February 20, 2016

The 3 Brasseurs Tour

Les 3 Brasseurs is a France-based microbrewery which expanded first to Quebec Canada, then Ontario, and now has a location in Brazil as well.  Each location brews their beers on-site, including a “Neighbourhood Beer” which is unique to that location.  After a few visits we decided we need to have a pint (or more) of each neighbourhood beer, collecting the unique coaster as a souvenir as we go.  This is a summary of our findings!

Ontario

Yonge

Location: This was our 9th location visited and my favourite Ontario location so far, second favourite overall.  The location has a very intimate feel to it, and very personal, relatable staff – at least at the bar.  This location has one unique feature which is absolutely brilliant – yellow dots leading you from the bar to the washroom, so you can just concentrate on walking straight.  Unfortunately, this location had no coasters for us!  It was very sad!  We’ll need to revisit again, and hopefully they’ll have some next time.

Neighbourhood Beer: The neighbourhood beer here is Temperance Willie – a session IPA celebrating the end of prohibition.  For some reason I don’t remember this beer very well. It could be because it was followed up with a pint (or more) of “The Radiator” which was a 9% ABV IPA Feature Beer on that month.

Awards: Brass Counter, 2nd Best Staff, Guiding Dots

Sparks

The Location: Located close to the parliament buildings in downtown Ottawa, Sparks street is supposedly the “happening place” in Ottawa.  It’s not.  But this location is great!  The downstairs has a great atmosphere, great staff, and a beautiful brass bar (second best!)  The upstairs is large and a bit boring.  It was empty when we were there and I suppose it would take a while to fill up and get the mood going.

Neighbourhood Beer:  Such a delicious treat!  This is the only rye beer in the chain.  I wish I’d had the chance to speak with the brewer but he wasn’t available at the time.  Perfectly sweet (not too sweet) and a gorgeous dark amber colour.  I would love to have more of this beer!

Awards: Brass Counter, Surliest Bartender, Great beer

Oakville

The Location: The physical location of this 3 Brewers is perfect.  It sits in what is really the only point of entertainment in Oakville currently, and is one of the main sources of entertainment in western Mississauga.  Lots of traffic means a great atmosphere every time.  The only thing that really sucks is they’re all Maple Leaf fans.  This is a bit of a negative because none of the guests understand hockey and so all the TVs just play the Leafs’ games.  That aside, the servers are great, and the location is great.

Neighbourhood Beer: Okay, so maybe I’m just a sucker for stouts.  The 6% vanilla stout known as the Punch Clock, is a tribute to the hard workers of the nearby Ford plant (the last one in Canada). This is my second favourite neighbourhood beer with rich bakers chocolate, coffee, caramel, and the right hint of vanilla to keep it interesting.

Awards: 2nd Favourite Beer, Brass Counter

Kanata

The Location: This is a fairly large location located in a tech-hub suburb of Ottawa.  I found the positioning of the restaurant a little odd in the complex as it seemed the signage didn’t really point at all towards the parking area.  They have a great balcony patio, nice large bar, and friendly stuff.  They had several issues while we were there unfortunately, running out of one beer and several menu items, and seemed to have tried to glue together a broken mug in order to avoid throwing it out.  I told them to throw it out.  It was a good location though!  Busy and noisy – which are good things!

Neighbourhood Beer: The Settlers Point Ale is the lightest beer in ABV (4.5%) and flavour.  It was a bit too bud-light for me.  I didn’t find it had much character to it and had (shockingly) only one pint of it.  Order something else.

Awards: Great Patio

Adelaide

Location: This was our 8th location visited and took some time to accept it as a true 3 Brewers location, but soon became my 2nd favourite location.  Being in the heart of the financial district, this location caters to a slightly different clientele.  The servers are fantastic, the music is different – a bit more lively and a bit louder, and it does sport a brass counter which we love.  The food here is unique from the other locations as well and the menu changes more frequently.  The scotch egg is to die for.

Neighbourhood Beer: The Bear Street Stout is my favourite neighbourhood beer to date.  It has your typical chocolate and espresso notes, but they’re guided by a rich smokey malt overtone that brings a depth to this stout that is hard to find.  I need more of this stout in my life.

