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Le Cheval Blanc

Your Rating: None
Le Cheval BlancLe Cheval Blanc
BA SCORE
3.73/5
Good
168 Ratings
Le Cheval BlancLe Cheval Blanc
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

809 Rue Ontario Est
Montréal, Quebec
Canada

(514) 522-0211 | map
lechevalblanc.ca

Notes:
Berri-UQAM Metro station.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BEER STATS
Beers:
79
Reviews:
100
Ratings:
168
PLACE STATS
BA Score:
3.94/5
Reviews:
35
Ratings:
51
pDev:
12.69%
 
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of ZIRK
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

This is the place where the "Beer-revival" in Montréal, and later in Quèbec started... Never forget this... Gérôme DENYS, the owner & founder managed to expand the basement by hand ant to install a "selfmade brewhouse"... You don't need complicated things when you are a good brewer... Every year 600 HL sold in place... Congratulations! It's still my favorite place when I'm in Montréal for the MondialdelaBière... but only two kinds of fingerfood are offered: "nacho's with tomato & sour cream" and "Panini".... So when you start to be hungry, then you can best go to one of the many good restaurants of Montréal... Greatings from Belgium.

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Photo of altgeeky1
4.66/5  rDev +18.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

A bit away from downtown, but worth the trip. Great selection and with amazing prices. Where the hell else can you get a 20oz rauchbier for $3.25?? Atmosphere's dark, like a 50's diner with a secret. The whole thing is rows of tables along the left wall, with a diner counter on the right. Bar has bolted down diner stools you couldn't possibly fall outta, and there's so many good beers you want to test that theory. 1 raised table on a dias in the back of the room, and a small patio out back. Went there in the daytime, and the place was still over half full, but not noisy.

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Photo of larelle
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of DawnOne
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

One of my favourite little bars in Montreal. Sad they no longer make the Blanche on the premises as it was outstanding on tap. Coup de Grisou (buckwheat beer) on tap is another of my favourites.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Another excellent brewpub in downtown Montreal. This place is located right on Ontario street, off of St. Hubert street, which is where Erica and I stayed a few weeks ago when we were in town for the Mondial De La Biere. I guess you could say that this place was our "local" for the few days we were in town, since it was on the corner of our street. The atmosphere was excellent. It looked like an old 50's diner/cafe in here. It is very dark with some odd/non functioning brewing equipment towards the back, and a long/diner style bar when you walk in. There are nice tables strung about as well, with some small funky lamps and candles for light. The selection of beers was excellent, as was the quality of the beers! In fact, I pretty much liked every beer that I sampled here, sans the pale ale. On my last visit (In May) they had 6 beers on tap (with three coming soon). The six I sampled were the blonde lager, white, marzen, pale ale, stout, and a special aged Belgian style amber beer called L'abysse Cornue. The service was excellent, as the employee working when we stopped in was very friendly, and explained as much as he could about all of the beers that they had on tap. His french and english were excellent, and he was quick to fill up our glasses as well. I'm not sure if they had food or not, but I did not try anything. Overall: This is one of the best brewpubs that I have been to in recent times, and it is definately one of the best brewpubs out of the 7 that reside in downtown Montreal!

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Photo of dirkchivers
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This place rocked. I can't argue with a place that places The Clash, Radiohead, and Le Tigre. It was very crowded to say the least, but then again, my friends and i showed up at 11pm on a Saturday. The waiters helped us out by finding a place to stand and offering up their beer menu of 7 beers, i believe. I had the Cream Stout, Blonde Lager, and the killer Triple. The lager was okay, not my thing, but the Stout and Triple were exceptional. The people that hang out there come off as real snotty indie types, but the staff was much more friendly, and i had a chat about beer with the bartender. The prices initially frightened me, 5 loons for a 14oz. pint, but the product made the exchange fair, and then again, i'm a cheap college student, anything over 3 dollars is too much. I would definatley pay 5 anyday for this beer though. I will be there again when i can get the gas money.

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Photo of Tut
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Le Cheval Blanc is one of the best brewpubs in Montreal and it's one of my favorites. I've drank there many times on numerous stays in Montreal and have always enjoyed their beer and atmosphere. I have no idea what happened during the previous reviewer's visit, but his one time experience is the complete opposite of my 15+ visits. I find it interesting(and telling) that he joined BA on 6/18/11 for the sole purpose of slamming Le Cheval Blanc and hasn't been back here since.

Le Cheval Blanc's beers are well made and they offer a very wide range of styles. The cask brown ale they had during my two week stay in August was excellent. The staff have always been polite and helpful and I've never seen them act rudely to anyone. I really like Cheval Blanc's slightly edgy(in a good way) vibe and the mixed group of people that frequent the place. I think Cheval Blanc is at it's best after dark and I often make it my final brewpub stop of the night. Whenever you go, give yourself time to adjust to the quirky ambiance and I think you'll really enjoy it.

