MONTREAL WAS MY first big city love. My first and only. A place with a subway system and skyscrapers and things that normally make me uncomfortable. But Montreal felt familiar, like I had been there before. The beer helped.
I talked to a few Montreal enthusiasts before my trip, and one beer expert told me that I had to swing by the Dieu du Ciel! brewpub. According to him, it’s the best brewpub in Canada. I don’t know much about brewpubs, but I do enjoy my brew. So after visiting the Tam Tams at Mont Royal and still nursing a wicked hangover from the night before, my friend Cailin and I dropped by to check it out. Hair of the dog…it works.
As if I needed another reason to return to Montreal.
Ale, real ale (cask conditioned ale), and lagers are all served up here, and the variety depends on the season. It’s been a few months since my visit, but the patio was overflowing and Cailin and I were confined to a table in the corner. We ordered some grub–typical pub stuff with nachos and wings–and found ourselves a little overwhelmed by the brew choices. The pub actually has 100+ different flavours, although they’ll only have a handful (like 17) on tap at one time. They tend to switch up the menu daily, so each time you visit, there’s something new to try.
Here’s just a taste:
- Aphrodisiaque (Aphrodisiac): Cocoa and vanilla stout, probably the pub’s most popular drink
- Blanche du Paradis (Paradise White): Belgian wheat beer, label features a fair maiden…as in deathly pale
- Corne du Diable (Horn of the Devil): “Horn of the devil” is actually an interpretation for English India Pale Ale
- Derniere Volonte (Last Will): Blond Abbey-style beer, bottle conditioned
- Equinoxe du Printemps (Spring equinox): Very Canadian maple scotch ale…with 9.1% alcohol content
- Rigor Mortis (Rigor Mortis): The most intense of them all, at 10.5% alcohol content
I ordered the beer platter so I could have a healthy sampling of everything on the menu. The bartender unloaded the tray of miniature glasses filled with beer and named them all out automatically, without batting an eyelash. I was in a trance. I was in heaven. Oh, Montreal. I’ll be back!
If you visit, leave the car at home. With beers containing 10.5% alcohol, it doesn’t take long for even samples to hit hard.
Come early in spring/summer if you want a seat outside. Dieu du Ciel!
29, Avenue Laurier O Montreal, QC H2T 2N2, Canada
Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 AM – 11 PM
Thursday and Friday, 11:30 AM – 2:30 AM
Saturday, 2 PM – 2:30 AM
Sunday, 2 PM – 11:00 PM