Awards: 2nd Favourite Location, Favourite Beer, Brass Counter

Richmond Hill

The Location: At first it was hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of  clientele there was in this location.  There was a smattering of business associates, couples, and groups of friends.  Located in a heavy business area, but also close to a large residential area, means that this location is sure to be busy at any time, and you’ll never feel out of place.  The long bar down the centre divides the room in a way that creates a more intimate atmosphere much like you’d find in a smaller pub. The staff were great! Probably the youngest staff overall.  It feels like a much younger and cooler location to be at – especially for the suburb locations.

Neighbourhood Beer: The Farmhouse Ale is a “biere de garde” which is typically from the northern regions of France.  Big points to the brewmaster (who we had a great talk with) for bringing this beer back to the roots of Les 3 Brasseurs.  This is a really great tasting beer and another one we would be happy to try again.. and again.

Awards: 

Heartland

The Location: This is our sort of “home location” as it’s the closest to our day-jobs.  We visit this location every 1 to 2 weeks and enjoy it quite a bit.  At first however the service was not great and the food was at times disappointing.  We had the pleasure of speaking to their brewmaster several times and now have gotten to the staff quite well and have become regulars.

Neighbourhood Beer.: Mississauga is known as the strawberry capital of Canada and so I suppose it had to be done. The Strawberry Saison is a 6.1% ABV, fruity, Belgian-style ale.  It is crisp, slightly dry, and… fruity.  A great summer patio beer, but I’m personally not a huge fan of berry-flavoured beers (sorry, Justin!)

Awards: 

Quebec

St. Denis

Location: This location was the second location I ever visited.  This quirky 3-floor location seems to be adored by locals but I have never felt really at home here.  The location feels a bit more cramped than cozy.  What does make this location unique, however, is that this was the first location we visited when we decided to begin this quest to visit all locations.  And so I suppose in that way it is special.

Neighbourhood Beer: The Dorchester is an interesting ale with a hint of ginger and a hoppy, fruity edge.  It’s an easy drinking beer with just enough personality to keep things interesting.  6% ABV.

Awards: Brass Counter?  Breathalizer?

St. Paul

The Location: This was the fourth location we visited. I’m going to mark St. Paul as most disappointing.  While it wasn’t the most boring location we’ve visited (Point-Claire takes the prize), I just expected so more being in the old port.  Food came cold, atmosphere was a bit dead, servers were mediocre.  The beer was great, but you need a bit more than that sometimes!

Neighbourhood Beer: A delicious, rich, chocolatey, malty, porter simply called The Old Porter.  This is probably my second favourite beer to date.

Awards: 2nd Beer, Most Disappointing, Brass Counter, Breathalizer

McGill

The Location: This was the third location we visited. We enjoyed it so much we ended up staying quite a bit longer than we intended. This location has the best staff, great managers, a delicious neighbourhood beer, and all the proper amenities.  The location is large but you still feel like a valued individual guest.  This is a must-return-to location for us.

Neighbourhood Beer: A delicious, citrusy, crisp, blonde at 4.7%

Awards: Best Staff, Brass, Breathalizer, Best Location

Crescent

The Location: This location is the first location I ever visited, but the third on our official tour.  The location is just up the street from Bell Centre and is the best location for watching the hockey game, or for celebrating afterwards.  The staff do a great job but are not exceedingly memorable.

Neighbourhood Beer: The Stanley Stout is nothing particularly special in my opinion.  It’s a standard stout with predictable flavours, but a slightly higher than normal ABV at 5.7%.

Awards: Best for Sports, Brass Counter, Breathalizer

Brossard

Have yet to visit.

Laval

Have yet to visit.

Anjou

Have yet to visit.

Laurier

Have yet to visit.

Point-Claire

Location: This location was the deadest, dullest location to date.  The huge new building was beautiful but felt deserted.  It had the atmosphere of an art gallery rather than a pub.  There’s not much more to say about it than that!

Neighbourhood Beer: The Millstone creme ale is a tasty beer, sweet, with notes of lightly toasted cereals and a creamy mouthfeel.  I really did enjoy this beer and feel it’s wasted on this location.   5.8% AVV.

Awards: Dullest, breathalizer

France

36 Locations to visit one day!

 

Brazil

1 Location to visit one day!