Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quebec City Broue-Tours

As the wife of a brewer, I wanted to be sure there were plenty of things that he enjoyed on our trip.  When I found Broue-Tours on my search, I booked their beer & food pairing tour in Old Quebec.  It promised six beer tastings with info on the city's brewing history, with three stops: the first microbrewery in Quebec, and two great restaurants.

Our guide, Pierre, met us at the tourist info center.  There were supposed to be four other people attending the tour, but they didn't show... so we basically got a private tour with Pierre!  Once he and Dan discovered their mutual love and understanding of brewing, Pierre knew he could get really technical with us, as well as add to our knowledge by adding the city's history to the mix.  He walked us all over town and it seemed like every corner had more history to share, including the story of its beer.

Site of the first inn, and the first reputed brewpub, near the cathedral

The first food & drink stop on our tour was at Chez Boulay Bistro Boreal.  We had some delicious venison on toast, and we also sampled two different BorĂ©ale beers.

We also had a shrimp appetizer that was kind of like a shrimp hush puppy.  Very good!  The restaurant was one of the best in the city per reviews, and we loved in the interior.  The food was beautiful and tasty.

We then walked to the city's Artillery Park, to look over the walls and see where the city's first official brewery once stood, centuries ago.  Apparently, they weren't very good at making beer at first, but it was something that had to be made because those contracted to come to the city were owed it as payment.  It was probably pretty nasty!

Pierre and Dan, talking beer

From there, we walked to Inox, where Pierre helped start the first microbrewery in Quebec City outside the old walls.  Along the way, we passed a beautiful fountain (installed to celebrate the city's 400th anniversary) and their parliament building.

Inox was a cool brewery, and we got to taste their beers and delicious stuffed hot dogs.  We even got a chance to head downstairs and see the equipment, which Dan and Pierre enjoyed discussing.  It's located closer to where more locals live, in the newer part of the city on a gorgeous street full of bars and restaurants.

After a good stop at Inox, we walked to La Buche.  We'd actually eaten there on a previous evening, and the server recognized us... but we liked coming back for more!  It's a really hip, modern restaurant with a lumberjack aesthetic, and their spin on traditional Quebecois food.  They offered up oreilles de crisse, which are pork rinds/jowls fried and served with a maple syrup.  I think we tried beer from Le Cheval Blanc and another Quebec brewery.

We also had smoked salmon tartare, another beautiful bite of Quebec!  We loved the hours we spent on this tour, learning more about the city we'd already wandered, as well as its beer.

As I sidenote, I was super bummed I couldn't buy us some "Je bois local" (I drink local) t-shirts like our guide wore!  We had a ball.  Thanks Pierre for a great tour!  If we come back, we'll definitely head outside the old city to take the brewery tour they offer in the St-Roch neighborhood.

I definitely recommend a trek with Broue-Tours if you're a beer lover visiting Quebec City!

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