Quebec has long been a beacon for beer enthusiasts from across Canada and around the world, with acclaimed breweries like Le Trou du Diable, Dieu Du Ciel!, Brasseurs du Monde and La Voie Maltée claiming top prizes at North American and international beer competitions alike. With a so many award-winning beers and breweries in the province, its largest city Montreal is an easy and accessible destination to get your bearings in Quebec’s world-class beer scene.

Earlier this year, we listed 150 breweries to visit during Canada’s 150th. While it was a feat to whittle down a shortlist from 700+ breweries across the country (we ruffled a few feathers in the process), the most difficult province to shortlist was Quebec. So we felt we owed it to the province to dive deeper into its impressive offerings, starting with an exploration of the Montreal craft beer scene. Over a long weekend recently, we took on the laborious task of visiting many of the city’s top establishments, armed with a slew of recommendations from well-meaning friends and helpful locals, each with their own opinions on where to get the best beer in town.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Dieu du Ciel!

Without a doubt the most well-known craft brewery in Montreal, Dieu du Ciel, is a pilgrimage for any beer loving traveler. A pioneer in the Montreal craft beer scene, Dieu du Ciel’s unpretentious broue pub attracts locals and out-of-towners in droves. Beer styles run the gamut, but perennial favourites include the deliciously rich Péché Mortal, a 9.5% Imperial Coffee Stout, and Solstice d’Été, a wonderfully tart raspberry Berliner Weisse. You’re bound to find something for you among the 20 rotating tap options, or peruse the large bottle list of reserve options. A minuscule cooking area behind the bar is where a truly impressive array of dishes are made like cheese & tapenade plates, thin crust pizzas, and late night snacks.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Brasserie Harricana

The polished and sleek decor is the first thing you notice when entering this brewery in Rosemont – La Petite Prairie, not too far from the fabulous Jean Talon Market. Featuring mainly sessionables and sours when we visited, Brasserie Harricana has its eye on traditional styles but incorporates unique flavours like in its Maracuja Sour – a tart passionfruit brew that we couldn’t get enough of. Grab a seat at one of the bar’s retro pink chairs and taste the beer menu through 5oz pours until you find a winner (it wont take you long!). An open kitchen prepares dishes like devilled eggs, ale braised lamb shank, and shakshuka. The daily all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is an unbelievable deal at $17 – including a beer.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Boswell

This large brewery in Mont Royal has plenty of seating in its dimly lit and art heavy brewpub. Work your way through the 20+ taps of mostly Boswell’s own beers, which are brewed in the MaBrasserie facility. Highlights include the Saison and Breakfast Stout. The menu is a delightful hodgepodge of dishes, mainly comfort food taken to the next level such as cured salted cod, veal tartare, and fish & chips. A mostly local crowd fills this place on weekends, but you should be able to cozy up at the bar or grab a table for your group. Service is wonderful.

Vices + Versa

Though a beer bar and not a brewery, Vices + Versa is a must visit spot on any Montreal craft beer crawl. This neighbourhood fave on the border of Mile Ex and Little Italy offers three dozen beers exclusively from Quebec, but no need to be overwhelmed by the selection – you can build your own flight before committing to a pint. The inside has all the elements of a cozy pub while the large backyard patio is the place to be during the summer. If you have limited time in Montreal and want to taste several local brews, Vices + Versa should be at the top of your list.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Isle de Garde

This lovely neighbourhood brewery in Rosemont is the type of place you would make your local if you lived here. The light filled and minimalistic brew pub has over 20 taps pouring out Isle de Garde beers alongside great picks from other Quebecois brewers. The staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgable, and are happy to make recommendations for your next beer or next stop in Montreal. The homestyle food is delicious with options such as smoked meat gnocchi, vegetarian chilli, and a hotdog topped with cheese and chimichurri. If the weather is nice, head to the lovely patio tucked away out back.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Pub Brewsky

While craft beer is prolific in the city, the tourist centre of Old Montreal is surprisingly devoid of decent options. That’s where Pub Brewsky comes in. Head downstairs into this underground bunker of a bar – or snag a seat outside up front if you can. The pub’s 12 taps are split among Pub Brewsky’s own beer and guest taps highlighting local brewers, offering mix and match flights to sample what’s on offer. An extensive bottle list covers regional heavyweights as well as brands from the US and Europe. Pub Brewsky is, without a doubt, your best bet for a quality local craft beer in Montreal’s city centre.

