The Québec province is quite the hot spot for craft breweries, and has been for quite some time, hosing the famous Mondial de la biere in Montréal and claiming the renowned Le Dieu du Ciel! and Unibroue breweries (both also in greater Montréal). However, while Montréal receives a lot of the accolades for craft beer, Québec City has certainly not missed out on the craft beer movement. When I visited in 2015, we visited five craft breweries in Québec City proper and there were a number more just outside the city. Here are my thoughts of the ones that we visited.
l. La Korrigane – La Korrigane is a brewery and pub located in the St. Roch neighborhood. The brewery/pub is pretty large, encompassing two large rooms that were packed on a weekend night. Korrigane offered a number of beers on tap and, super cool, Korrigane is owned by a woman! Korrigane ended up being my favorite brewery. The beer was high quality and it had a good crowd. The bartenders were also very nice and answered all of our questions. My favorite beer was a variant of the Kraken IPA! About 10 of Korrigane’s beers are usually on tap, with a guest line or two dedicated to another craft brewery or cidery. You can find their current list on their Facebook page.
2. La Souche – La Souche is located in the up-and-coming Limoilou neighborhood. Dan and I stopped her for a drink before our dinner at iX pour Bistro (read about that amazingly delicious meal here), as it is a short walk between the two. The first thing that hit me upon entering La Souche is the delicious smell of their food offerings! We really wish that we had had time to come back and eat there. We sat at the bar and each had two beers. Surprisingly, the beers were delicious and creative! This is surprising because, based on my research, La Souche was barely even mentioned in the Québec craft beer scene. I tried an IPA and a spruce beer and both were delicious. Highly recommend La Souche if you like beer and are in Québec, or are going to dinner at iX pour Bistro! Also, I kind of loved the snow ski tap handle!
3. Microbrasserie Barbarie coopérative du travail – Barberie is one of Québec’s oldest and most famous and respected microbreweries! It has been around since the 1990s and it has quite the following. Located on the border of St. Roch and Vieux Québec (near the train station and Port Market), their tasting room is atmospheric and a great place to enjoy a beer! In terms of selection, I thought Barberie had a well rounded selection, from a 3.5% stout to some heavy hitting imperials. Dan and I split one of the “beer carousels,” which is a sampling of the eight beers on tap that actually spins! I very much enjoyed Barberie, and it falls just behind La Souche and Korrigane. Oh, and its also a cooperative, which is pretty cool!
4. Mircobrasserie Corsaire – Microbrasserie Corsaire is not actually in Québec but in Lévis, just across the St. Lawrence river. We took the ferry over to Lévis, which has the BEST views of the Chateau Frontenac, and Corsaire’s brewpub is a 2 minute walk (if that) from the ferry terminal. We visited at lunchtime and I was honestly happier with their food than beer! The pub offered some unexpectedly great food, and wine and spirits in addition to their beer offerings. For example, I had a duck grilled cheese and Dan ordered sweetbreads! In terms of beer, I did not find their offerings terribly delicious or exciting. It was rather run of the mill. However, I would come back for their lunch menu! Here is one of there stouts and my duck grilled cheese. Duck grilled cheese > beer.
5. NOCTEM Artisans Brasseurs – The newest, and my least favorite, of the Québec breweries. NOCTEM is located right in the heart of St. Roch, just down the street from Korrigane. I found NOCTEM to be more clubby than pubby and the beers to match. Seriously, the inside looked like a discotheque. Maybe I went on a bad night, but most of the beers were of the Belgian style, which is not my favorite. The crowed was also quite “basic.” I didn’t even stay for a second beer.
Other Beer-centric Things
Auberge J.A. Moisan – The oldest grocery store in North American also has the best Québec craft beer selection that I have seen! Seriously, there was an entire wall dedicated to it! There is no in-house bar, so everything is to go. We picked up some favorites and a few new ones. Offerings are from all over Québec, so you can find some really interesting ones, including a lot of maple beers!
Broue-Tours – There is also a walking beer tour in Québec, which we signed up for and paid weeks in advance of our trip. The week of, the company cancelled the tour and offered to place us on their bus tour (which goes to one less brewery). We declined and asked to be placed on their Sunday walking tour, which they declined citing that it was full. I found it pretty bad practice to not accommodate two people on their Sunday tour, when they cancelled our original tour only a few days in advance. We did get a refund, but still, it was poor form Not satisfied with that and as such, I unfortunately cannot recommend this company. They do list their tour itinerary on their website, and they seem to visit Barberie, Korrigane and NOCTEM – all of which are very doable on your own.
Brasserie L’Inox – An old microbrewery in Québec right on Grand Allée. Unfortunately, I had to skip L’Inox, because we did not want to deal with the party scene on Grand Allée, and I cannot comment on L’Inox. I do know that it has been around for a long time, and that it gets rather lively on the weekends.
STEAL OUR TRIP
La Souche – 801, Chemin de la Canardière, Québec, Canada G1J 2B8, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tél. / 581.742.1144. Open daily 1:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., earlier and later on certain days. Check the website for specific times. Serves food.
Brasserie la Korrigane – 380, rue Dorchester, Québec (Qc) G1K 6A7. E: email@example.com T: 418.614.0932. Open daily 2:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., later on the weekends.
La Barbarie Microbrasserie Coopérative du travail – 310 rue St-Roch, Québec, Qc, G1K-6S2. T: T: (418) 522-4373. Open daily 12:00 a.m. – 1:00. No food.
Corsaire Microbrasserie – 8780, Boul. de Guillaume-Couture, Lévis, Québec, G6V 9G9. Tel: 418-903-9105. Open daily 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. Good food available to purchase.
NOCTEM Artisans Brasseurs – 438 du Parvis, Quebec, Quebec. T: +1 581-742-7979. Open daily 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
J.A. Moisan – 695 rue Saint-Jean, Quebec, (Quebec), G1R 1P7. T : 1 418 522-0685. The best selection of Québec craft beers!
Brasserie L’Inox – 655 Grande Allée E, Ville de Québec, QC G1R 2K4, Canada. T:+1 418-692-2877. Open daily 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
ON A BUDGET
Craft beer in Québec was not very expensive and none of the breweries we visited charged an entrance fee. If you are still looking to save money, check out J.A. Moisan for some local Québec craft beers to enjoy in your own lodging.