L'Amère à Boire

L'Amère à BoireL'Amère à Boire

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

2049 St-Denis
Montréal, Quebec

(514) 282-7448 | map


Opens at 2pm, except Thursdays and Fridays at Noon. To get there by subway: Berri-UQAM station, St-Denis street exit. Walk north about 3 blocks, it's between Ontario and Sherbrooke streets, in the middle of the hill. Parking in the area is difficult.

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 51
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

An interesting place but not one of my favourite spots in Montreal. The vibe is kind of dead, especially in the upstairs area. The beer selection was lacking, with 5 offerings, which ranged from good to very good but were all very stylistically safe with the most interesting offering being an IPA.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

This is a nice little bar in a kind of out-of-the way part of St-Denis. Almost to Sherbrooke metro.

Well-lit, small and wooden, it is a bar that brings to mind Kramer making everything in his apartment wooden. "On different levels. Like a ski area," there is a sunken bar, two raised terasses, and three other different areas in which to sit in the narrow building. It is actually very intimate with a lot of depth.

The beer list covers a lot of ground and seems to be all simply-made style examples of beer. I had a porter and the Czech pilsner. Both were good but the pils was out of sight. I had fries and they were also good, and fairly cheap.

The menu is pretty diverse with some 'weird' meats in their burgers and some beer-based items. Service was okay. My main gripe is that they will only serve you certain flights. Otherwise you have to buy individual tasting glasses.

Other than that all was good. Definitely worth it to swing by if you're in the neighborhood or visiting.

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Photo of jophish17
2.97/5  rDev -23.5%
vibe: 2.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3

A small forest sacrificed it's life to build the bar. Beer selection was decent - they offered samplers in style - a Czech and English sampler along with another which mixes the two. We ordered the Czech sampler first - all of the beers were mediocre so we skipped ordering the other sampler. Beer was fresh enough, service was ok too. This is basically the definition of mediocre, hence average scores across the board.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25

+ They make good quality sour beers
+ Food is great (get the all dressed nachos and you will die)
+ Friendly service
+ Good prices
+ Well located
- Low vibe only to relax
- Not a huge selection
- The place is too small, easily packed and cramped (I was on the second floor and each 30 seconds someone was pushing me to go at the bathrooms)

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Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Stopped by here with JLindros on the trip through Montreal. Parking was a bit of a nightmare, on a somewhat steep hill. It was all made up by the little brew pub though. Hands down this was the best brew pub up the trip, the bar tender was very friendly, nice warm inviting feel to the whole place. A bunch of Czech and Euro lagers on tap along with a cask offering. Nice soft jazz type music, the way the beers are presented is in chalk around the bar, and in a small book with prices, giving a small blurb on each beer and the ingredients used (all in French mind you). The bathroom was the cleanest we went to of the trip, and cleaner than our own hotel bathroom! Plus, being on the second floor all that wonderful brewing mash aromas fill the bathroom. Worth noting too their Hefe was one of the best beers I had on the whole stay...delicious!

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Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Brew pub with 12 beers, the beers were great, a lot of Czech and Euro style lagers, all done well. Neat old world brick wall and city style tiered seating and modern pub feel, very clean and not overly decorated. Light jazz music, very friendly service. Didn't get any food.

Bathroom was pristine, and smelled of brewing mash. The most pleasant bathroom I've been in a very long time, if not ever. This place was not only a pleasant surprise but was also one of the best places on the trip. Very glad we made it there.

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Photo of cal-merc
4.81/5  rDev +24%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Good place for food and beer. But your best bet for your buck on rotisserie romanos 115 racheal st. Didn't have the burgers but had fries and they were great. Plus the place is clean and good beer. Also a lot of locals come here. They speak good English here. Near the college.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

super rad place brewing real small batches right on st-denis where shit gets weird. real neat ambience, a three level older building retrofitted with cool wood finishings and a small little bar with just a few chairs at it. 11 beers on tap was wild, looked like only a 5 barrel system, but it was hard to tell for sure. the winter noel brew was exceptional, as were the others that we tried. the people there were really kind souls, offering to help us with our french, comparing recipes, and even helping us find some food since their kitchen (which looked great!) was closed. lots of english style beers, some cask selections, and a low alcohol brew. prices were a little steep, but montreal is expensive as hell, and the beers were worth their asking price. this is one of my favorite spots in the city, and one you should absolutely check out for some clever beer and good vibes all around. cant wait to go back and try the rest of the beers!

