Vices & Versa
Taps: 36 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 24 | Reviews: 21 | Show All Ratings:
4.83/5 rDev +11%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited during the 2009 NHL Draft. Worth the visit alone and an easy reason why Crescent Street needs to be avoided.
My friends complained the whole walk out there...its about 4km from downtown and I didn't plan on which metro stop to take. I think its two past Laurier and about 4 blocks from the exit in a neighborhood that reminded us the area around the Map Room in Chicago.
Our waitress didn't speak much and we didn't ask about which was best, we just had three flights of six and both agreed on the cask conditioned Post Colonial IPA from Hopfenstark.
They had a flight of cheese with french bread, almonds, olives, onion, pear, and butter. I went with a nice gourmet hot dog with honey/mustard/corn and a large spinach salad. Our total bill with 20% tip came to $US88 with four pints and three flights and food.
We got there about 3pm (after rounds 2-7) and there were two others. I could understand if there were waitstaff and waiting issues if we went during the busy hours.
06-30-2009 22:35:42 | More by Niniimaa
4.53/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
My wife and I stopped in here during a long weekend in Montreal last month. Contrary to some reviewers, we thought it was extremely easy and convenient to find from the metro. It has a bit of a hole in the wall look from the outside, but once past the doors, it's much more inviting. This place is very much a comfy hangout for locals, despite the many beer tourists who stop by. Behind our table, a backgammon game was going on; at the bar in front of us, a writer was putting together a rather interesting magazine article on his laptop. Our waiter, Janie, was super attentive and efficient and also very knowledgeable about beer - even wrote us a short note of introduction to a couple of brewers at Dieu du Ciel.
We had a couple of tapas style snacks that were very good (love those nicoise olives in every dish!) and a stupendous cheese plate of artisanal Quebec cheeses.
And the beer... they serve exclusively Quebec beers, 33 on tap. Sampler trays are available, with the curious caveat that they must be in numerical sequence from the chalkboard! There are some treasures on tap (including lots of Hopfenstark and DDC), as well as a couple of clunkers. The clunkers are forgiven; I applaud their determination to serve only local beers, and as many of them as possible.
If you're planning to visit Montreal without stopping here, just stay home.
06-07-2009 22:31:34 | More by skivtjerry
4.45/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Based on the reviews, I wanted t make sure to pay this place a visit, but getting there wasn't all that easy. Other than giving me the address, the French-only website wasn't helpful to me, and a phone call to inquire about how to get there via the metro only got me a French-language answering machine. After guessing (poorly) we ended up taking a $15 cab ride from the St. Laurent Metro station to get there. Thankfully, it was well worth the trouble.
We sat outside on the busy patio on a beautiful spring evening after a loooong day of sightseeing. A chalkboard featured 33 drafts, all from Quebec, most of which I was unfamiliar with. Knowing Hopfenstark only by reputation, I ordered a Baltic Porter and an IPA from that brewery, both of which were excellent. I also had a IIPA from another brewery (I never did figure out which one) which was also enjoyable.
We ordered a cheese plate that came with a warm loaf of multigrain bread, some olives, almonds (both Montreal beer bar staples, I have learned) and some other bread garnishes. Awesome!
The waitstaff was patient with my lack of French language ability and offered to translate any menu items or beer info that I couldn't figure out. A relaxing scene, even though it was full of people. We didn't spend any time in the pub itself, which looked OK on the walk-through.
I loved this place and wish I had more time to hang there during my brief Montreal visit. BTW, take the orange line to Beaubien and walk a few blocks to get to Vices Et Versa. You'll be glad you did.
05-22-2009 17:24:42 | More by andylipp
4.5/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
If your not from Montreal like myself, this is the place to go. There are 33 local Quebec beers on tap, with one cask & two house beers. I live one and a half hours south in Burlington, VT and have never had any of the 33 beers. Cool coffee house feel, dark wood, good lighting. You have to pay as you go, no tabs, not a big deal but a bit of an unneccessary nuisance. Service is ok, not overly friendly but efficent. Didn't order any food but sat near the kitchen and it smelled real good. Outdoor patio section was open but it was a little to cold for me. Will be making a trip back in the summer to enjoy that patio and some new Quebec beers.
