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Active Beers: 25
Beer Ratings: 114
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 6 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 3 | Reviews: 3
4.44/5 rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
I visited three out of the four brewpubs in the Sherbrooke area while on a day trip to the city. This was far and away the best. It is located right in the downtown area of Sherbrooke, underneath another business. One has to walk down a flight of stairs from street level to gain entry. It is a medium-sized establishment, with room enough to hold maybe a few dozen people. There are tables of varying sizes for those who wish to dine or sit with a party. The bar itself is square-shaped, from what I remember, and capable of seating 15 people or so. Lighting is kept deliberately dim, and the red and black paint scheme, modern art decor, and small stage for bands and entertainment all create a sort of modern, edgy, punk-rock type vibe. The atmosphere seems to cater mainly to the trendy young college crowd, and I'm told that this is indeed their largest demographic. It lacks some of the comfort and coziness that the other brewpubs in the area evoke, but that sets them apart in a good way I suppose. The place was all but deserted when I visited. It was a Sunday, and I was told that they are not usually open on Sundays (not many privately owned businesses are around here). They had just started opening on Sundays so that a local improv troupe could recruit and rehearse. I was assured that they normally attract a fairly respectable crowd.
The service was nothing short of excellent. The bartender seemed a bit shy at first, but after the metaphorical ice was broken, she was very warm, welcoming, and friendly. She was also very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the beer, and it is obvious that the brewer discusses some of the nitty-gritty of the brewing process with her. She was able to answer the majority of my questions, including some of the more detailed, technical ones. This is a refreshing change of pace. Most brewpubs stateside seem to hire college kids and teach them nothing about the beer, leaving them with only the short description on the menu to aid them. Once it became apparent that my friends and I were craft beer enthusiasts, she was even more than happy to go so far as to provide us with some free samples of some of their special bottled beers. Before visiting the province, I'd heard that the Quebecois (and in particular those employed in the food service industry) had a reputation for being rude and surly. My experience here effectively eradicated that stereotype, as far as I'm concerned.
The beer selection was somewhat limited on this particular day, as I had the misfortune of visiting when the staff had taken much of the beer to several festivals for the holiday weekend. However, the usual menu offered a good variety of choices. There were your American classics (IPA, blonde ale), some Belgians (witbier, saison, and some darker Belgian-influenced ales), and some locally influenced brews (Porter with maple wood smoked malts and beers brewed with local apples and lavender). Of particular interest were two adventurous offerings that they sell bottled. Acero is dark strong ale brewed with maple syrup, and Apico a big golden ale brewed with honey. They don't fall neatly into any style category though. Here in America we'd probably call them "Extreme beers" and leave it at that. Think Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout and 120 minute IPA, or even Sam Adams Utopias, and you might have a slight idea on the direction in which these beers are going. They are big (about 20% and 16.5% abv respectively), sweet, and drink more like a strong wine or spirit than a beer. I enjoyed both, but especially liked Acero. In fact, every beer I tried here was thoroughly enjoyable and of above average quality. It is apparent that the brewer here is very highly skilled, discerning, enthusiastic, and prone to experimentation. This is a recipe for success.
I did not have the pleasure of dining here, as the kitchen was closed on the day of my visit, but the menu items looked delicious. The duck drumsticks cooked in smoked porter caught my eye. I will make it a point to eat here next time. Pricing was all pretty fair. Beers are available in a variety of pour sizes, allowing the patron to decide how much they care to spend and how much they care to imbibe. They have a few beers on special, and a 14oz pour of these will sell for $5.50, Canadian currency of course. Pricing may be just a hair above average, but given the quality of the beer and the quality of the ingredients used, I did not mind paying the little extra money.
Boquebier is not just a great brewpub in comparison to its competitors in Sherbrooke; it's a great brewpub, period. I would be very blessed to have this fine establishment within practical driving distance of my home. As it stands, I will have to be content with visiting only a few times a year, as I pass through on my way deeper into Quebec. If you find yourself in the area, this is the prime beer destination in Sherbrooke. Make sure you stop in and have a drink. You will not be disappointed.
09-06-2011 02:27:39 | More by ryan1788a5
4.01/5 rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The main appeal of this place is the beer. They are dedicated to bottling, though currently small runs only are possible with the small tanks. The beer is above average and it is very different, with their using bretts and maple syrup, and making meads. As far as a place to go for a drink, its small but OK. It opens later in the afternoon. It appeals to those who want a rock band and a cellar to have beer. Its not large, so it is highly differentiated from the other 2 brewpubs in town whom are more upscale, bright.If you are here, come in and grab bottles by all means to get some interesting one-offs. A couple of their higher end products including the mead have received wider distribution with elegent looking bottles.
11-24-2010 17:35:44 | More by Sammy
4.14/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Came here last Saturday afternoon on a quick trip from Magog.
This brewpub is not street level but you need to go down to reach it. It's underneath a sushi shop i believe. Since i was alone and driving, i couldn't have anything to drink but i did come for some beer to go.
The place inside is really nice. It was empty but it was only around 3PM. Lots of black and red, very elegant decor with some local paintings. There was a small area in a corner for live music. The bar was sort of in the middle. They offer growlers of all beers available as well as their 2 commercially distributed beers (Acero & Apico) including about 6 bottled small batch beers that they don't distribute anywhere. Prices seemed a little steep (8-10$ for the bottled beers to go) though i guess that's because they're small batch. You also won't get a deal on the Acero & Apico as they're only 1$ cheaper than in Montreal.
I'll come back for sure to try the food and beer as this place really looks sharp. The only downside is their prices seem a bit high. Stop in here if you're in town.
07-12-2010 15:18:49 | More by papat444
Boquébière in Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
- out of 100 based on 3 ratings.