The people of Quebec province love their beer, no doubt about it. Its abundance of microbreweries attests to that fact. Although most bars serve a variety of locally brewed beers, you'll have the best experience if you head straight to breweries that serve their products right where they were brewed. This allows beer aficionados to enjoy the freshest Quecreations and taste exclusive blends because some beers are crafted in such small quantities that they are never bottled and distributed. Here are 10 great places to drink locally brewed beer in and around Quebec City.
La Barberie, in St. Roch, is a laid-back spot with a diverse and interesting clientele. It has a large and sunny patio where you can easily lose track of time going down the brewery’s list of beers on tap. Seasonal varieties are always great choices, and for something original, look for the Chilli Amber (Ambree aux Piments Forts), which is intriguingly spicy but still easy to drink. If you want to make a night out of it, order the “carousel”, a wooden stand that holds eight glasses or pints, so you can sample all of the night’s available beers on tap. No food is served, but you can bring your own snacks.
La Korrigane, which made its debut in 2010, is a craft brewery where beers are produced in small quantities and served only in its pub. The owners are involved in local food associations and help promote Quebec City’s producers by serving light meals and snacks made from locally grown and produced ingredients. One of its most famous beers is the Emily Carter blueberry beer (fruity, not sweet), but other notable blends include the Mary Morgan, a light, refreshing white beer, or the Croquemitaine, which has subtle maple undertones. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming, and informal. There’s a small patio, always packed and lively with beer lovers wanting to drink in every last bit of Quebec City’s short summer.
L’Inox is one of the city’s oldest microbreweries that used to be located in the Old Port. A few years ago, L'Inox created a stir when its owners announced they were moving to the Grande Allee, the most touristic of all Quebec City streets. Longtime fans feared the place would lose its rebellious ways, but since the clientele moved along with the beer, L’Inox Grande Allee has become the best place to have an informal drink uptown. The pub looks like a cool industrial loft, and the patio is the perfect place to people watch, especially when the Grande Allee becomes pedestrian during summer festivals. Locals order beer by the pitcher to wash down pub snacks like nachos and European-style hot dogs.
This microbrewery has two locations: The first one is located in Lac Beauport, a mountainous suburb of Quebec City, where the decor feels like a welcoming lodge where you stop for a well-deserved bite and drink after a day skiing. The second is a five-minute drive from the airport in a commercial supercenter. While the location lacks charm, the pub’s easy access and closeness to Quebec City’s business hub in Ste. Foy makes it popular with the after-work crowd. As for the beer, it’s reliably good and brewed at both sites. The food served ventures outside the usual pub fare, with steaks and fish dishes, as well as pizza and pasta.
A short and beautiful ferryboat ride away from the Old Port, Corsaire Microbrasserie makes nine different beers, from a light white beer flavored with ginger and citrus fruits (the Tanaka) to a black stout beer infused with roasted oats (the Davy Jones). The pub is also known for its wide selection of single malt whiskeys and excellent coffee beans, which are roasted on the premises. Food is served for lunch and dinner (sandwiches, salads, pizza, and snacks).
A few steps away from Cegep Limoilou, a collegiate institution, La Souche welcomes a younger crowd that loves to hang out in its rustic interior. Cozy couches, tables made out of thick trunk slices, and odd chairs create a relaxed setting, perfect to sample the pub’s regularly changing selection of beers on tap brewed by different Quebec microbreweries. It also offers a wide selection of bottled beers, as well as an inventive pub menu featuring re-imagined classics made with local ingredients.
This charming pub is located on l’Ile d’Orleans, a rural island on the St. Lawrence River, 30 minutes from downtown Quebec City. Le Mitan is the serving outpost of Microbrasserie de l’Ile d’Orleans, a microbrewery that distributes its beers all over the province. Eleven beers are brewed over the year, and the seasonal varieties are especially exciting, such as winter’s Jean Dit Laforge (a strong beer with malt, chocolate, and vanilla flavors) and spring’s Louis Gaborit (an amber beer infused with the island’s maple syrup). The microbrewery’s restaurant is open for the summer and early fall season when customers can enjoy the pub’s relaxing patio and unfussy bistro cuisine.
Heading to visit the Shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupre, Mont Ste. Anne, or Charlevoix? Stop for a refreshing beer at Microbrasserie des Beaux Pres. With a strategic location, a patio right on the St. Lawrence River, and a relaxed atmosphere in an area otherwise populated by fast-food joints, Microbrasserie des Beaux Pres makes an ideal rest stop on Route de la Nouvelle-France. Explore the brewery’s beer menu by opting for the small tasting format or choose a pint of your favorite among the 11 varieties and enjoy it with lunch or dinner. The brewery is open late every night, a rare thing in the area.