Vice & Versa: Montreal’s Treasure Cave

Craft beer is a behemoth that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon and it is increasing at an alarming rate in Quebec. So much so that it can become hard to keep up and my cellar grows larger every week. Every month I hear about a new beer, brewery or event. And every week or so there is a new release. It makes me proud to see this culture continue to expand and grow because drinking good beer is what I’m all about! I curse the day I’m stuck drinking a Molson Ex or Molson dry. But hey, sometimes you don’t have a choice, at least it’s still beer, Ahem, I mean water. My experiences in California have been far different from that in Quebec. In California craft beer is available almost everywhere, even the places the residents of Quebec are not used to seeing craft beer. You don’t have specific bars or stores for craft beer like we do in Quebec. Majority of the restaurants and bars all have several options for craft beer and grocery stores have a large selection to choose from. Maybe not as much as us geeks want but when spending a night out with friends in San Francisco, any bar we pick I can at the least manage a Lagunitas IPA (yes now 50% owned by Heineken, but I’m speaking of times prior to that sale). However, here in Montreal that is not the case. It seems to know be expanding a bit, I’ve seen some options for craft beer in some restaurants and that makes me jump for joy. Even grocery stores now have a great selection! But if I spend a night out with my mates on a Saturday, you can sure as hell bet no craft beer for me. Thus Montreal has a fantastic selection of craft beer bars. Bars that are solely dedicated to craft beer. Thank the lord! One out of many spots is Vice&Versa, and one of my favourite spots.

Vice&Versa is not a watering hole like Toronado (which I love by the way), rather its a very eloquent spot. During the day it looks like your everyday bar and by night it transforms itself into a place where you could take a date for a nice serene night out. Wine connoisseurs go to fancy restaurants, beer connoisseurs go to Vice&Versa. That’s just the way of life. Vice&Versa always has some amazing beers on tap, and a fairly good selection of bottles. Sometimes you can find some Hill Farsmtead bottles, but at crazy high prices, thanks SAQ. Not much you can do with SAQ breathing down your neck. Such is our beer loving existence. Along with a great selection from their 35 rotating taps, you have a great crew and staff behind it all. Vice&Versa is run by the same man behind Brasserie Dunham, Sébastien Gagnon. And I must say he continues to do some great things in Quebec for the craft beer scene. Pouring fine Quebec beer since 2004, I only came to know about Vice&Versa in 2015 almost four years after moving to Montreal. Not only do they serve great craft beer, they are more organized than any place I’ve discovered thus far.

If I do have one thing to say, I feel like their website beer list isn’t always up to date. I may be wrong, but I’ve observed many times where the list was completely different once I arrived at the pub, and few times where they said a beer had already come and gone. But I never saw it on the list, so I never made the trek. Vice&Versa is located near the ever growing Rosemont neighbourhood and in my opinion the centre of Montreal craft beer. So it can be a journey to get up there by public transport depending on where you live.

But for their 12th anniversary party, I would have travelled twice the distance. In terms of organization it doesn’t get any better! There was no chaos while waiting, there was no chaos after doors opened. People were let in few at a time to avoid rushes to grab tables and in due to time I was inside and comfortably in my seat and ready to leave all sensibilities behind. Honestly the service was fantastic, I gotta give to the staff. Sure there was at times some waiting, but that’s only normal at such a busy event. But the waiting wasn’t too long between beers, it was quicker than expected even with such a high volume turnout. The order limit was 2 person per order, which made for a very exciting game for the drinkers. Which beers are most important to have first, and it made things far easier to manage for the staff. The event happens every year, and if you haven’t had the chance, I’d really urge you to go check it out! Well worth my day and my empty wallet.

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Yes indeed. What a day it was, and I’m happy to say Vice&Versa took care of all us beer enthusiasts, I mean geeks, that day and what a pleasure it was. Kudos guys! Keep it flowing!

Menu 12e
1-Saison Pinacle (Dunham) QC
2-B.M.W. (Dunham) QC
3-Musje : super moine #4 (Dunham) QC
4-Jane Doe #4 (Dunham) QC
5-Orange de Dunham (Dunham) QC
6-Ze Blène (Trou du Diable) QC
7-Ze Flaouer Blène (Trou du Diable) QC
8-Ze Frouti Blène (Trou du Diable) QC
9-Lollipop (Pit Caribou) QC
10-Amarillo Single Hop (Hill Farmstead) VT
— -Double Galaxy (Hill Farmstead) VT
11-Hygge (Grassroots Brewing) VT
12-Tribute : 2IPA (14th Star) VT
13-Really Falc’d UP (Unfiltered Brewing) N-É
14-IPA (Unfiltered Brewing) N-É
15-Rosé de Gambrinus (Cantillon) BRUX
16-Kriek 100% Bio (Cantillon) BEL
17-Kombucha Gingembre (Luxia) QC
18-Sanctuaire Brett (Castor) QC
19-Dry Hopped Sour (Bellwoods) ON
20-Bring Out Your Dead (Bellwoods) ON
21-Scotch ale interprètation (Kruhnen) QC
22-Hugo Saison (4Hands) MO
23-Solstice d’Été Framboise (DDC)
24-APA Sans Gluten (BSG) QC
25-Solstice d’Hiver Bourbon 2014 (DDC) QC
26-Le Léger (Casa breton) QC
27-Honey Crisp Sour (Vergers de la Colline) QC
28-Hurlevent Sûre (Trèfle Noir) QC
29-Saison Forte Chianti BA (L’Hermite) QC
30-Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus (Charlevoix) QC
31-Belgian Strong Ale (Bilboquet) QC
32-Kamarad Friedrich 2014 (HO:ST) QC
33-Cask- Framboëse (Auval) QC
34-Cask- white IPA DH Nelson Sauvin (Hermite) QC
35-Cask- Oud Bruin Cerise (LTM) QC
36-Cask- Yakima (Castor) QC
37-Cask- Provenance Mezcal BA (Jester King) TX
— -Cask- Reposée (Jester King) TX

Bouteilles servies au verre
38-Vernal Dichotomus (Jester King) TX
39-Hibernal Dichotomus (Jester King) TX
40-Provenance Orange/Pamplemousse (Jester King) TX
41-Stjørdalsol (Kløstergarden) NOR

Bouteilles
Ceci N’est pas une Gueuze… (LTM) – 750ml
Assemblage # 5 (Dunham) – 750ml
Florence (Hill Farmstead) – 750ml
Anna (Hill Farmstead) – 750ml
Cassis Extra (Dunham) – 500ml
Amicis Mortis (Jester King/Dunham) – 750ml
Grisette # 2 (Auval) – 750ml
Super A (Auval) – 500ml
Aronia (Auval) – 500ml
Provenance (Jester King) – 750ml
Petit Prince (Jester King) – 750ml
Atrial Rubicite (Jester King) – 500ml
Impératrice 2013 (TDD) – 750ml
Réserve de Noël (LTM) – 3000ml

Written by Hop Citizen. Photography by Hop Citizen.

HOP_CITIZEN_CROSS_02
Your Ordinary Beer Citizen

 

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