L'Amère à Boire

L'Amère à BoireL'Amère à Boire
L'Amère à BoireL'Amère à Boire
Brewery, Bar, Eatery

2049 St-Denis
Montréal, Quebec

(514) 282-7448 | map

Notes: http://www.amereaboire.com/

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.
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I ended up having two visits here in one day. The first was with BA’s Erica & Goldorak in the afternoon, and I returned much later with Erica and ErikTheRed to close the place out.

Restrained look, grey stone frontage with a small red awning and simple hanging white sign, both with the words ‘L’Amère à Boire’. This does little to tell me that it is a BrewPub. Set back slightly from the sidewalk it affords a terrace area that is demarked by black railings with a couple of hanging flower boxes, it seems like this may be used in warmer climes but not on the day I was there. A small chalkboard sign with a light wood frame close to the left hand side entrance finally hints at what is inside: “Bières Brassées Ici, de façon artisanale. Lager Tchéque, Lager Allemande and Ales Anglaise Pur Malt d’orge. A déguster sur place”.

Split level interior adds to the charm once inside. A few steps lead down to the front area which is at street level and hosts several tables & chairs, which is where I sat on my first visit. A few more steps here lead down to the bar area which sits to your right hand side in an alcove of sorts. At the back, more stairs lead up to the toilets and another raised area, and eventually also up to the subsequent floors that are used, but into which I never ventured.

Décor is restrained, our host Martin (BA Goldorak) mentioned IKEA, it certainly has a modern feel, but I liked it and it wasn’t a forced atmosphere. Lots of light colored woods lend an airy feel, and these are punctuated with artwork on the walls. The interior has a Parisian Café feel, sans smoke, thanks to the recent smoking ban.

The bar area is quite small, the front is lined with a handful of bar stools and this is where I sat on my second visit with Erica and ErikTheRed. Two Angram Beer Engines, each with wipeable chalkboard oval pumpclips are proudly mounted front square and center, one of which was serving the 5% Boucanier Porter. To the right of this, three large chrome fonts dispense the regular brews and have round enamel signs; Odense Porter, Fin De Siècle and Hefe Weizen. Six more wooden taps are set into a wall behind the bar, as is a black plastic Nitro-Tap also. All in, this place has some twelve taps in total. The beers are all listed in the Menu, along with specials and the detailed explanation of each the brews is very helpful I must say, a nice touch which adds to the quality of any establishment I find. I tried the 5% Helles, a tasty tipple, but the 7.5% Imperial Stout, which I tried on my second visit, was the star of the show for me.

Food Menu is varied, more emphasis on quality than quantity, though you can eat from a bigger menu in the upstairs Restaurant area I believe. I opted for the Lamb-burger which was superb, and the home made fries were the perfect company, as was the mayonnaise they came with. BA Goldorak swears by the Crème Brulée dessert made with the Imperial Stout and he tried hard to sell that one….definitely next time!!

Service was quick on the first visit, though Erica and I surely benefited from the excellent translational skills from the local BeerFly Guide!! Second time the service was a little slower, but attentive, they did at least ask myself, Erica and ErikTheRed if we wanted another brew before they called time and closed up.

Thanks to BA Goldorak for the introduction to this excellent Brewpub, sure it’s no Dieu Du Ciel, but I really loved the quiet quality setting and ambience here. The food is good and the beer range varies and the range of Lagers make for a nice change of pace, but the Imperial Stout was the star for my money. Well worth a visit.

Last Visit: Saturday 3rd June, 2006.

Jun 12, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.6/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

Jul 19, 2019
Photo of SveNss0N
SveNss0N from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Feb 22, 2016
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs from Canada

3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Oct 03, 2015
Photo of e_beaulieu
e_beaulieu from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Sep 08, 2015
Photo of TheDoctor
TheDoctor from Canada

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Jun 14, 2015
Photo of jophish17
jophish17 from Georgia

2.97/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Jun 13, 2015
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
TheBierdimpfe from Canada

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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)

Jan 07, 2015
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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!

Nov 16, 2014
Photo of rale
rale from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Nov 16, 2014
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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.

Nov 16, 2014
Photo of Whatup14
Whatup14 from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Oct 14, 2014
Photo of AnHeroicHippo
AnHeroicHippo from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Aug 07, 2014
Photo of Socialiste
Socialiste from Canada

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Jul 10, 2014
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cal-merc from Canada

4.81/5  rDev +24.3%
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.

Mar 15, 2014
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Nov 10, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
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 five barrel system, but it was hard to tell for sure. the winter noel brew was exceptional, as were the others that we tried, some pretty unique offerings among them. 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 in general, 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!

Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Tut
Tut from New York

4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Oct 08, 2012
Photo of DJ_JB
DJ_JB from Canada

3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Sep 28, 2012
Photo of papat444
papat444 from Canada

4.22/5  rDev +9%
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.

Dec 22, 2011
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Duffman929 from Illinois

4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

May 09, 2011
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sketchpunx from New York

4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Jul 06, 2010
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Phyl21ca from Canada

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Aug 27, 2009
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MeisterBurger from Canada

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

Jul 27, 2009
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FightingEntropy from Minnesota

2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

Jul 19, 2009
L'Amère à Boire in Montréal, QC, Canada
Brewery rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 202 ratings