Sip Trips #71: Ça S’arrose!

With a friend’s wedding on the docket in Charlottetown, PEI, Mrs. Sip and I set out east with a pioneer’s spirit and a thirst for Quebec craft beers… well, more the latter. After a brief layover in Toronto, we were off to St. Adele, Quebec, to spend a handful of nights at the family cottage of another friend.

Over time spent swimming, canoeing, rock hopping, and most importantly relaxing, Mrs. Sip and I enjoyed a number of brewery products. Our first case was from Les Brasseurs RJ and included their Robe Noire Stout, Death Valley IPA, Cheval Blanc Double Blanche, D’Achouffe Blonde, Sainte Paix (grapefruit and orange ale), and Coup de Grisou (spicy buckwheat ale). We also snagged a six-pack of the Blanche du Paradis (spiced wheat ale) from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel.

Once that was consumed, we wrapped the cottage stay with a 15-piece case from Belle Gueule. The set included the brewery’s Originale, Blonde, Pilsner, Rousse (red ale), Houblon (hop beer), and Hefeweizen products. Quebec beer prices are way cheaper than BC and even Ontario, so it was easy to try a bunch of new stuff and not ruin our budget for the remainder of the holiday.

Summer Vacation Money

Sandwiched between all the time spent on the water, we journeyed to Mont Tremblant, the highest peak of the Laurentian Mountain range. There, in a village that was incredibly reminiscent of Whistler, BC, we had a meal and a couple drinks at La Diable Microbrasserie. I ordered their Blizzard Blanche Wheat Ale, while Mrs. Sip tried the Extreme Onction Trappist Style Strong Ale. Our quartet also split a pitcher of La Diable’s seasonal raspberry beer.

On our way back to the cottage, we also popped into Saint Arnould Microbrasserie. Mrs. Sip and I sampled eight of their available brews and our group grabbed a few 500ml bottles for the road, highlighted by the company’s Marie Framboise. Clearly we were really into the raspberry ales.

After departing the cottage, Mrs. Sip and I rented a car in Montreal and made the trek to Quebec City. There, we enjoyed a self-guided craft beer crawl, hitting three stops along the route. First up, was Le Projet Microbrasserie, where we split a serving of poutine (after all, the Canadian specialty was invented in the province) with a hef for Mrs. Sip and an IPA for the Sip Advisor.

Poutine Drinking

Next, we were off on a short walk to La Korrigane, where our orders were very similar. I had the Kraken IPA, while Mrs. Sip enjoyed the Mary Morgan Blanche Belge Witbier. After scanning their brew lineup, we decided we also had to try the Korrigane Pale Ale Rousse, so we asked for a six-ounce serving to split.

Our little expedition finished with a visit to La Barberie, one of Quebec’s oldest brewing establishments. They have a really neat eight-beer carousel, which included a Lime and Raspberry Pale Ale, Porter, Blackberry Blanche, Apricot Berliner Weisse, Blonde, English Red, Farmhouse Ale and India Pale Lager.

Finally, we arrived in Charlottetown… or at least the Sip Advisor did, while Mrs. Sip – who often flies standby – had some difficulties and showed up hours after. To kill time before I was able to check into our hotel, I spent some time at Gahan House, enjoying a couple beers: the Reanimator Dopplebock (an 8.1% seasonal) and Harvest Gold Pale Ale (only available at the brewpub).

Beer Snob

The next day, with Mrs. Sip now in tow, we returned for lunch. She had a pint of Sir John A’s Honey Wheat Ale (named after Canada’s first Prime Minister), while I went with a flight of Gahan’s Island Red Amber Ale, Sydney Street Premium Stout, 1772 IPA, and Blueberry Ale. Blueberry beers/spirits seem to be big out east, as Mrs. Sip had one in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Prior to heading to the wedding, a group of us met at Upstreet Brewing, but Mrs. Sip and I were running late, so didn’t have time to order anything. Thankfully, one of our cohorts had a full serving he didn’t want to get through, so I was the lucky recipient of a White Noize White IPA. I never got around to trying their Rhuby Social Strawberry Rhubarb Witbier, though.

The fine folks of PEI seem to be very seasoned drinkers, making Mrs. Sip and I look like lightweights in comparison, even if we were part of a crew that shut down two places the first night and were among the last to leave the wedding the next day. On that first night, I had a delicious Scotch Ale from New Brunswick’s Pump House Brewing, that may have been my favourite of the entire journey. Now, Mrs. Sip and I are home for a rest… we were gone for a week, drunk since we left!