Day 2: The Montreal Brewpub Experience

After a pretty low-key Friday night we were up early and ready to tackle a new adventure. The original plan had us visiting either the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts or the Biodome, but we didn’t want to rush ourselves in either place and we already had the brewpub tour set for the afternoon. Instead we decided to find out where our starting location for the tour would be, then walk around Old Montreal and soak in the culture. So after an amazing breakfast at Crêperie Chez Suzette we made our way along St. Paul Street and up St. Denis to find Le Saint-Bock.

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Our tour of Old Montreal and the Latin Quarter was another adventure in GPS craziness. I’m totally convinced that Apple is messing with me because I haven’t bought a newer iPhone. The maps were constantly bringing us into areas that were definitely off the tourist route, full of random pipes covered in asphalt mounds laying across the sidewalk, puddles of questionable origin, broken bottles, and a few homeless people. We decided to head back to the area near the pub (after I bought a wicked zebra scarf as a momento of our trip) and sat at the nearest Starbucks for way too long.

Now for the fun part!

Our tour started at Le Saint-Bock, where we were introduced to our tour guide, Danny, and the many new friends we were about to gain.

IMG_1832
Poutine and beer… the perfect start to our tour.

The Tour Group

  • The Jersey Bachelors – these poor guys had been partying hard the night before and were still very hungover, one had a lump on his head from an unfortunate encounter with the shelf in his hotel closet
  • The Maryland Bachelors – these guys had started drinking at a bar down the street, were at a strip club the night before, and the groom spent far too much time trying to pick up my friend
  • Phil, the Calgary Loner – in Quebec visiting family, but he decided to hang out in Montreal and enjoy himself before heading back home
  • The Nebraska Couple – actually it was only the guy who was from Nebraska… his girlfriend was from Columbia, but has been living in Toronto for the last eight months
  • The Maine Couple – came to see a friend’s band open at some event, but their friend got stuck at the border so now they are just celebrating the girlfriend’s birthday weekend instead

IMG_1835Danny decided that he wanted to take us on his version of the tour, instead of the one outlined on our brochure, so we made our way to L’Amère à Boire, which was just up the street. We tried some lighter beers here, and I was having so much fun I only remembered that I was supposed to be taking photos after it was all gone.

After eating some yummy cheese and a tiny portion of beef gravlax (cured beef wrapped around some fruit and cheese), Danny took us to see some of his favourite sights in the area.

Our third and final stop was Benelux, where we tried some lighter beers with chocolate. At this point we were all feeling like old friends, so the cozy seating wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as it may have been otherwise. It was a pretty short stop compared to the rest, which is probably normal since by the end most people are likely too tipsy to pay attention to further beer education. We all sat around and chatted for a while, and once Danny said goodbye the groups started to trickle away.

My friend and I decided to stick around a bit longer to get some more beer, which ended up being the best idea of the trip. We were joined by The Maine Couple, who weren’t in a rush to leave either. They ordered more drinks and some food, and suddenly we were all sitting around chatting like the best of friends.

Imagine my surprise when we realized five hours had gone by! Our new friends, Ben and Steph, were equally as sad to part, but we exchanged information and will hopefully keep in touch in the future. Fortified by the cool night air, we aimed ourselves south with hopes that we would find our way back to the hotel without too many mishaps. Luck was with us, and by 1am we were in bed, safe and sound, with some horrible headaches to look forward to the next morning.

Don’t miss the final chapter in my Montreal adventure, coming tomorrow!

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