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Photo of Tut
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I'm updating my 9/2/11 review after reading the review by DJ-JB below. I was back in Montreal for four days in early September and made a number of visits to L'amere a boire as well as most of the other brewpubs. The beers crafted by brewer Greg continue to be excellent and his pilsner remains the finest I've had anywhere in North America. I find it curious that DJ-JB joined Beeradvocate on 9/28, submitted a single negative review, and hasn't been back since. He mainly faults it for the food. I've had several meals there and found the food pretty good. It's a brewpub and that's what I go there for - I'd go if they didn't have any food at all. The food is fine and they have a number of menu options. Benelux and Dieu du Ciel only serve snack type food. Would he fault those brewpubs for not having a full menu??

My advice is to ignore his comments and pay attention to reviews from BA's who've established themselves here and don't have an attitude. This place is great.

9/2/2011 -
L' amere a boire is my overall favorite brewpub in a city blessed with five excellent ones. I've spent one and a half months in Montreal in the last two years alone and know it's brewpubs well from multiple visits.

Dieu du Ciel gets the lion's share of hype/attention and most American craft beer fans visiting Montreal make a beeline for it and spend most of their time there. They make great beers and deserve their reputation, but it's too bad some of the other brewpubs don't get the full recognition they deserve. For every review L' amere a boire receives, Dieu du Ciel gets ten.

I think part of the reason is that Dieu du Ciel caters to the tastes of American hopheads and trendy beer fans while L' amere a boire specializes in lagers that are truely representative of their style. Greg, the brewer, is a master at crafting excellent lagers - which are considerably more difficult to brew well than ales. His pilsener is one of the finest I've had anywhere in the world, including the Czech Republic. While I was there this August, he put on a Munich helles lager that was exquisitely drinkable. All together they have six lager styles and at least three ales, including a great pale ale on cask. All their beers are well balanced and interesting.

The atmosphere is low key, relaxed, and inviting and most customers are locals who make L' amere a boire a destination rather than tourists who wander in off the street. The staff is friendly and knowledgable and always willing to assist in any way. I've had good sandwiches there but the beer is my main focus. They have a hot, fresh baked, homemade pretzel with mustard that is a perfect companion for the beer. The music features a wide range of interesting but unobtrusive artists, with lots of real jazz. On a recent visit I listened to Miles Davis's classic "Kind of Blue" album in it's entirety.

I give L' amere a boire my highest recommendation. If you leave Montreal without spending real time there, you've missed one of the best brewpubs anywhere.

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Photo of DJ_JB
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

This place has so much potential, the décor is nice and usually there's a good atmosphere. However, the cafe definitely has some points to improve when it comes to products and services.

Since I live in Montreal, I was able to visit on multiple occasions. Although the beers are pretty okay (but not great), that's as far as it goes. Even on evenings when we were pretty much alone, it still sometimes took forever to get served and often the waitresses don't seem to be very happy or patient.

The choice for food on the menu is very small. According to my girl friend, the salad was tasty. However, I've had the hamburger twice on separate occasions (months in between) and both times, even though I came in very hungry, I wasn't able to finish the thing due to lack of taste. The patty was near-cremated, the bread was completely tasteless and there are hardly any toppings. Let alone that it doesn't get served as a menu, so anything else (fries, salad, ....) you need to order separately.

I don't take any more initiative to come here, I only come here upon an invitation of friends. There's so much more choice in Montreal that it would be a shame to waste your time and money here.

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Photo of papat444
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited yesterday.

Arrived at the opening so it's a bit hard to gauge the atmosphere. Only 3 other people there though a group of 10 arrived while i was enjoying my pint. The server was nice and knowledgeable. Scattered areas of seating near the window, at the bar (which is a bit lower) as well in the back. There's a second floor that is on reservation only or to handle the overflow of patrons. The look is clean, polished with melamine wood and brick walls. The selection was great.

They serve lunch starting @ noon only on Thursdays and Fridays. Otherwise the kitchen opens at 4PM. Had some nachos and dip that were decent. A bit pricy as it came to 12$ for a pint and a platter of nachos (minus the tip).

Worth your while for sure to try some authentic Czech-style ales and lagers.

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Photo of Duffman929
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Stopped here waiting for Ciel to open, as it was rated highly by several other BA members.

The bartender was great and well-versed in all of the beers and helped us get the know the area as well. We were there right when the place opened and 2 of 4 people, so not a good judge of how busy it normally is.

We were looking for a clothing store for hoodies with Montreal logos on them, and were directed to the store down the street. It was a nice touch by the staff to help out.

I would recommend stopping by, even though the selection isn't extensive.

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Photo of sketchpunx
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Stopped by this brewpub twice while in Montreal this past weekend. Overall, this is a really nice spot to enjoy some really good house brewed suds. They sport a small but comfortable terrace, multi level bar seating, about 12 house beers on tap and an excellent location on Rue St. Denis, one of my favorite strips in Montreal. The staff was really friendly here. The service was swift on both visits and I ended up chatting with the bartenders until close upon our second visit. Every beer I tried here was good. I Had the porter, stout, and belgian pale ale and my girlfriend tried the Hefe and the German style lager. All were well worth their malt. This place is a must visit for anyone serious about beer in Montreal.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This brewpub is centrally located in Montreal and easy access through the subway. Nice building with high ceilings and hardwood all over the place. Service is not bad though sometime can be somewhat inattentive to the customers. The selection is really good with most beer ranging from good to excellent - they are really masters in the German style of brewing. Price are very reasonable and while I didn't have anything to eat the food appeared to be very good. I would recommend trying this place if you are in Montreal.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Poor service. Crappy food. Good beer. That's how I would sum up L'Amère À Boire.

We arrived at around 9 pm on a Friday and the place was busy if not packed.

It started when we sat ourselves at rather a shitty little side bar. As we sat there trying to get comfortable and trying to make eye contact with some of the three or four servers who worked behind the bar, about ten minutes had passed and we hadn't even been acknowledged.

When a couple left from the bar, we swooped in there which was a vast improvement in comfort, but even sitting at the bar and trying to make eye contact with the servers it wasn't until we went right up to one to ask them if we could be served that we actually got anywhere. Before that there wasn't even an acknowledgement or reassurance that somebody would be there to serve us.

On top of that I sat in front of an empty pint for a good twenty minutes before I had to ask for another. It's almost as if they didn't want me to spend money there, much less leave a satisfied customer who would recommend the place to others based on the friendly and attentive service because it was anything but.

We went there for beer as well as a light meal and so, to the food first:

I had the veggieburger which was a rather dire affair. An overcooked patty with crusty edges was served inside of a dry bun that was smeared with some kind of odd cream cheese concoction and a slice of tomato, none of which worked together or made a lick of culinary sense.

My companion had the gazpacho soup which tasted more like a cold marinara sauce than a gazpacho soup, and which was almost definitely from a can. When it was taken away almost completely full the server didn't bother to inquire if there was anything wrong with it. We also had a pretzel which, well...it was a pretzel. I've had better but it's kind of hard to screw up a pretzel. Although if anyone could do it it's these guys.

As for the beer, the Elephant Pilsner was a good example of the style and surprisingly full flavored for a 3.6% beer. My companion had the hefeweizen which she really enjoyed and which I had a sip of and thought was decent. I had the Vollbier which I really enjoyed. I finished with the imperial stout which was probably the best of the lot. Really rich, roasty and satisfying. Overall I'd say none of them were an A but they were all about a B or a B+ -- worth checking out.

