The Québécois love beer. In 2011, the province was home to 84 microbreweries, craft breweries and brewpubs, together producing close to a thousand different beers. Although most bars serve a variety of locally brewed beers, the best experience remains to head straight to breweries that serve their products right where they were brewed. It not only allows beer aficionados to enjoy the freshest creations, but also to taste exclusive blends, as some beers are crafted in such small quantities that they are never bottled and distributed.
Here are 10 great places to drink locally brewed beer in and around Quebec City:
Photo (c) Stan Hieronymus.
A personal favorite, La Barberie is my go-to place to have a refreshing cold beer on a hot summer day. Located in St-Roch, it’s a laid-back spot with a diverse and interesting clientele. There is a large and sunny terrace where you can easily lose track of time going down the brewery’s list of beers on tap. Seasonal varieties are always great choices, and for something original, look for the Chilli Amber (Ambrée aux Piments Forts), which is intriguingly spicy but still easy to drink. If you want to make a night out of it, order the “carousel”, a wooden stand that holds eight glasses or pints, so you can sample all of the night’s available beers on tap. No food is served, but you can bring your own snacks. Address: 310, rue Saint-Roch
Photo (c) La Korrigane.
Opened in 2010, La Korrigane is a craft brewery where beers are produced in small quantities and served exclusively on site. The owners are involved in local food associations and help promote Quebec City’s producers by serving light meals and snacks made from locally grown and produced ingredients. One of their most famous beers is the Emily Carter blueberry beer -- fruity, not sweet -- but other notable blends include the Mary Morgan, a light, refreshing white beer, or the Croquemitaine, which has subtle maple undertones. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming and informal. There’s a small terrace, always packed and lively with beer lovers wanting to drink in every last bit of Quebec City’s short summer. Address: 380, rue Dorchester
Photo (c) Pierre Turgeon.
L’Inox is one of the city’s oldest microbreweries and it used to be located in the Old Port. A few years ago, they created a stir when they announced they were moving to the Grande Allée, the most touristic of all Quebec City streets. Longtime fans feared the place would lose its rebellious ways, but since the clientele moved along with the beer, L’Inox Grande Allée has become the best place to have an informal drink uptown. The pub looks like a cool industrial loft, while the terrace is the perfect place to people watch, especially when the Grande Allée becomes pedestrian during summer festivals. Locals order beer by the pitcher to wash down pub snacks like nachos and European-style hot dogs. Address: 655, Grande Allée Est
This microbrewery has two locations: the first one is located in Lac Beauport, a mountainous suburb of Quebec City, where the décor feels like a welcoming lodge where you stop for a well-deserved bite and drink after a day skiing. The second is a five-minute drive from the airport, in a commercial supercenter. While the location lacks charm, the pub’s easy access and closeness to Quebec City’s business hub in Sainte-Foy makes it very popular with the after-work crowd. As for the beer, it’s reliably good and brewed on both sites, and the food served ventures outside the usual pub fare, with steaks and fish dishes, as well as pizza and pasta. Addresses: 1021, boul. du Lac, Lac-Beauport 1240, Autoroute Duplessis
Image © Vanessa Roberge.
A short and beautiful ferryboat ride away
from the Old Port, Corsaire Microbrasserie makes nine different beers, from a light white beer flavored with ginger and citrus fruits (the Tanaka) to a black stout beer infused with roasted oats (the Davy Jones). The pub is also known for its wide selection of single malt whiskies and their excellent coffee beans, which are roasted on the premises. Food is served for lunch and dinner (sandwiches, salads, pizzas and snacks). Address: 5955, rue St-Laurent, suite 101, Lévis
Photo (c) Brasserie Artisanale La Souche.
A few steps away from Cégep de Limoilou, a collegiate institution, La Souche welcomes a younger crowd that loves to hang out in La Souche’s rustic interior. Cozy couches, tables made out of thick trunk slices and odd chairs create a relaxed setting, perfect to sample the pub’s regularly changing selection of beers on tap brewed by different Quebec microbreweries. It also offers a wide selection of bottled beers, as well as an inventive pub menu featuring re-imagined classics made with local ingredients. Address: 801, Chemin de la Canardière
This charming pub is located on l’Île d’Orléans, a rural island on the St. Lawrence river, 30 minutes from downtown Quebec City. Le Mitan is the serving outpost of Microbrasserie de l’Île d’Orléans, a microbrewery that distributes its beers all over the province. Eleven beers are brewed over the year and the seasonal varieties are especially exciting, such as winter’s Jean Dit Laforge (a strong beer with malt, chocolate and vanilla flavors) and spring’s Louis Gaborit (an amber beer infused with the island’s maple syrup). The microbrewery’s restaurant is open for the summer and early fall seasons, when customers can enjoy the pub’s relaxing terrace and unfussy bistro cuisine. Address: 3885, Chemin Royal, Sainte-Famille, Île d’Orléans
Image © Microbrasserie des Beaux-Prés.
Heading to visit the Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
, Mont Ste-Anne
, or Charlevoix
? Stop for a refreshing beer at the Microbrasserie des Beaux Prés. With a strategic location, a terrace right on the St. Lawrence River and a relaxed atmosphere in an area otherwise populated by fast food joints, Microbrasserie des Beaux Prés makes for the ideal rest stop on Route de la Nouvelle-France
. Explore the brewery’s beer menu by opting for the small tasting format, or choose a pint of your favorite amongst the 11 varieties and enjoy it with lunch or dinner. The brewery is open late every night, a rare thing in the area. Address: 9430, boul. Sainte-Anne, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Photo (c) Microbrasserie Breughel.
Located right off the bridge on atmospheric Île d’Orléans, Brasserie Berthilda Vandoren is more than just a pub: it’s also a gourmet grocery store and gift shop selling locally-made products and souvenirs. The beer served is from Kamouraska’s 20-year-old Microbrasserie Breughel, which makes 16 Belgian-style beers: unfiltered, unpasteurized, sur lie
and bottle-fermented. At the pub, open for the summer season, a rotating selection is served on tap to complement a simple menu of light dishes. You can also bring your own picnic and eat it on site while enjoying the pub’s expansive view over the island’s bridge and the Montmorency Falls. Address: 519, Chemin Royal, St-Pierre, Île d’Orléans