Le Cheval Blanc
We made a visit to a tiny brewery in downtown Montreal called Le Cheval Blanc on Sunday. After biking all over town while Rick was working a brunch shift, I was certainly ready for a pint.
While the place occupies a pretty low profile near the Univeristy of Quebec Montreal, Le Cheval Blanc is quite significant in that it was the first brewery licensed within Montreal in 1986. The business was inherited within the family after having been a tavern since 1940. By brewing within city limits, they paved the way for many breweries and brew pubs to come.
The company merged with two other microbreweries in 1998, and also has the rights to produce two Brewery d’Achouffe beers for distribution in Canada.
Le Cheval Blanc serves about nine beers at a time plus a cask selection. We each sampled a few on the terrasse, which overlooks busy Ontario Street.
left: Berliner, right: La Split
The Berliner Weisse is quite tart without being puckeringly sour. The acidity is without a doubt refreshing and the citrus notes are very pleasant and natural. On top of the appropriate carbonation, this Berliner is spot on.
La Split is a collaboration with Les Brasseurs de l’Insulte. It is somewhat like a hoppy farmhouse, with very tasty esters and decent complexity. Nice pineapple notes are balanced by signficant bitterness on the finish, along with some wild and grassy notes.
Le Cheval Blanc is a low-key, easily accessible brewery with a variety of choices to please most palates. While nothing that was on at the time was exactly jaw-dropping, everything was solid. La Split was a surprising treat and the Berliner delivered exactly what we were looking for.