Maybe we just caught them on an off night. The place had a decent, comfortable ambiance and, had the service been better, I would have recommended this place for a good pint, but suggested looking elsewhere for a good meal.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.51/5  rDev -35.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

We hit L'Amere a Boire to get out of a pouring rain storm, and wish we'd had stayed at Le Saint Bock down the street. I don't understand the high rating of this pub compared to others in the area. Not a single beer inspired me to want to have a draft of any of them--in fact, we didn't even finish a single sample of any of the beers. Each sample seemed to be very light bodied for each style, and had a unpleasant taste that was consistent through each beer, though I'm unsure what it was about. It seemed like a nice place, we were served quickly by nice bartenders, the patrons seemed to be locals that were attempting to be helpful in between sips of their drafts, but the beer was just not very good. This place seems to be very overrated, and, for us, not worth the effort of walking down the street a few more blocks. I would have preferred to wait out the storm at Le Saint Bock with better beer.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

My wife and I did a quick, two day brewpub and good food tour of Montreal (and then on to Burlington VT) in early June of 2009. Our brewpub stops in Montreal were determined by high BA ratings and proximity to public transit.

These five Montreal stops put me at 273 stops in my quest to visit every quality brewer/brewpub. Below is a ranked list of our stops starting with the best at the top. They were all worthy visits and Montreal is a great destination if you ever have the chance to visit. The specific review follows the list.

Le Saint-Bock Brasserie Artisanale Inc.
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
Benelux Brewpub & Café
Le Cheval Blanc
L'Amère à Boire

L'Amère à Boire is tucked in a busy, quaint area with lots of shops and restaurants. They have a small outside front patio and the interior is decked in wood. They have a terrace out back that we did not visit.

They had nine beers on tap and only two of were interest to me. The pale ale was thin with little aroma but went down easy after lots of walking. The hefe was pronounced with bananna clove and body.

Ranked last on my list of all very worthy places.

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Photo of Otterburn
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Situate in the heart of Montreal, St-Denis street near everything fun. cinema,restaurant, live music shows, peep shows,,hihi shopping..

This is a nice place to have a beer during the hot Montreal summer. Terrasse right on St-Denis.The vibe is good.

Service is working good and staff knows their stuff. There is usually a good selection of brews and they are all pretty much very yummy.

The food is also yummy. I tried one of the hamburger and it was so good, also french fries its a must.

Yea its in quartier latin where its somekind touristic, but you get quality for your bucks
and you won't be turn off here

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Photo of jushoppy2beer
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I get to Montreal at least once a year, and love to hit the pubs for some of the fantastic Quebec brews. This is one of my favorites at all times of the year. It's in a good location, within walking distance of many other good spots. The bears are typically fresh and flavorful, with a decent selection available. I like them enough that I bought one of their insignia glasses to grace my stein and glass collection in Tennessee. The service is friendly, as are the patrons in general. If you're anglophone, it's a good place to practice your French, since this part of the city is mostly francophone. But, most don't mind speaking English to a tourist from somewhere other than Ontario. Plus, the prices are reasonable.

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Photo of Deuane
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Hit this place up during our pub crawl of Montreal during our recent visit to the city for Mondial 2008.

L'Amere a Boire is a multi-level pub, with a small outdoor seating area, a main indoor area with a few more tables and a small bar. A flight of stairs leads to a second level seating area and another short flight to a third level!

L'Amere a Boire features mostly lagers with their Cerna Hora Czech-style pilsner leading the way. While there they had a nice Imp. Stout on that I found quite nice! They had 9 beers on tap during our visit.

Beer pricing is interesting in that the price for a pint differs thru the day....the earlier you come the cheaper they are! Nice...considering things can get a bit$$$ in Montreal.

We were a bit early for "real" food and settled for some nachos, which were quite nice, and some other finger foods.

Our server, who easily flowed between French and English, was more than willing to come bounding up the long flight of stairs to reach our seating area whenever we needed her, she was a ball of energy!

I would definitely return here...nice place, nice location and nice beers!

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Photo of bobsy
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

What good fortune to be staying at a hotel where I can look out of my window and see L'Amère à Boire directly opposite! Lots of wood end exposed brick with a small patio out front. Very relaxed vibe that I could really get into. Some of the best beer I came across in Montreal, and this establishment deserves a reputation up there with Dieu du Ciel. Very strong house selection angled more towards the lager styles, with a particularly fine pilsner, hefeweizen and oatmeal stout on tap at time of visit. When I was there they had 8 regular taps and one cask. The service was very friendly and efficient, and I didn't have to wait at all to order or to settle up the bill. I also tried the frites and mayo, which was serviceable, if not spectacular. Pricing of the beer changes somewhat throughout the day, being at its cheapest before 5 and most expensive after 8. Despite this, even after 8pm, the cost was very reasonable.

