Pub BreWskey, located in the Old Port of Montreal, is a small brew pub that has been around for a short three years. Since then I have embraced its walls few times and enjoyed some delicious brew. BreWskey began between three friends who had the same passion to open a bar, serve beer as well as whiskey whilst showcasing a complimentary culinary experience. I had an opportunity to sit down with one of the three partners, Guillaume Couraud, to discuss some history, some beer, some whiskey and of course we drank some things along the way.
The brew pub itself is too small to house a brewing facility, so the brewing was done off site. My initial experiences at pub BreWskey started with having a lot of guest beers on tap as well as a viewing the decent bottle selection. Not trying, but viewing. The ambiance itself reminds me a little bit like seeing the cavern where the Beatles used to play. Not that I have been to the cavern, but it has that underground vibe to it. Over the years they have started to introduce the other part of their dream, which was to expand their brewing and having the menu encompass more of BreWskeys own beers rather than guest beers. Since they are in full support of the local beer community, they still do have dedicated lines for guest taps, which is a great homage to see. Derek, the second partner, is the man behind the brewing and he has created a very diverse selection of beers for the customers and craft beer nuts to enjoy. Along with Derek being the beer geek in the trio, Guillaume is the whiskey guy, and his passions combined with Dereks are what really brought the BreWskey vision to completion.
Their beers, adorned with their mascot, who can only be named as ‘the Professor,’ are brewed for the sole vision of brewing a beer that they would enjoy personally, along with their friends. “I don’t want my friends to say “Nah, I don’t want to come by, your awesome but your beer not so much.” I want my friends to enjoy my beer and have a good time” Guillaume had to say in reference to the BreWskey vision which lead them to take the leap to purse this business idea, along with Dereks brewing skills and creative ideas.
The brew pub itself has begun its path on a very exciting expansion just below and behind the brew pub in a a very large space which will house the in house brewing facility along with a tap room and a terrace. Hoping to open in the fall of 2018, but that is to be determined if everything moves smoothly! It’s safe to say, I am happy that I work a mere four minutes walk from the brew pub, and it has become a more frequent visit for me with some co-workers. My history with Guillaume began a very long time ago back at the Old Dublin Pub on cathcart, where we would converse over Liverpool FC, take shots and shoot the shit, and then one fine day two years ago I met some fellow bloggers at the brew pub only to see Guillaume hanging about. I was happy to see that I had walked into his establishment! Along with an extensive expansion plan, Guillaumes love for whiskey coupled with Dereks beer beating heart, could create a dynamic for a great barrel age program. Which they are in plans to bust out as soon as they are able, and I am definitely stoked for that! With their whiskey selection and Guillaumes taste for it, im sure they can couple some great combinations, there is already a great one in the works!
Critics can play a big role in the world of craft beer, and most times brewers or breweries do not fight back or send a public response. There have been sometimes where some brewers or breweries have acted on negative feedback or bashing. Not to bring up names, but that may not be the best way to go. And although it can be frustrating to see your personal efforts and hard work crushed to dust, it is always best business practice to ignore the naysayers and haters, “You can’t please everybody,” Guillaume only hopes and wishes that customers, geeks, critics, and general public can leave constructive feedback to help the brewer understand what aspects of their beer you did not enjoy. It will in turn sometimes help the brewer if he is in the process of developing his recipe.
Pub BrewSkey also hosts specifically focused nights, and I urge anyone to go and check them out. They have randall nights, whiskey pairing nights, cask nights, and so on. They really have tackled and continue to tackle every aspect of brewing, culinary arts, and experimentation. The biggest experimentation is their P-Nutbuster, an oatmeal milk stout with peanut butter. My personal opinion about their beer is not raved, I am an honest reviewer, so I will present my honest opinions. Overall I am pleased with their selection of beers and quality, but are they the best I have ever had? No. But does it matter? No. As long as the beers are delicious, that’s all that matters. BreWskey does some very well crafted beers with great flavors. Of course they don’t rival some of the greatest out there, but sometimes we need to set that aside and just focus on the visceral feeling that certain beers can give us, the personal connection, no matter where that comes from. Out of most of what I have tasted so far I have to say the the P-Buster is one of their top beers, I was really surprised by this beer. Some of their others beers include their flagship IPA Kilogramme, brewed with Citra, Cascade, Amarillo and Chinook, it boasts a very strong hoppy, bitter yet smooth bill and it finishes very clean. It is just your standard old school IPA that has is brutally hop forward without the fruits, because fruits and NEIPAs are not old school. Another great mention is their Pepper Cut, a blanche style beer with a strong dose of lime and lime zest. It is a very refreshing take on a blanche with a main focus on refreshing taste and feeling coming from the lime. This beer was made for the summer and should be drank when the summer rolls around soon! But the real star is the P-Nutbuster, which is being released as their first cans this Saturday! You can get more details below.
Sweet Stout || ABV: 6.3% || IBU: –
The concept of this beer can send most people into the fetal postion, a peanut butter milk stout? What the bloody hell! There are several peanut butter stouts out there, but we have not seen many here in Quebec. So BreWskeys vision to create one was all about location location location. And not only did they bank on the opportunity to create a unique stout Quebec hasn’t seen (Oh.. Peche Mortel. But you know what I mean), but BreWskey, well at least for me, nailed it. I guess one of the reasons I really enjoyed this beer was because I absolutely hate peanut butter, but with this beer it took my hatred for peanut butter and turned it on its head. The nose is straight up reeses pieces, it’s very nutty, cracker, waffle cone and of course some peanut butter. To taste its a very complex mix of peanut butter, milk, sweetness, oatmeal with a burst of graham cracker. It lacks the chocolatey, tobacco kick that I really enjoy but it dominates on the cracker peanut butter side, which is very enjoyable. Overall it may not seem pleasant, my wife did not enjoy the breath it leaves, but there is something about this beer that really connects with me. It takes me out of my comfort zone and places me in a strange place which I normally would not enjoy. But in this instance I truly enjoy standing in this zone with this beer in hand. It sends a rush through my bones which only the Beatles on vinyl can send through me, a sensation which to me is hard to describe because it’s so unknown.
This beer is to be their first can to be released to the public as I mentioned and the event is taking place this Saturday April 28 2018 @3pm, in Verdun at my local (and favorite) specialty store Maltehops! You can find the details Here.
Also be sure to check out their yearly IPMay event taking place May 18, 2018 – May 22, 2018. I was able to talk about the killer line up with Guillaume, and you won’t want to miss it! Details Here.
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen