Beer Trip ideas - Burlington and Montreal

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by Gilmango, Sep 27, 2018.

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  1. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Me and another beer loving friend fly to Burlington on the 13th, fly back on the 20th. We're a bit overdue to book our lodgings, but thinking maybe first 3 nights in Burlington, then (2 or) 3 nights in Montreal, 1 final night either back in Burlington or somewhere else in Vermont (Stowe? or near Hill Farmstead? or?) before we fly back from Burlington. I think we may have a rental car the whole time but we mainly like to be able to walk or take transit or uber/lyft/taxi around the two cities, car is more to get from one to the other, or hit a single destination brewery (Hill Farmstead, maybe the Alchemist too, other ideas welcome) for a sampler and some to go cans or bottles to bring back.

    Could not find an all things Burlington or Vermont (or Montreal) thread on here, as some cities have, so I am asking the overly general questions of not-to-miss breweries, beers, bars, restaurants with great beer (friend is a vegan so that's a consideration there) in Burlington, and in Vermont in general. If you have ideas for Montreal those are welcome too but maybe I'll post in their forum too.

    Also, any ideas on logistics, particularly if there is some event not to miss during our vacation, that'd be welcome as we still have flexibility, just know that we want to at least get up to Montreal for at least a couple nights during our week long stay.

    Thanks, and links to relevant old threads are welcome, I searched the forum a bit but did not find quite the sort of stickied guide I hoped to find.
     
  2. NYR-Zuuuuc

    NYR-Zuuuuc Devotee (400) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

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  3. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (256) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    I will let everyone else who visits my hometown of BTV chime in, but can def help with Montreal. I give you places, please do your own research if they'refor you. As for eating vegan up there, use the Eater-Montreal FB page to guide you. Hugely culinary city so that will help. They also have lists of beer venues.
    Quality brewpubs: Harricana, Dieu du Ciel, Isle de Garde, Benelux, Brouehaha, P'it Caribou, Cheval Blanc, McAuslan, L'Amere a Boire.
    Taprooms: Vice et Versa (the best.) If you're looking for theme bars (Irish pubs, etc.) can't help with that. Use Eater for others. Pro-tip: don't buy beer in US and take it into CN (you must declare it) and then try to bring it back. You'll likely get hung up with customs if you're there less than 48 hrs.
     
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  4. papposilenus

    papposilenus Poo-Bah (2,063) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Society

    I'd add Le Saint Bock on Rue Saint-Denis. Also, do not consider skipping Dieu di Ciel! There's just something about Péché Mortel on draught at the source.

    And you should really search Montréal advice on the North America/Canada forum. There are numerous relevant threads.
     
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  5. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    We won't miss Dieu di Ciel, that was the best one I found 10 years ago when I was in Montreal with my family for a much less beer focused trip and we rented an apartment fairly nearby, but I'm sure that there have been some great additions since then. Thanks to you and Duchessedubourg for the Montreal tips.
     
  6. papposilenus

    papposilenus Poo-Bah (2,063) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Society

    That's a terrific link. I actually bookmarked it for future reference.

    I got a kick out of describing DDC's atmosphere as 'lively,' as opposed to, like, 'loud and crowded.' I try to go there early in the afternoon on a weekday.
     
  7. IGaveYouPower

    IGaveYouPower Aspirant (257) Dec 2, 2010 New York
    Trader

    Per Burlington: Four Quarters is making the best beer in that city. Better than Foam. Better than BBCo. Better than everyone. And they're doing it across a super wide gamut of styles, too.

    Juicy-ass IPAs? Yep. Non-adjunct imperial stout? Yep. Super low ABV fruited sour? Yep. Brown ale? Yep. Saison? Yep. Witbier? Yep.

    Plus they'll have 6-10 different cans to go. Cannot recommend them enough.
     
  8. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (13,622) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I've been to Montreal several times now and never had a car. Well, I did, but I didn't use it. Except for a few places like Brouhaha I found it easy to get around via underground or just walking, and to be honest, when I did take the bus it wasn't that bad. Inclement weather could slow you down though.

    Burlington is different, you'll just have to pace yourself - but then Burlington has it's own pace so just relax and go with the flow. If you're looking to bring beer home hit Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, and if you like good food I'd suggest Hen of the Woods - I wasn't expecting much being from Philly/New York and having traveled a bit but I've had some very good meals there.
     
