Vices & Versa
Taps: 36 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 21 | Show All Ratings:
3.6/5 rDev -18%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Like any brewpub (okay not really a brewpub but close) I really wanted to visit this place. As soon as I stepped inside, something felt weird. It looks like a great place to grab coffee but didn't really have that pub/beer place feel to it. No matter, I took a seat at the bar and ordered.
Lots of beer here, I'm pretty sure all from Quebec but for some reason tasting them on tap wasn't so much better than bottled. The food was of good quality but not delicious and a little expensive.
Staff is generally knowledgeable and knows/can suggest most of the beers on their 30+taps. That's always a good thing.
They are quite anal and annoying about their ''no tabs'' thing though I did manage to get one going on one occasion.
Only visited this one twice but stayed for about 4 hours on both occasions. After my first visit, my girlfriend who enjoyed it a bit more than me asked if I'd be returning to which I answered: ''I have very little desire to do so but maybe one day''.
A couple months later I got invited for a business meeting and realized I did not want to return a third time. On the second trip I tasted some of the worst beers I've ever had (especially their house APA). So selection is hard for me to rate: Big selection with a considerable amount of bad products.
-Looks very good and has a terrace out back but has a weird coffee shop vibe.
-Good quality food and beer but no real effort in preparing it.
-Staff knows beer but is not the friendliest and kind of snobby.
-I found it more expensive than other brewpubs in the city.
-They played Canadiens hockey games during playoffs (good thing)
I think this place is great for Quebec beer and other people (and other reviewers) seem to really like this place so I won't say don't try it but I'd rather just buy bottles from the featured breweries and try them at home and go to any other of Montreal's great brewpubs for great beer on tap.
Also... both times I left and went go to Dieu du Ciel which is real close... just sayin'
05-28-2010 18:28:32 | More by Yoonisaykul
4.05/5 rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
Atmosphere: Quite a long ways away from the Downtown/Plateau area, the only way to get here is to take the St-Laurent street bus northbound and get off at St-Zotique street. Vices et Versa is half a block away from Montreal's little Italy, and that seems to reflect on the décor inside. You can tell this used to be a quaint little Italian café. Nice wooden bar, local artists exposing on the walls, terrasse in the back that I haven't had the chance to visit yet but looked nice from the quick glances I took.
Selection: This Beer bar seems to be the Montreal outlet for Québec city Micro-COOP la Barberie. They have 5-7 Barberie Beers on tap. They also have quite a few non-Beer products, like ciders, honeywine, booze made with maple syrup, all Québec-made and most quite excellent, if you have to bring along someone crazy enough not to like Beer. Vices et Versa is a "Bistro du terroir", which basically expresses their commitment to Québec-made products. I wasn't able to convince my tasting partner to try any of the food, so I can't give it a score. However, I did check out the menu and everything looks great. Craft-made cheezes, desserts, etc. Next time I'll make sure not to eat before I go.
Service: Great, the waitress was friendly, curteous and knew her menu well. She tasted everything they had, and it showed. It didn't take her long to pin me down as a Beer freak and took the time to go into more details about what they had on tap, and even offered me a free sample. The place wasn't packed, so service was fast.
Quality: The Beers offered are mostly "crossover" type beers, with one or two more complex offerings. During my last visit I sampled a molasses Brown ale that had subtle hints of molasses and malty flavour, not too sweet and low in ABV (4.5% the website says). Perfect to break the old stereotype that brown ales taste too strong, but I personnally like my brews with a little more oomph.
This is a nice quiet place to hang low, bring a date, and maybe initiate someone into the wonderful world of craft Beer.
I finally tried the food...wow, I had the large cheeze/paté plate and it was suberb, served with nuts, onion jam and hot fresh bread. And the kicker? A chocolate truffle, that I matched up with the Imperial Stout they had on tap. A match made in heaven.
05-10-2004 22:02:58 | More by Goldorak
4.05/5 rDev -7.7%
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 -5.7%
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
4.14/5 rDev -5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5 | $$
I absolutely love love love this place, it has the greatest atmosphere during the summer in their backyard terrace. The trees are overgrown into the seating area and it creates a very nice ambiance. The beer selection is very nice, with a good variety of local initiatives. Prices are reasonable. However, I do not recommend the food, I was very disappointed with my sausage selection, as it was a full 10 pounds of bread, with a small endowed sausage in the middle...they should do better!
01-20-2014 21:12:24 | More by SSS
4.15/5 rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Stopped in while in town for Mondial. My second time here, and as a visitor to Montreal I love this place. It's in more of a residential neighborhood, and not in Montreal's 'tourist zone.' Just a short walk from the Beaubien Metro stop. FYI - they don't open until 3pm.
The atmosphere feels like a pub to me (not the cafe feel the Montreal native observed), including the wooden bar, tin ceiling, huge chalkboards listing beers, and the tree-covered beer garden/patio in the back.
During our two trips here, my wife and I have ordered many different beers without issue, so quality is good. Service has always been helpful, despite the fact that we don't speak French.
Selection was awesome for a visitor to Quebec, with 33 Quebec beers up when we were there. Great variety of styles as well.
Food is only OK. It tasted good but selection was limited: small pita bread pizzas, sausages, cheese samplers.
06-11-2010 21:03:12 | More by Philby11111
4.2/5 rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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
4.24/5 rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3 | $$
Excellent and broad (over 30 drafts) selection from local breweries, with fairly regular changes. A while back, there was an emphasis on IPAs (that's a good thing). You can get a 6-beer sampler if you can't make up your mind. The food is so-so... got a fairly raw burger once. Service varies, with the occasional grumpy-artist-hipster, but is not too bad.
10-18-2013 14:05:12 | More by jsco
4.25/5 rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
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
4.36/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
a real treat to go into a place not being from the area and seeing 33 taps with nothing you've ever had on them. most were really fantastic and extremely local. almost every from quebec breweries or brewpubs. the service was quite nice. samples were pricey but they didn't want you having something you didn't like. i told them i was from out of the area and didn't know where to begin and they started pouring sips without question. the sampler was 11 buck i believe... 6 five oz glasses. a tad pricey like i said but it seems to be the consensus for the better beer bars around montreal. there was a back patio with tons of sitting and a nice cool night so that was a must. if you don't know anything about the montreal or quebec beer culture this is a great place to start. the website is quite helpful too.
i highly recommend anything by hopfenstark.
oh... also... don't come here for bottles. they had 4 i think. so that was a minus.
the pretzels were expensive to say the least but they came with a good djion mustard.
08-16-2009 18:28:04 | More by rtepiak
Vices & Versa in Montréal, QC, Canada
95 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.