One of the things I like best about Montreal's brewpubs is that they're small compared to American versions and each has a unique look and atmosphere that is very distinct. Ignore the previous review. Le Cheval Blanc deserves a serious visit from any craft beer fan exploring Montreal's offerings.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

We liked this place. The deco was pretty darn cool: 30's deco meets chinese restaurant meets...

But the beers were outstanding. Crowd is 20 somethings, we managed to get a place at the bar with no problem. I started with the house bock: Outstanding. Delicious. David had the house stout. Also outstanding. We'd just come from another bar, where the beers weren't bad, but after sipping these it was like: oh, that poor other bar! ;-)

We wanted somethign to eat, so left to get something on St. Denis, and came back here for another. David had the Scoth Ale, I had d'abchoufe (sp?) in the bottle. Again, we were impressed by the quality and taste.

We did see beers from this location offered for sale in the grocery store, strangely none that we had had. Also, the gentlemen next to me ordered a house bomber of what looked like a 'pine' type beer, but I didn't try it, alas.

Recommended.

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Photo of pootz
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

I must say after all these months of trying to get to Montreal for the pub beer, this little neighbourhood pub was the positive surprise of the trip. The atmosphere was laid back ( I went in the day time) in a traditional local tavern. Lots of original tavern decore survives. Great selection and the marzen I had was a wonderful offering of the style as were the other beers..well made, tastey and fresh. I would have a hard time deciding if I liked this pub better than DDC. I will be back for more seasonals this summer.

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Photo of AnHeroicHippo
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

11 beers on tap, all brewed on sight, and a few Belgian bottles. Decent pieces. Didn't get food.

Very high class atmosphere, very chic and almost but not quite pretentious. Bartenders were ok but not very tentative at first, but the brewer himself was very helpful and friendly, he talked a lot and gave us samples of up and coming beers. He really made the difference of a so-so visit to a great one. One of the highlights of the trip.

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Photo of Dewso
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of rudzud
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Stopped by here with JLindros on the trip through Montreal. Inside was very high class, almost industrial with all the polished metal. Beers were written on a chalkboard on the wall near the entrance and across from where one would sit at the bar. Bar tender was not very attentive at all, but upon having hop questions the bar tender got the head brewer, Isael Dagenais, who came over and explained his beers. The brewer offered us tastes of upcoming beers and all around turned a rather mediocre bar experience (as once the head brewer came over to sit down and talk to us, the bar tender ceased paying us any attention) into the type of experience we were hoping to find in Montreal. Definitely a highlight of our trip up.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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

Le Cheval Blanc had 8 house beers coming in around 5% each. Atmosphere is lounge meets diner (which we guessed is what it was in a former life). Funniest part of this stop was when my wife tried to flex her French and the server told her, in plain English, to speak English.

Fourteen mostly Belgian guest bottles. I had a sampler with blanche, Coup de grisou, non-filtered amarillo pale ale, India dark ale, and a 6 month imperial stout. Kudos for offering such unique and well crafted beers.

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Photo of papat444
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited yesterday.

My initial impression is that of an urban/artistic diner. The bar and stools surrounding it give me this impression. Nice view of the brewing tanks beyond the bars. Big chalkboard with prices, descriptions (including ABV) and names of beers. The service was ok at first. Had to approach the bar but she let me try a beer before buying so that was cool. Again, not much vibe since it was early in the day. Has an artsy/retro feel to it that my wife would appreciate. I liked it and will come back for sure.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I can't believe that no one has reviewed Le Cheval Blanc brewpub. This place has been around for years and spawned the microbrewery that now distributes worldwide! If you go to Quebec you must make this one of your stops. It's in a neighborhood that some older, stuffy people might consider "bad", but I consider it as having character. And character is what Cheval Blanc is all about. The tiny brewpub looks like a bar that was open during the '30's - shut down - and re-opened in the 80's. It has a very cool, ecclectic feel. You can even sit at a table where a plastic dome covers one of the fermenters. And the beers are spectacular! Especially the specialties. Give it a shot; you'll be glad you did. Ne vivent pas la vie comme vous allez vivre pour toujours.

2014 update: The neighborhood is nowhere near as sketchy as it once was, and the brewpub has been re-done, but not necessarily for the better. I think it's bigger, but it lacks some of the charm it once had. And unfortunately, to a certain extent time has passed by the beers. What was once cutting-edge seems just to follow, although I feel they're still very good. And on the up-side, there are now several other places to stop at just nearby, which makes it a destination area.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Being about 7 blocks from my office, I would drive or walk by here regularly and notice the bummy looking boomers smoking in front, talking loudly and looking drunk. Apart from the name, nothing made me think this place was different from all the other crusty bars in the neighborhood. A few reviews on BA convinced me to check it out.

Yes! What I can now say is that I was partly right about my prejudice but it's all worth it.
The beers on tap are (I'm pretty sure) all their own recipes and brewed on the premises. Some are very good. Some taste kind of dirty and/or homebrewed.
They also have a smallish selection of great imports.

The bar staff is nice but doesn't know much about beer. I asked the barman which nitro-taps he had to which he pointed the cask handle. I then said the ones with the black tips and got a good answer.