03-17-2009 02:58:16 | More by scottg
4.45/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$$
loved this place! 29 beers on tap - all from quebec. had never previously tasted anything on the entire draft list - where else can you say that about 29 beers?? not only that, but the freshest tasting beer i've ever had as well - all local which is key. i'm in philly where you can get great local beer all over the place - but the freshness at vices et versa is unmatched in philly. perhaps a combination of the product and the taps? anyway, big plus there.
we sat in the back courtyard patio - saturday afternoon into night - very cool spot to drink some great beers.
our waiter in the afternoon was great - very helpful with suggestions and answering our questions about different beers - but once the next shift came in, our waitress was much less helpful and rarely seen (she was the only one working the very busy outside - so i can understand why the service dropped off). either way, not a deal breaker at all.
food, i must say, was nothing special - although a little more adventurous than the other beer places we visited. one thing i learned while in Montreal is that all the good beer places there have pretty simple "bar" food -i.e. nachos, chips, small appetizers. not like in philly - where pretty much all the good beer places have very good food as well (if you don't have good food and a great burger, you will not survive in philly). but again, not a big deal - we went there to drink.
surprisingy, my favorite beer that i tried was the hopfenstark framboise (8% abv raspberry beer) - i'm not one for fruity beers in general -but this was the best i've ever had by far - not sweet - a bit tart like a sour ale - delicious. also had a couple good ipa's, a saison, brown ale, belgian white - everything was good. they had about 5 ipa's, 4 belgian whites, 4 red ales, 3 brown ales, saison, ginger beer, stout - something for everyone.
all in all, no doubt the best beer bar we visited in Montreal -(others visited: Dieu Du Ciel - loved it but not this good, Cheval Blanc -really cool space and good beer, L'Amere Boire - not impressed, Le Sergent Recruteur - not impressed).
If you go to Montreal this is a must stop!
09-15-2008 20:34:19 | More by gvatz
4.2/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Very nice atmosphere. Not to bright, not to loud. The patio was full when we arrived but we eventually got a seat outside. They had around 25 different taps going. Nothing on cask when I was there (not a big deal). I had a couple of pints (a few IPA's and stouts), they were all poured well and the service was quick. We did not order anything to eat but the menu did look interesting (mostly pub stuff with a little flare). Not to expensive, I would definitely recommend this place if you are visiting Montreal.
08-26-2008 00:53:58 | More by irishkyle21
4.4/5 rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Last, but certainly not least, stop of the Mondial 2008 pub crawl.
Let me tell you...this place might be a bit out of the way but who cares...it ROCKS! How can a beer geek not get excited about 28 taps plus a hand pull? Oh, and by the way, EVERYTHING on was from Quebec...talk about keeping it local and fresh!
Nice decor with a smattering of wooden tables and a small bar. Too bad it was cool and raining as the small biergarten area looked very inviting...another visit!
Our server was polite and efficient. He was more than happy to explain some of the beers to us but we had our local buddy Tico with us to act as interpreter.
Not only do they keep it local beer wise but food too. We again only grazed a bit having a nice plate of nachos and a cheese plate...both of which were very nice.
I can't tell you how impressed I was with this place! Between here and DDC a Montrealer has about all they could want! I am very much looking forward to a return visit to this establishment.
07-06-2008 07:27:58 | More by Deuane
4.25/5 rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Came here last Saturday night for beer & supper.
Situated on the border of Little Italy in Mtl.
Arrived at approx. 5:45PM and only a handfull of people so far.
Very ecclectic setting, non-assuming, kind of a beatnik vibe to it. Garage band music alternated with 80's music and some alternative from 90's & today. Very nice indeed but who am i kidding, i came for the 29 beers on tap.
It took a while for the waitress to come but she was alone, so we understood.
The beer menu was slightly different than advertised on their website but most of the ones i wanted were there. I have never had cask beer yet so, of course, the Colonial IPA on cask is what i wanted but, bummer!, none left. So i ordered a Hoppy from Brasseur & Freres and my wife ordered a Stout au Cafe from La Barberie.
The food was very good, i had some riopelle with some pear & ginger jam as an entree & a bavarian maple-flavored sandwich. My wife had some goat cheese on crouton with a honey mustard sandwich.
The only thing missing is some dessert, maybe some chocolate would be cool.
We finished with their carrousel sampler of beers. To order this, the beers you ordered must be sequential (we ordered taps 16 to 21). Highlights of beers we tried were the Eisbock, Stout & Bock from Alchimiste. Very cool way to try beers to see if they're for you or not.
All in all, a very pleasant experience, would love to come back to relax, drink a beer & watch the action on the boulevard.
03-31-2008 17:46:15 | More by papat444
4.05/5 rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$$
Went for the first time last night and was instantly impressed with the amount of selection, 29 micro brews from Quebec. It was quiet when I got there on a tuesday afternoon, but quickly filled up to capacity by 7 or 8. I tried several great beers there and was pleased with the service. I tried a plate of cheese and Bavarian hotdog and was very impressed. They don't have a large selection of food, but what they have is good. Some of their beers were quite expensive considering they only came in 12oz. glasses, but I have not been able to find them anywhere else, so I guess it's worth it.