I'll be back!

Visited again a few months later, and had one of the best Baltic porters possible. This place continues to impress me, and I will have it at the top of my list next time I come back to Montreal.

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Photo of smcolw
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.5

Friendly and completely francophone, this was a warm and welcoming brewpub. Eight beer offerings and a decent traditional brewpub menu.

The beers are very good and wide ranging. The atmosphere is traditional brewpub with a nice patio in the front. The food fits that profile as well. We had some nachos that were just so-so. The server was knowledgeable of the styles. The service was leisurely but attentive--a good combination.

Located in a "happening" part of Montreal, it is an easy place to visit. Be prepared to speak la belle langue and have un bon temp.


On my second trip here, the service was abysmal. I think the beers were slightly better than I remember. I didn't have any food.

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Photo of santa109
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Visited during a weekend pub crawl in Montréal. Stopped there on a sunday afternoon for some beers and a snack. This was our 2nd place after visiting DDC.

The place has nice dark brick inside with light wood tables and chairs. Plants hang next to the window facing St-Denis. Nice looking place. The bar area is small but there's ample seating space. A restaurant area is on the 2nd floor. Big windows were opened giving the place a very airy and spacious feel.

Very few people were there so the lone bartender/waiter was able to cope but hopefully they have more staff on busier days.

Service was friendly, prompt and willing to give information about the beer and directions.

They had about 9 taps and 2 casks of their own brews. I went with the HefeWeizen (see review) and my girlfriend ordered taster of Cerna Hora and the DunkelWeizen. Arrive early and the 20oz. glass is 4.50. Prices go up as it gets later. Tasters are 2.25 each and about 5 oz. Definately smaller than at DDC for the same price but served in wider glasses which is better for smell. All the beers were good and I I was pleasantly surprised with how tasteful my hefeweizen was.

They have a decent amount of food but they were out of the quesadillas we ordered so we went with nachos. Big portion of fancier nachos. Not the sportsbar type as there was just a bit of cheese but alot of mild-hot peppers, green & black olives, french onions, onions. Quality stuff and despite sharing it with someone, I was full for hours after that and had to push diner until past 8PM to be hungry again.

Overall, a very nice place to sit and talk on a weekend afternoon while enjoying a good beer for good prices. The beer selection is lesser than at DDC but the place felt less cramped and they seem to have more food available.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This brewpub appears to sits in an old building with aging brick walls, then interweaved with fresh, brightly painted double colored walls. The place has multiple floors. Pale wooden high chairs and tables occupy the floor. There were a few people sitting at the bar around 4:30, the time I entered. Mellow music played overhead as I looked at the dozen drafts they offered. Like many of the pubs in Montréal, the earlier you come, the cheaper the drafts, and are offered in multiple sizes. Oh yeah, the beer is quite good too; Cerna Hora is the highlight of the brewpub.

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Photo of Talisker
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Introduced to this sensational brewpub by the generous and genial Montreal BA'er Goldorak.

By a long shot the best beer I've tasted at any brewpub in Montreal (and yes, I spent time at Dieu de Ciel).

Primarily European styles - the Cerna Hora Pilsener is very close to my gold standard, Moonlight's Reality Czech. But the Imperial Stout is also very good - drinkable and not over the top like American renditions of the style - as was the Celebratus, a double bock that's apparently their first new beer introduced in some time. At least two beers were on cask. I tried everything at least twice, and while the three I mention were certainly standouts, there wasn't a clinker in the bunch.

They serve sample tasters in nice wide-mouthed glasses, giving a decent sense of each beer without requiring an order a half-pint or more.

Atmosphere is pleasant - a few tables situated outside under an awning on St. Denis. Multiple levels inside, also a sort of cramped but interesting terrace outside in back. Service, like most I encountered in Montreal, was basically slow and inattentive, even when we were the only customers in the place (perhaps because we were English speakers?).

Absolutely a must-visit for a trip to Montreal - even, in my opinion, ahead of DDC. And try the Cerna Hora!

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L'Amère à Boire in Montréal, QC, Canada
3.83 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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