I've met lots of interesting people there like brewers and beer enthusiast tourists but also (mostly) saw a lot more nutcases and freaks. I don't have a problem with druggies and freaks, they're often very entertaining and lots of my friends are, but sometimes you just wan't to enjoy a good beer in a quiet setting or with like-minded people.

The menu is particularly simple but very good and of quality just don't arrive there hungry, they're basically snacks. They don't know anything about the food they serve either: I asked what kind of saucisson were in my plate and they couldn't really say.

Cool atmosphere but definitely not ideal to taste some of the expensive (up to $35) imports.

In the two weeks following my first visit I have returned 6 times for 5 hours at a time and twice for a quick 20 minute pint. I've also introduced 5 friends to the place who all said it was cool/great and wanted to go back.
They also have concerts/shows which can be great fun or annoying depending on your mood.

All in all: The beers are great. and the people are either super chill and interesting or crazy and disturbing (in every sense of the word).

Not perfect but I do love it and hope to return often.

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Photo of CBA
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A well worth it stop amongest many choices in Montreal. A darker more mellow bar to have a pint of one of their excellent house beers or open your wallet for an impressive selection of imports - De Molen, Saint Somewhere, Bruery, Jolly Pumpkin etc. They've got kind of a 50's retro vibe going on with the lighting and formica tables. Service was tops, and despite our (my) woefully inadequete French we were well taken care of. Frequently serving a cask selection as well.

Had:
Cherry Porter - cask
Doppelbock - tap
De Molen Rasputin
De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis

 561 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Funky and retro, Cheval Blanc seems to thumb it's nose at some of todays modern concrete,glass, and steel brewpubs.
Kind of long and narrow on the interior, with lots of tile and stainless, in groovey 70's tones.
Tables on one side, bar opposite- facing the cooler doors.
In describing this place, start at "unique" and take a left on "irreverant" ave.
Sort of like a french dining car with cool lighting fixtures, and beers that range from great to just plain odd.
Oh, yea, and let's not forget the small fermenter with a clear dome over it next to the bar, that looks like the head of a robot from "Lost in Space".
Always a wide range of beers here, featuring yeasts pioneered by the infamous Pierre Rajotte.
No big beers on my last visit, but a delicious Wit, an interesting mint-stout, and a pungent,warming Ceyenne concoction.
Didn't try the food, but the favorite local- panini, looked obtainable.
They also keep a stock of bottled beers in the cooler from brews gone by, so don't be afraid to ask.
Big ups to the barkeep that night, friendly guy, and he pointed us the one of the best meals/restaurants we had that weekend.
It was a hole in wall Portugese place, family owned and run, and had some of the best damn mesquite grilled calamari ever. Friggin' cheap too.

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Photo of e_beaulieu
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Photo of MatChar
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of DaveR514
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of davegray
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of goodbyeohio
4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

visited this place later at night on a friday- it was full of after-work people, students, and some beer fest peeps.

this place is right smack-dab in the heart of prostitute central. if nothing else, that gives LCB some local flavor. the place itself reminds me alot of new york city and their bars.. it's set up in that deep but narrow railroad car fashion. there is a bar to the immediate right, but the left wall is crammed full of small, cramped tables and chairs. they go all the way back to the rear. bathrooms are on the right, as well as two bubble-domed beer kettles that look like rejects from a futuristic brewing movie. the toilets are oddly situated right across from the seating area and are the size of coach bus bathrooms. the walls of the bar area are covered in a hospital green marbled pattern, random plants hang from the ceiling. one small wall near the door has those thick glass tiles set into it, which feels very random. the place is dark and barely lit in an orange-reddish hue. kinda overall has a real bare bones/rummage shop feel.

the waitress we were assigned was very happy-go-lucky and friendly. when i asked her what the difference was between the $15 shirt and the $25 shirt, she spent five minutes researching the answer. also, she never let my glass sit empty for too long (big plusses!).

beers on tap during my visit were helles lager, stout, belgian wit, saison, maibock, india red ale and something called 'sparta'. couldn't quite figure out the style on that one. the i.r.a. was excellent with a citrusy understanding of the us west coast beers. the maibock was fruity and rich, deep with complex malts. most of the other beers i tried were ok- but fresh. i've had their bottled product and i definitely prefer 'dining in.' a good place to sit with a group, enjoy some fresh brews, and listen to actual good music (the only beer place in montreal that offers such an ambience).

there is food, i didn't have any, but the nachos looked really, really good. had we not just gorged on thai.. they might have been in order.

i don't think my group dug this place as much as me, but i have sentimental feelings of LCB. among other things, it's the first brewpub i ever visited.. ever. i can then remember drinking the fruity framboise and the creamy blanche wit and having some good conversation with friends. that's exactly what i did this time and i had a damn good time. just not the best beer in town.

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Photo of groleau
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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Le Cheval Blanc in Montréal, QC, Canada
Brewery rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 168 ratings
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