HELM

This Mile End microbrasserie, whose name is an acronym of the four traditional beer ingredients (houblon (hops), eau (water), levure (yeast), and malt), has been around for years. HELM focuses on the classic styles, which it executes well like its Saint-Viateur Stout and Clark Pilsner. Grab a seat at the large bar, which is the focal point of the brewpub, where you can expect to engage in conversation with the bartender or friendly locals. The menu features hearty beer drinking foods like burgers and poutines, while the full bar offerings and DJ bring the crowds out nightly.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Reservoir

Yet another Plateau brasserie to make the list, Reservoir is a welcoming spot that serves its own beer alongside delicious food. We were particularly fond of the Wild Blueberry Brett Ale and the Sour IPA, though there are many other styles represented on the menu. Reservoir offers lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on the weekend, which has been noted as one of the top brunches in town. The menus feature inventive dishes from small plates to full meals. If the weather is nice, don’t miss the wonderful balcony patio.

Broue Pub Brouhaha

Brouehaha has two locations in Montreal – one in Rosemont and the other in Ahuntsic, thought the former is the most centrally located and near the main tourist hangouts. The interior is dark and cozy with a punk aesthetic. Brouhaha has over 20 taps featuring their brews alongside guest taps, which all hail from Quebec. Servers here know their beer and are happy to direct you to something great, or try a few 4oz tasters of any of the beers on tap if you want to sample before you buy. Brouhaha is a good bet any time of the day as it’s open from 11am to 3am everyday of the week.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide

MaBrasserie

This former leather factory was converted into a co-op brewery by the head of Brouehaha as a collaborative space for the Montreal craft beer community. The large, industrial like setting is flooded with natural light and is often used for industry events and training. Located on a quiet street, MaBrasserie has several picnic tables out front, which bring groups out in the summer months. Though the brewery produces its own namesake beer, it features many other local brews as well. There’s also a bottle shop to grab beers to go – a bit of a rarity at many Montreal breweries due to strict regulations. Take note: the brewpub is closed Sunday to Tuesday.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide

Pit Caribou

Though Pit Caribou’s brewing takes place in the fishing village of Percé in the Gaspésie region of eastern Quebec, the brewery opened a similarly nautically themed pub in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. This outpost was opened in 2016 but has amassed a loyal following and given its location, attracts a lot of visitors as well. Cozy yet stylish, Pit Caribou offers small snacks and a couple of shareable boards, and is open until 3am nightly. Since opening, the pub has partnered with brewers from around the world for tap takeovers, including Icelandic brewers Borg and Gædingur.

Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide
Montreal Craft Beer Guide

L’Espace Public

A friendly bar in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood featuring a mostly local clientele as it’s a bit of a trek from Old Montreal. This simple yet inviting space offers several beers made on site, all with interesting names and unique backstories like the Steven Seagose, a brett Gose, and Kölschlaga, a Kölsch and play on the brewery’s neighbourhood. L’Espace Public is a great spot to catch a Habs game when in town. If you’re hungry, you can’t go wrong with $1 peanuts.

Bonus Recommendations:

Here’s a super quick round-up of a few other favourites in Montreal because I just couldn’t help myself!

Veux-tu une biére?: Wonderful Montreal craft beer shop with a location in Villeray and Petite-Patrie. An excellent selection of beers from the region awaits you including special release bottles from Brasserie Dunham and Dieu du Ciel, among many others. There’s also Kombucha on tap and gourmet snacks to make the perfect board.

Délires du terroirAnother excellent bottle shop that’s on Saint-Hubert in Petite Patrie. The small store is well stocked with brews from around Quebec, Europe and the US. The staff here kills it – they’re so unbelievably helpful and are happy to point out special and exciting brews for the uninitiated.

St. Viateur Bagels: Get yourself to this Montreal institution for the most delicious carb fest. Lines are long but move quickly. Get a half dozen (at least!) because you’re going to want more of them. They’re just that good.

Joe BeefBooked out months in advance for a reason. Just go (but make a reservation or use the Dinr app for same-day cancellations). As a backup try their other restaurants Vin Papillion and Liverpool House, both also in Little Burgundy.

AgrikolA new Haitian restaurant from Arcade Fire and beloved Toronto restauranteur Jen Agg. Great cocktails, great food, great backyard patio.

Bar AlexanderplatzA bar in Mile Ex, the ‘hottest’ neighbourhood in town at the moment, set in a converted garage serving local craft beer. It’s open seasonally – in the summer only and closed for the cold winter months.

Dinette Triple Crown: Comfort food at its best in this Mile Ex eatery – think fried chicken, brisket, and mac & cheese. Eat in or get an adorable picnic basket loaded up with food to take to the park across the street.

Big in Japan BarSpeakeasy in Plateau along Saint Laurent Boulevard known for its boozy cocktails, candlelit ambiance, whiskey selection, and obscured entrance.


Montreal Craft Beer Photos courtesy of Lauren Barth.


Lauren Barth

Lauren Barth

Lauren Barth co-founded Departful in 2012 is the Managing Director of Departful Media. Since then she has worked between North America and Europe and has published content in partnership with a variety of tourism boards and businesses based around the world. Lauren is currently based in Toronto, Canada.

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