Summer beers in Quebec City

My recent trip to Quebec City didn’t have a lot of time for sightseeing and exploring, but I did manage to squeeze in some craft beer samplings around the work and networking that goes hand in hand with a conference trip. Shortly after arriving in one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, I was in need of a quick lunch, and the craft beer bar Le Projet was a short walk from my hotel. The delicious Horreum Beta, a session saison from Microbrasserie Pit Caribou, was a wonderful match for a truly outstanding poutine. Solid start to the trip.

Le Projet: Horreum Beta by Pit Caribou

On one of the conference nights I went out for a drink with a friend and former colleague from back in Halifax. She let me pick the place, so on a warm June evening, I chose Bar L’Inox on Grand Allée Est for a couple of patio beers. I really enjoyed my choices which were perfect for a summer-like night: on the left, their “Sacoches”, a white beer with grapefruit (perfectly tart and fresh) and in the middle below, “La Trouble-fête” a mixed wheat and barley beer. For a spell of the evening while we enjoyed our drinks with a couple of colleagues joining us from Manitoba, we were entertained by a bachelor party (picture on the right) where the groom-to-be accepted lashings with a belt for a price. He stood on the sidewalk without pants until the fourth or fifth lashing ended the fun for all involved. I can’t imagine how sore he must have been the next morning.

With a short gap in my work activities one day, I made a quick venture down the hill to La Korrigane. In the sampler here, my favourite was the Barbe Rose (second from the left in the tray) a very sour/tart summer beer which would be a go-to for me if I lived here. I was also fond of their signature IPA called “Kraken” which was a very balanced IPA with the pine/resin playing off well with some citrus flavours. This bar was my favourite in Quebec City. They played a great soundtrack of bluesy music, and the bartender was more than happy to chat with me in my broken French. Great bar, great beers and superb poutine.

Poutine at Korrigane

The warm weather on this visit slanted my sampling to more summer style beers, and even in the tasters with a good cross section of styles, I kept coming back to the lighter beer styles as my favourites. It was most evident in my last stop at another great neighbourhood beer bar, La Barberie. Their flights have eight beers, so I didn’t finish all of them as I had a social event to attend later in the evening and wanted to be both coherent and upright. That kept me focused on finding the best of this bunch. Three unusual beers made the cut for me to finish the whole sample: (1) the session lime was a nice low alcohol (3.5%) ISA with natural lime juice and a fuller flavour than its alcohol content would lead you to believe; (2) the “Gose Bob Magnale” was a tart and salty gose, a style I’m really into in my samplings this year; and (3) a crazy Frankenstein style beer: “Sangri-biere”. It was a fruit beer in the style of a sangria (the pink beer in the photo below) and I really should be ashamed to have liked it, but wow!  It was a doozy at 9.5%. Easily the most interesting beer of the trip.

Flight at La Barberie

Four great bars, some good company and a number of outstanding beers. Not too shabby for limited time in one of my favourite cities.

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