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  9. ricknelson

    ricknelson Devotee (445) Feb 20, 2010 Vermont

    Couple of fun pubs in Montreal you should try: St Elizabeth Pub (corner of St Elizabeth and St Catherine) and the Norte Dame Pub in Old Montreal (upstairs) For other pub hopping go to Crescent St (if straight) Denis St (if gay) both have lively bar scenes. Food musts: Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich at Dunn's (order with poutine) or just a Smoked Meat sandwich Scwharts Deli (its the basis of SNL's Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Pepsi, no Coke)
     
  10. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks for all the ideas and links so far.

    We have booked our lodgings which leads to a few more questions.

    First 4 nights we will be based in Shelburne at a hotel, rather than Burlington. I was a bit surprised that there were almost no Airbnb or VRBO listings in Burlington proper, in general, and most of what was listed was super costly. Maybe it's "leaf season" or just an even smaller city which tries to prohibit such rentals.

    Last 3 nights in an apartment in Montreal near the Prefontaine metro stop so Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighborhood, where we can leave the car and explore the city by Metro, bike share, and foot. So any tips related to either of those locations welcome, but we'll travel around far beyond where we stay at night.

    Finally, with Hill Farmstead closed Sun--Tues our only shot is to visit when they open Weds, on our way to Montreal, but that adds over 2 hours to the drive. It looks like we could bring at least a case of beer in duty free, but that would greatly cut into our ability to try local beers in Montreal. So I guess my questions are, (1) is HF really a must visit place? and (2) how easy is it to find HF beers at bars and restaurants around Burlington? Thanks!
     
  11. papposilenus

    papposilenus Poo-Bah (2,063) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Society

    Silver linings, though: if you go up I91 and come into Montréal on the 10, you'll pass Marché du Village at the intersection of 235 in Saint-Ange-Gardien - it looks like a big gas station but it's mostly a gros-cul bottle shop...

    http://www.marcheduvillage.com/microbrasserie.php

    8.5 liters per adult
     
    #12 papposilenus, Oct 3, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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  12. IGaveYouPower

    IGaveYouPower Aspirant (257) Dec 2, 2010 New York
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    Gotta be because it's leaf season. I got an AirBnB in Burlington in May, on the same road as Zero Gravity and within walking distance of there (so two miles at most from downtown Burlington) and it was legit like $45/night. And based on what I remember of trying to find a place, that price and availability was not anomalous.

    Also, it is VERY easy to find Hill on tap in Burlington (and even some Grassroots bottles in the shops) but if you're coming all the way up this way from California I would say Hill is worth your two extra hours. They'll have some gorgeous bottles for just on-site consumption that you can't even buy at the time and you'll probably be able to buy some bottles that don't see draft distro at all.
     
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  13. vtcraft

    vtcraft Initiate (187) Apr 1, 2013 Vermont
    Trader

    In Burlington Edward is pretty easy to find on tap and maybe one or two other offerings at the better craft bars. This past weekend bluebird bbq was pouring Everett..
     
  14. yossle

    yossle Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2016 New York

    I’m going to jump on this thread and ask, does Uber work in Burlington? My buddies and I are driving up for a low key bachelor party in a few weeks, but are staying about 30 min from downtown Burlington. We’re planning on hitting up Hen of the Wood and Foam Saturday night and don’t want anyone to be responsible driving. If Uber isn’t an option, is there an alternative?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  15. Piels25

    Piels25 Aspirant (237) Dec 17, 2013 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Uber is readily available in and around Burlington. If you're planning on Hen of the Wood, I would strongly encourage a reservation if you haven't made one already. Otherwise, it's first come, first serve in the bar area.
     
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  16. yossle

    yossle Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2016 New York

    Awesome, thanks we are staying in North Ferrisburgh, so hopefully that is within Uber range.

    We have reservations.

    Thanks again!
     
  17. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (177) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont

    Nice town... almost purchased a house there. You'll be within striking distance of Frost brewing in Hinesburg (15min) which is well worth a visit. Also, the Village Tavern in N. Ferrisburgh proper is a hoot if you don't mind a townie/dive bar... very friendly owners.
     
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  18. vtcraft

    vtcraft Initiate (187) Apr 1, 2013 Vermont
    Trader

    You will also be going right by fiddlehead on your way into Burlington. I’ve also had good luck with greencab, people overlook tradition cab’s these days but during bussy times they usually beat Uber prices
     
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  19. yossle

    yossle Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2016 New York

    Good tip. Will definitely keep this in mind, thanks.
     
  20. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Great question and glad for the answers you got as they help me too.
     
