Life, at its core is simply a collection of stories. Stories we share with each other, whether it be between our loved ones, our friends, strangers that pass by during our lifetime, or even stories that we keep to ourselves, never letting those stories be told. Our stories are created while we are living and experiencing the world around us. Often times stories not need be true, we all throw in some exaggeration to amp up the plot and the climactic ending. To entertain, to excite, and to keep things interesting. Stories are best told spoken to one another in good company rather than read on paper. The act of being face to face adds a personal touch and feel to the story which is difficult to convey over writing. Not to say a story can not be told on paper, novelists have been writing tales for many years, I am more speaking about personal stories or experiences are better told in company. This is why when I finally got the opportunity to explore Microbrasserie 4 Origines, I felt it best to meet face to face and share our stories. The conversation that followed was one that was entertaining, informational, intriguing and captivating.
I met with Keegan on a Saturday afternoon and we had a general discussion about the brewery, its origins and about a special beer I will be talking about here. We seemed to share similar philosophies about the position of craft beer in Quebec currently, as well as how to expand and spread craft beer even more than it already has become. The craft beer scene in Montreal has expanded at an exponential rate over the course of the seven years I have been around these parts, and now I get excited when I see how much larger and larger it gets year by year. Finding NEIPAs and solid IPAs at random bars and Irish pubs? Unheard of seven years ago. Quebecs craft beer is on a trajectory which I find spectacular and I can see its expansive tentacles reaching even further with years to come. 4 Origines is one such place that adds to this story of Quebecs craft beer scene.
4 Origines have only been open now for a year and is located in the Pointe-Saint-Charles district of Montreal. Just south of the canal from Griffintown close to Wellington and not far from Costco. The location itself is prime because it attracts the Griffins in the north and all the Montrealers who are enjoying a workout or a picnic on the canal. The story behind 4 Origines comes from two strangers who met by chance, Michael and Keegan met at a going away party, and Mike came in with some of his own home brew, and it just so happened that Keegan was working on a the idea for a brewery. The two become friends and started to work on a business plan. Soon after his friend Benjamin, a lawyer who had experience with distribution contracts for beer, hoped into the mix. 4 Origines got its name based on the the four founding countries of Montreal, France, Scotland, Ireland and England, which are adorned on their logo, which together come to form a big flower to represent how diverse Montreal is as far as its cultural history. As we all know today, the cultural diversity the city of Montreal has can not be rivaled by any other Canadian city. At least in my opinion. It’s wonderful to see that this city has reached further than the four founding countries to include people from all walks of life. Diversity is why Montreal stands as such a great city and industries like craft beer (as well as others) are what really unify everyone to stand together.
Although I heard about them opening last year, I didn’t take the time to have a visit. A lot of new places have some growing pains, no matter the industry and I wanted to give this brewery some time before giving it a taste. You could say I wanted to let it brew a bit more. That was until I saw they were releasing a porter brewed with scraps of chocolate from none other than Cacao 70. I am a big sucker for chocolate, and an even bigger sucker for a nice porter.
Porter || ABV: 6.0% || IBU: 32
The aroma gives way to a delicate and bold burst of chocolate and roasted malts. The taste continues the flow in the same manner the nose picks up. A great swirl of decadent chocolate followed by a slight sliver of bitterness which adds to the flavor to round off the beer. I like that it still maintains a bit of bitterness on the end, without it I feel the flavors would fall a bit flat. The body isn’t has heavy as I would’ve suspected, it’s light and easy to manage, which makes this a delicious chocolaty ether you can enjoy any day of the week and during any particular season. If I can drink down a hot chocolate every morning in Spain during the hot summer, I think I can manage a can of Cacao Cosmos during the Montreal summer heat. Hell Id even encourage it. All beers are made equal. Well most, maybe not a can of Bud. We should have our beer any season dammit!
This is truly right down my alley, it is like having a chocolate cake with layers of complexity and leaves a palatable creamy icing in the mouth and taste buds. Along with this beer, Cacao 70 also released a chocolate which is made with Amarillo hops, and I gotta say having this chocolate with the beer really adds an even creamier texture, and the chocolate on its own has this amazing bitterness to it. Not one from dark chocolate but from the hops. The hops and the chocolate really balance well and compliment each other. The chocolate was bought when I went to the can release and I couldn’t resist and devoured it whole the same day without having the beer. Keegan was nice enough to give me another bar and I couldn’t wait to eat it again, so I was forced to open the beer and drink it while eating the chocolate. No regrets on either point. When the wife returned home that evening, she was sure to find a bloated and happy husband with an empty beer can and empty chocolate wrapper, firmly holding his belly with content. As she looked at me she yelled “You ate the chocolate again with me!” Sorry honey, it was too delicious. The story of the Cacao Cosmos porter is you can certainly have your cake and eat it too.
As with each beer that 4 Origines packages states, each beer has a story. Each beers story is the collective story of he brewery itself, and I can wait to see where 4 Origines story takes them. 4 Orinignes is Keegan Kelertas, Michael D’Ornellas, Benjamin Somer, Fred Imbeault, and Braden Richards.
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen