Beer is not much different than wine when you explore past the boundaries of liquor stores. There’s a whole world out there of microbreweries crafting delicious brews for us to enjoy and share memories with.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but the point is these beers are truly something special and deserve to be celebrated. It’s a daunting and likely impossible task to try and taste them all, and that’s a great problem to have if you’re a beer connoisseur.
With that in mind, the purpose of this list isn’t to lay claim to the best beers ever - that would be a difficult undertaking for even the most knowledgeable of beer drinkers.
Think of this as a beer recommendation directory, if you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting any of these brews.
Rigor Mortis ABT
Brewed by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel, Quebec, Canada this strong brown ale inspired by the beer brewed by Belgian Trappist monks. Very little bitterness, this beer has intense malty and sweet flavours, mixed with the taste of chocolate and caramel. It presents complex red fruit and spice flavours due to the type of yeast that is used during the brewing process. This beer is at its best only after it has aged for six months. The Rigor Mortis are complex beers designed and brewed with patience and care in the tradition of the great Belgian Abbey beers. It is aptly named with its 10.5% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Muskoka Mad Tom IPA
This American IPA with a 6.4% ABV is brewed by the Muskoka Brewery out of Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada. Mad Tom is exploding with depth of flavour and a distinct fruity back that pleasantly lingers. It possesses a nice blend of citrus undertow with a strong hop base. The colour is synonymous with its crisp, refreshing taste as it pours golden brown and really does taste like liquid gold. It’s just a well-balanced beer that is unlikely to disappoint even the stingiest of beer connoisseurs. That it’s reasonably priced and easy to get your hands on is a nice bonus.
Le Trou Du Diable is a phenomenal microbrewery out of Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada that is remarkably consistent with world-class beers. You’ll pay a pretty penny, but your taste buds will melt away in heavenly elation. Shawinigan Handshake is a Weizenbock style of beer—a stronger wheat—that packs a bit of a punch at 6.5% ABV. The politically-themed label will provide a laugh as you tilt one back and let the golden flow of orange and grapefruit flavours and pine back invigorate your insides. This beer is also heavy on hops and has a nice spicy flavour integrated in its complex flavour. Take a few sips, sit back and enjoy!
Chimay Triple (White)
Although not from North America I felt I had to include this terrific Belgium beer in the list. The Chimay Triple, last-born of the Abbey, is labelled "Cinq Cents" on the 750 ml bottle. Of a golden colour, this Trappist beer (which means it comes with the badass story “that it is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery under the control and responsibility of the community of monks, and whose revenue is devoted to social service.)” combines sweet and bitter in a rare balance. The beer's aroma felt in the mouth comes from the hops' perfumes: above all, they are fruity touches of Muscat grapes and raisins, even ripe apples. This traditional Belgian beer from the Chimay Brewery is best savoured fresh at a temperature of from 6 to 8°C.
Propeller Revolution Russian Imperial Stout
Propeller Revolution Russian is possibly one of the finest stouts on the market. Propeller Brewing Company is Nova Scotia’s best selling microbrewery. This beer was born for greatness. Sent by English brewers via the Baltic Sea to the court of the Czars and brewed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s a coffee lover’s dream beer as strong notes of chocolate and coffee beans dominate its aroma. At 8% ABV, it pours jet black but goes down smooth with a rich flavour full of bitterness and sweetness that nests in your mouth with its balanced combination of citrus and chocolate. It’s so delicious I had to run out and grab one while writing this entry.
Le Castor Oatmeal Stout
The Oatmeal Stout from Le Castor, a Quebec microbrewery, is your prototypical Canadian beer. Its modest 5% ABV shouldn’t be taken lightly as the beer offers a full flavour of chocolate, coffee and a back of maple syrup without being overpowering in sweetness. This beer is well-balanced and a great gateway brew for beer drinkers looking to delve into the delicious world of microbrews. Make no mistake, however, this is a complex creation bursting with flavour and a nutty aroma that begs to be absorbed before taking a sip. Whether you’re an experienced microbrew drinker or newly introduced, you can’t go wrong with Le Castor’s Oatmeal Stout.
MacTavish In Memoriam
MacTavish is an American Style Pale Ale. This is a beer for the ages, aptly described as “legendary ale” on the memorable label and brewed by Le Trou Du Diable in Shawinigan, Quebec.
Fruity hops, a honey undertow and a pleasant floral aroma ship you away in the lucid world displayed on the front, inviting you to breathe in the fresh smell of a Scottish meadow before finishing the experience with a lingering but pleasant bitterness that coats your tongue with its complex flavour. 5% ABV in a custom made bottle, just for Le Trou du Diable!
This is a summer beer also from Le Trou Du Diable, a brewery in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada. This 6.7% ABV IPA is an amber beer with tropical accents. Shawi Beach is a renowned beer for its floral bitterness and delightful blend of citrus flavours including mango, grapefruit, pineapple and orange. It is said to possess a piney aftertaste and strong aroma with an attractive foamy head.
List of breweries in Quebec: