration of brewpubs and craft beer bars in Montreal. Luckily for me, plenty new venues had opened since last time I was here and with two weeks ahead of me, time was not an issue.


First stop after a poutine at Frites Alors! was Pit Caribou. One of my new favorites Montreal brewpubs. Originally from Gaspé, they set their foot in my hometown in 2016. Along with their own beer, you can enjoy imported brews from other eastern-Quebec microbreweries. They also offer delectable food showcasing regional products from Gaspésie. The décor is relaxed with a modern twist and hints at the region which is famous for fishing.


A neighborhood bar, Yïsst is located on Saint-Zotique in Rosemont La Petite Patrie. Popular for after work-drinks, it was packed when I stopped by with a friend on a Tuesday night. The menu includes only Quebec beers and to accommodate other tastes they also have an interesting selection of ciders from Quebec, wines from Canada and spirits from North America. I particularly enjoyed the warm lightning and the disco ball hanging in the centre, giving the bar an overall festive atmosphere.


Another gem in Rosemont La Petite Patrie is Isle de Garde. It is a fairly large venue that can seat up to 150 persons, although it doesn’t feel like it. The lively atmosphere is highlighted by the wooden furniture with an industrial touch. The bar is situated in the centre behind which you can see their 24 taps serving fresh craft beer. Most of them are brewed on site, although you can find some collaborations as well as other breweries from Quebec. They also have a beautiful terrace to be enjoyed in summer. One of my favorite Montreal brewpubs!




After hanging around the “Grand Marché de Noël” at Place des Arts, buying some christmas presents for the family, I stopped by Benelux to warm up my frozen hands and feet.

Benelux is a Montreal classic conveniently located downtown in the Quartier des Spectacles. It is popular for 5@7 during the week and gets crowded pretty early. You will find 12 beers on tap and more in bottle. They have some very good IPAs which I highly recommend. By the way, they also have a second location on Wellington street in Verdun which I still need to check out.


A first one for me, Pub West Shefford is located on busy Mont-Royal street. A modern pub with different drinking zones and two bars. They recently added an actual vinyl record shop in the back, quite retro. The staff was friendly and the atmosphere was calm as I visited during the afternoon with a friend. They serve beers from the West Shefford brewery in Bromont. We tried the Pretty Bastard, a super creamy, super smooth Stout. Totally recommended!


Pub West Shefford in Montreal



Meeting a friend for a beer before another christmas family dinner, we headed to Saint-Houblon, a modern gastro pub located in the centre of the Qartier Latin. The unique space has a vintage feel and is divided on two floors. We sat on the mezzanine where you can enjoy the view of the main floor. The selection of 24 different beers on tap is displayed on TVs  around the bar. They also serve apparently delicious food.

All their beers are brewed in their mico brewery in Terrebone. They also have a second location on Cote-des-Neiges as well as their own farm where they produce all their ingredients, insuring fresh and seasonal products in your plate.


Vices & Versa is a cozy bistro that focuses on quality craft beers. It is one of the few bars in Montreal that doesn’t actually brew the beers they serve. You will find here 30+ craft beers on tap to clench your thirst, offering a great choice of micro-breweries, many from Montreal and Quebec. The staff is friendly and helpful, so don’t be shy, they can recommend the best beer for you. To accompany all these beers, there is a cuisine promoting local products. The bar also offers many shows and beer events.




The plan was to go ice skating in the afternoon. On our way to the ice rink at Atrium Le 1000, we stopped at Le Réservoir for a beer and some food. Le Réservoir is a small pub where you can find 8 beers on tap and eat small delicate bites from renown chef Marc-Alexandre Mercier. The pub was taken over by the gang at Hotel Herman, giving it a new life. The decor was completely redone in April 2017 and the brewery now offers a more refined and modern atmosphere.


Finally, instead of going ice-skating, I ended up at another pub with some friends… beer calling! Located downtown on Crescent Street, Brutopia is one of the oldest Montreal brewpubs. Consisting of 3 bars on 3 floors, open from 3 to 3 every day, it is a real institution in the city. They serve traditionally brewed ales, mainly from Canada. You will find 5 regular brews on tap and a rotation of seasonal beers, The best part is the many terraces where you can enjoy a good beer during the warmer seasons.


For my last night in town I met some friends for a farewell beer at Siboire Brewpub. The Sherbrooke brewery is the latest addition in Montreal brewpubs circuit, arriving in a plus-size venue in Mile-End. The space fits 175 people and employs 40 people. It is located a few steps away from Dieu du Ciel, a popular but often over-crowded brewpub which I didn’t get the chance to visit this time (but I totally recommend).

Back to Siboire, running already two bars in Sherbrooke city, it is their first venture in Montreal. They serve 12 house beers on tap, brewed in the Sherbrooke brewery. They also serve modern pub food style, I tried the fish tacos which were especially tasty. The space is well decorated, giving it an authentic and modern beer hall atmosphere.




Quebec has a strong culture of craft beer which is present in the day-to-day life, you can always find a good beer anywhere you are. I will never tire of discovering new places in my hometown, specially new brewpubs and craft beer bars in Montreal.