Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Afternoon At Montreal's Brutopia
If you're looking for a getaway to one of the most cosmopolitan cities in North America, why not take advantage of cheap flights to Montreal.
And what better way to spend those savings than on beer -- microbrewed draught beer made in small batches on the premises, to be more specific. Perhaps the most centrally located place to do this in Montreal is at Brutopia, a downtown brew pub that opened in 1997 on the always hopping Ste. Catherine Street strip.
There's lots of food to choose from — including tapas, sandwiches and finger food — if you're feeling peckish. And there's live music pretty much every night to help your pints go down more pleasantly.
Brutopia has three bars on three floors and three terraces to sit on and enjoy the sunshine. I spent on an afternoon on the small front patio doing just that a few weeks ago. I tried three of Brutopia's seasonal beers and one that's on the menu constantly.

Here's a look at what I sampled:
Raspberry Blonde is a fruity blonde ale with a slight raspberry bouquet. There's little head when the medium to dark gold-coloured beer is poured. Though it definitely has a raspberry flavour, I unfortunately found it somewhat generic and flat. This one is available year-round.
As you'd probably guess by the name, Ginger Cream Ale pours very creamy and has a large head that dissipates as the beer settles into a cloudy light gold colour. The ginger element wasn't nearly as sharp as I would have liked, either in taste or aroma. It was refreshing, but ultimately disappointing.
The Chocolate Stout is a very dark brown and has the nice creamy head you should expect from a stout. There's not much of a bouquet, but the dark roasted malt provides a blend of dark chocolate, coffee and nutty flavours. It was okay, but nothing exceptional.
The seasonal I was most excited about was Rocket Fuel, which the bar charges more for and only serves in half-pint measures (unlike those above which came as full pints) because of its nine-per-cent alcohol content. It had a dark amber colour and an earthy bouquet to go along with a noticeably hoppy flavour. This was the best of the bunch.

Brutopia is open from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m six days a week, while opening three hours earlier on Fridays. Happy hour pricing is in effect from opening until 8 p.m. every day except Monday, when it lasts all day and night.
Brutopia is located at 1219 Crescent St. between Ste. Catherine and Rene Levesque. You can visit its web site or give it a call at (514) 393-9277 to find out more information.

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