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  21. EDNOSE

    EDNOSE Aspirant (250) Oct 27, 2007 Connecticut

    Base don recent experience in the area, you will have no problem getting an uber home but that far south will require some luck / waiting to get into Burlington via uber.
     
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  22. yossle

    yossle Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2016 New York

    Thanks for the heads up. I had a gut feeling this would be the case and was thinking I’d probably try calling one of the taxi companies to get to downtown Burlington. Anyone have any favorites?
     
  23. vtcraft

    vtcraft Initiate (187) Apr 1, 2013 Vermont
    Trader

    Green Cab, not sure if there is a closer cab company in Vergennes.
     
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  24. yossle

    yossle Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2016 New York

    Thanks.
     
  25. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks to suggestions here and in other threads and links, it seems like I am developing a good idea about which brew pubs to hit in Burlington and in Montreal, but the bottle list for that Marché du Village hammered home that I don't have much of a clue when it comes to which beers we should be looking for at better beer bars and bottle shops? Beers which are not brewed in greater Burlington or in Montreal, but which we should try if we see? I mean I do know of Hill Farmstead, the Alchemist, and Lawson's, but that is about all I know from the rest of Vermont. What should I not miss from the rest of Vermont (or New Hampshire, Maine, etc.) which I might find on draft or in bottles? Same question for the rest of Quebec and beyond (I only know Unibroue)? Is this list on the money? https://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/02/best-breweries-quebec-craft-beer.html I like a pretty large range of styles.
     
  26. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (177) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont

    Right now as far as widely available bottles & cans:
    • Frost.
    • Burlington Beer Co.
    • Foley Bros.
    • Fiddlehead
    • Von Trapp
    A little harder to find:
    • 4 Quarters
    • 10 Bends
    • Upper Pass
    • Green Empire
    • Hermit Thrush
    No shortage of awesome beer
     
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  27. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (84) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (ON)

    It's probably not the most edgy list, and TDD has that "Big Beer" stink now since being bought out by Molson Coors, but it is a pretty solid list of big name Québec breweries whose beer will be reasonably easy to find in good bars/stores.

    Boréale's IPA du Nord-Est has become a pretty big "must hit" hazy IPA if that's your jam. Cans can be sporadic, but if you are in a solid bottle shop or grocery store ask around.

    One caution (and this applies anywhere not just Québec), really be careful about buying bottles (IPA especially, obviously) without date stamps. I see a crap ton of old IPA sitting on grocery shelves and good bottle shop shelves in Québec all the time.

    Also, for bottles the IGA grocery chain often have very good beer selections. I can't speak specifically to the Montreal area, and I likely wouldn't go out of my way to stop at one, but if your hotel or drive takes you past an IGA worth popping in to check it out.
     
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  28. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks, did not know that about TDD (actually I had to look up which brewery on that list was TDD), not a big fan of the big beer stink. I definitely know what you mean about old IPAs with no date stamps (or no legible/locatable/understandable dating). I think we will mostly be drinking at brew pubs and better beer bars, so freshness should be less of an issue, especially if we stop at Hill Farmstead on our way to Montreal, in which case our fresh IPA needs plus our apartment beer needs should be pretty well covered.
     
  29. rejtable

    rejtable Initiate (84) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (ON)

    Sounds like a great trip.

    Small clarification regarding the earlier note about Montreal.. Vices versa isn't a "taproom" in the sense most people use it (i.e. brewery taproom), it's a beer bar. A great one for sure, but I just want to make sure you aren't going there expecting a brewery.

    Another brewpub not mentioned, and I haven't been in a few years so I can't comment on how it is these days, but Hopfenstark's Station Ho.St is another spot that was pretty hot at one point.

    Another bar I like is Saint Bock.

    Depanneur Peluso is a pretty popular bottle shop not far from downtown.

    I get there a few times a year and a good day/weekend for beer for me usually involves DDC (Dieu du Ciel), Benelux, Vices Versa and then maybe something else like Saint Bock/brouehaha/Amère a boire/Ho.St. DDC is tiny and can be crazy busy at night on the weekends.

    For bottles I usually hit up Peluso. The list above includes a bunch of new places that I hear good things about but haven't been to.
     
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  30. Gilmango

    Gilmango Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2007 California

    Thanks for all the tips, tried to hit most of the spots mentioned but some had limited hours (like Four Quarters) so did not all work out:

    Attempting a recap of the trip:
    Day 1 red-eye flight out, but slept well, long layover at JFK but Terminal 5 (jet blue) had good NYC pizza and other food options. Got picked up at Burlington airport by a college buddy who doesn't drink but doesn't mind me and my buddy drinking. Stopped at nice grocery for some snacks and beer before we got my local friends' dogs and hiked up Mt. Philo, at summit where we sipped Foley Brothers Skeleton Crew. Great views. Dinner and house beers at Hired Hand Brewing. Got dropped off at FOAM and tried everything they had, got some Fiddlehead cans for the room on the way back via Uber.

    Day 2 more epic hiking day up Camel's Hump, got food and Lawson's Sips of Sunshine prehike, beers at the summit, even better views. Local buddy dropped us off in Burlington at Zero Gravity. Walked to Hen of the Woods and they called us when room for two opened at the bar. Quick detour to Vermont Pub and Brewery while we waited, one of their cask ales was really not good. Dinner at Hen of the Woods - great food and beer list. Nectar's - free pool & Heady. Archives - Hill Farmstead Nelson IPA and pinball. Uber home.

    Day 3 Slept in then Uber to BBCO (Burlington Beer Co). Lots of delicious beers here and chill setting with good older hip hop on the stereo all afternoon. Got some cans and they let us mix 4 packs so we got a great variety. Then local friend picked us up and we did another Mt. Philo hike, then hit Fiddlehead and Folino's pizza, back to hotel, sipped some cans.

    Day 4 picked up rental car and drove to Waterbury, Prohibition Pig for lunch and beers. Great beer shop across the way, Craft Beer Cellar, for Frost beers, Upper Pass, and Lost Nation beers. Back to Burlington and I hit FOAM a 2nd time while my buddy took the car and headed to Albany to see Phish. Then Archives again, then Queen City, then Zero Gravity's 2nd location across the street from Queen City, then watched opening night of NBA with room beers.

    Day 5 - checked out of S. Burlington hotel and headed to Montreal but via Hill Farmstead on a rainy day. More amazing VT scenery. Had our draft beers, tacos, bought cans and bottles and a growler fill and back on the road to Montreal. Easy border crossing but my phone did not work in Canada, fortunately buddy's phone did. Got to our Airbnb in un-touristy Hochelaga next to Prefotaine park and Metro stop. Got settled and drink a Double Nelson, took Metro to near Isle de Garde Brewing for dinner and some great beers. Then Dieu di Ciel for more great beers. Stopped at Siboire Brewing across the street - bit underwhelming but easy to try. Ubered home.

    Day 6 - Upper Pass Hip 2 The Hops #4 at apartment then Metro to Le Saint Bock, lunch nearby at Green Panther, explored old city and old port, it was cold (high was 38F that day) and it briefly even snowed. Made our way on foot to Benelux Brewing for beer. Then Reservoir Brewing - really good stuff. Then Pit Caribou Brewing - also really good - got snacks too. Then to Mabrasserie - yet another really cool spot, where several brewers share equipment and a big tasting room, stayed till last call (1 a.m.) but nearby Broue Pub Brouhaha - cool little spot where we ended the night was open till 3 a.m. and we had a final beer there before Ubering home.

    Day 7 - way warmer in the upper 50s all day so we did Bixi bikes, and explored our less touristy part of the City starting at La Succursale for lunch and beers. Then got some Avant Garde beers from a grocery and biked to Olympic Park, docked bikes and had a nice walk around the park. Then biked to Vices and Versa, very crowded but got last couple seats at bar. Paw Paw T'es Mort by Avant Garde a standout. Birona Hummus bar for dinner with Boreale IPA du Nord Est. Fresh Bagels at night at Fairmount to bring home and biked back towards our Airbnb, dropped bikes and bagels, and walked to L' Espace Publique for a great nightcap - Gary Carter APA and Jurassic Park Pinball, spent all our Canadian $.

    Day 8 - up early and drive to Burlington, drop rental car in town, Uber to airport, checked 1 bag with cans to share of mostly Hill Farmstead. Had farewell Alchemist beers (Heady and Focal) in the airport watching soccer on TV till we flew to JFK and then back home to SFO.
     
  31. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (256) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    Wow! You hit all the best in MTL, imo. Well done!
     
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  32. ClarkstonMark

    ClarkstonMark Initiate (103) Feb 21, 2016 Michigan
    Trader

    Awesome follow-up/recap. Thanks! I am going to use this experience as a guide on an upcoming business trip that will have me flying into Burlington and driving into Quebec (Valcourt).
     
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