Road tripping has always been more about the journey than the destination, and maybe now we can finally say it’s all about the beer. These 16 locations were scouted as some of the best microbreweries within reach of Montreal — many within the Eastern Townships, but a couple scattered elsewhere. Either way, remember to bring a designated driver.Read More
16 Craft Breweries Worth the Drive From Montreal
This road trip runs on beer
Le Trou du Diable
Although the Shawinigan brewery was swallowed up by Molson Coors in 2017, part of the deal was that it could continue to operate independently — and we’re all appreciative of that. Located steps away from the waterfront, the Trou du diable brewpub features a periodically rotating selection of beers as well as a sizeable outdoor terrasse in summer.
Founded as a partnership by two ITHQ graduates, this laid-back brewery welcomes people to bring their own lunch and enjoy an impressive variety of beers both bottled and on tap. Plus, the fun (and often crude) names and labels are sure to make for a light-hearted and hilarious experience.
In business since 2001, Alchimiste started as a small-time shop in downtown Joliette before quickly growing into a veritable force on the Quebec beer scene. The strong, amber-coloured Bock de Joliette features notes of caramel and is widely renowned as the flagship beer. While on site, look out for beers also available by Vilains Brasseurs, Brasser Lanaudière, Louie Louie, Zoo, and Broken 7, as well as the latest, Allo Pétillante.
Brasserie 11 comtés
As one of the farther options from Montreal, 11 comtés might not get as many visitors from the big city, but that might actually be the best draw for this rustic outpost. A sizeable menu (including 27 beers at the time of writing) serves not only as enticing, but reassuring — if you’re going to find somewhere to camp out for the night, you might as well be fully stocked.
Microbrasserie Kahnawake Brewing Company
The first brewery on this Mohawk reservation, Kahnawake was a hot new arrival on the microbrew scene as of spring 2018, with wide-ranging brews from apple-ginger wheat beer to classic stouts, and plenty of pizza to tuck into as well. —Tim Forster
Although Siboire has since installed itself in Mile End, there is still plenty of reason to make the drive out to Sherbrooke to visit the original location (called the dépôt), housed in the former CN train station. The multi-level, spacious brewpub features plenty of seating, as well as an impressive menu and three types of flights —helpful if you want to discover the full breadth of their beers. Parking available on-site.
Le Refuge des Brasseurs
There’s refuge in the heart of Sherbrooke. Only minutes from the university campus, this microbrewery is an enviable hotspot for students hoping to kill time before or after class. With a dozen varietals (each with a clever name) on tap and solid nosh for you to hang around for a while, this spot is quickly becoming a local favourite.
La Ferme - Brasserie Rurale
Atop a small idyllic hill, relative newcomer La Ferme is a convivial hideout on the northside of Autoroute 10. The terrasse is decked out with picnic tables (outdoor seating only), as well as salty snacks, pints on draft, and a wide range of beers to take home. Their frequent collabs with neighbouring breweries is always a treat, but in the heat of summer, it’s really all about the Camerise.
Robin Bière Naturelle
This Waterloo watering hole uses various maceration techniques to incorporate grapes into several of their products, producing beverages that can taste more like carbonated strawberry wine than beer. An absolute must if you find yourself passing through, this microbrewery just added a backyard food truck on what might be the most beautiful terrasse in the area.
Within minutes of Mont Orford sits this fun, boisterous microbrewery that isn’t afraid to show its true colours. Its latest efforts have been to deep dive into the sour IPA and DDH NEIPA game, both of which would be perfect for a post-hike in one of the province’s most beautiful national parks.
Farnham Ale & Lager
Located in a large, cubic space, Farnham is among Quebec’s largest microbreweries; their beer has been readily available in bars and outlets across Montreal for years. Their simple, colourful branding has made their cans easily recognizable, but some new, colourful branding designs are shaking things up. The space is a tad small, but most beers are served on tap in a humble and friendly environment.
La Knowlton Co. - Micro-Brasserie and Pizza
Minutes from Lac Brome, this industrial, airy space specializes in cream ales, IPAs and various sour, fruity concoctions that happen to go quite well with their wood-fired sourdough pizzas. If you thought the interior was inviting, wait until you catch a glimpse of the backyard: picnic tables, outdoor fireplaces, and string lights adorn the wooded terrasse, making it a perfect place to spend an evening with friends.
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Pub hop station
Installing itself into the former train station in Coaticook — a building that dates to 1904 and remains the largest roundhouse-styled railway station in Quebec, this microbrewery specializes in oak barrel-aged beers in addition to a more regular offering. A lovely terrasse makes it a really nice option to spend a few hours.
Arguably the most well-known among the microbreweries in this region of Quebec, Brasserie Dunham is housed in a series of buildings that once included a hotel for stagecoach travellers and other members of high society in the 19th century. The brewery, which focuses heavily on European brewing traditions, offers an impressive range of beers that can satisfy connoisseurs of all types. The pub offers some excellent dining options — a sure step-up from classic grub — as well as a boutique for bottles and merch.
À L'Abordage Microbrasserie
This Main Street establishment just expanded with a second location two doors down: the Taproom & Buvette opened in June 2021. The original site of the microbrewery is housed in a building dating back to 1843, and the interior design of the new space is clean, modern, and the new home to the brewing facilities. The Taproom offers beers on tap, wines by the glass, and cans to-go; swing by the microbrewery for food options. Pro tip: the Hoppy Family American Pale Ale is where it’s at.
Beat & Betterave Nanobrasserie
Touting itself as a nanobrasserie — it is smaller in scale than many other establishments referring to themselves as microbreweries — this couple-run restaurant and brewery just celebrated its sixth anniversary. Offering six different beers ranging from hefeweizen to NEIPA, in addition to a well-rounded menu heartily supplied by their on-site garden, they’ve assured us that live shows will be back on once the words “social distancing” are no longer part of our vocabulary.
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