A very nice place that I look forward to going back to. Hopefully in the summer so I can appreciate the terasse in the back.
02-21-2008 16:41:09 | More by Quej
4.14/5 rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Managed to head down here after an early Friday evening spent at the Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel. Its a fair walk, probably 15 minutes or so, maybe more, but thankfully BA Erica had it all neatly marked out and clearly highlighted on her CAA Street Map of Montreal. Heading West down Boulevard St-Laurent and into the Little Italy district youll soon come across Vices Et Versa on your right hand side.
The street level exterior is clad in a pale looking pinewood cladding and easily spotted. The entrance is to the left of three large paned stainless framed windows, which may in fact even be sliding patio door style windows; these do well to reveal the guts of the interior. A pole hanging wooden sign near the entrance, which is shadowed by a small balcony, declares Vices & Versa Bistro Du Terroir, below this a second separate chain hanging sign advertises En collaboration avec La Barberie, a local Brewery whom I came across earlier in the day at the 2006 Mondiale de la Biere. An old style lean too chalkboard sits uncomfortably by the entrance and advertises the food specials.
Up a brace of low slung concrete steps you enter the main front room from the front left hand corner. Inside, you are greeted with a colorful interior which exhibits a cosmopolitan décor. Wooden clad walls are stained close to the bar area but to the left and right mustard, pastel lime green and dark sky blues are used to great effect to color the atmosphere. A tin effect ceiling is painted in a dark copper color sponged with random green paint tinges to produce the effect of an aged ceiling. Paintings and some very arty framed Photos line the walls; it all conspires to reinforce the impression that this was indeed a Café of sorts prior to its recent incarnation as a Bistro du Terroir. The back wall is bare brick and is decorated with steel fittings; here there is a back door that leads out to an open terrace area that looks great for those long hot summer nights.
The bar area is set in the back far right hand corner, of dark wood construction; the chest high bar-top is higher than usual it seems. Set in front of a blue painted wooden wall cladding and some dark wooden cupboards filled with bottles, liquors and glasses, the whole bar area is festooned with plants on the bar, and hanging in wire chrome balls over it. Five chrome fonts in total; four each sport three taps with one that just has two - delivering up to fourteen draft beers at any one time. The Barbarie taps all have a similar design, made from wood they have a phallic shape with a profiled shank which sits underneath a rather bulbous head which sprouts two curved horns, it is supposed to be a Viking style helmet affair, couldnt help thinking that it looked like a different type of helmet I must say.
On my visit the brews were all neatly listed on a La Barberie sponsored Chalkboard:
1. Rousse Bitter
2. IPA (Alchimiste)
3. Cuivrée Forter
5. Imperial Stout
7. Rousse Forter Aux Fruits
8. Pale Ale Lime & Gingembre
9. Cidre de Pomme
10. Mistigris Blonde
11. Pale Ale Lime Framboise
12. Claymore Scotch
13. Noire à LAvoine
14. Bière de Blé à LAbricot
Prices were CAN$4.50 for a V or CAN$6.00 for a P (Pint?), or less. I tried the Cuivrée Forter and a Pint of the Claymore Scotch, both were very tasty brews. Being a fan of Magic Hat #9 I think Erica tried the Apricot brew, cant recall stealing a taste of that one though.
The food menu was mostly in French but the waiter explained it all perfectly for the ignorant English speaking tourists; lots of Cheeses, Pizzas, Sandwiches and Ice Cream & Desserts, all made with local produce it seems. As Erica and I had both already eaten, we just wanted some nibbles with the beer, so opted for the Pretzels with a decent enough locally produced French mustard. Rest of the Menu looked interesting though; distinctly tilted towards quality rather than quantity but others food platters looked very interesting.
Service was excellent, the chap that served us was more than happy to translate the French Menu without any rolling eyes or condescending attitude, far from it in fact. Constant reviewing of the liquid line in our glasses as he passed us serving others meant that we were never wanting for beer. The second order was followed by an interesting chat about La Barberie and the Mondiale; if memory serves me right our Waiter told us that he was serving at the La Barberie stand over the weekend.
This is about as close as you get to a La Barberie Brewery Tap it seems. A very cool place to hang out, far from the madding crowd, as Hardy would have said. For me the VEV was the second highlight of my first visit to Montreal after Dieu Du Ciel, maybe Im getting old but I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed quality atmosphere, the Barberie brews and the laid back quiet downtime in here. A quality establishment, if you get to the Dieu Du Ciel, take the walk West, its well worth it.
Last Visit: Friday 2nd June, 2006.
06-08-2006 06:52:52 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Vices & Versa in Montréal, QC, Canada
95 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.