So, instead of my usual zip down Interstate 81, I headed up the 401 and the 416 and took in an hour of beer shopping at Marche Jovi and the SAQ. All my puritanical Ontarian prejudices about Canadian beer shops melt away at the sight of a store that has both beer and fresh meat, one that is both neat as a pin and has everything a boy might really need in life.
Now, already back well before supper after making a mid-morning start, I am rewarding myself with a Coup de Grisou, one of most interesting Canadian pale ales going. I got a lot of help from the two gents shown: Marcel, owner of Marche Jovi, as well as Paul Rivard, shown making his own purchases. It was one of those beer buying moments when I noticed this older gentleman stocking his cart with singles of the most unique offerings just as he noticed me doing pretty much the same thing. Turns out Paul is a full Canadian beer bottle collector and has a number of stashes filled with a myriad or two of unopened Canadian beers - meaning he has both an encyclopedic mind on the Canadian beer industry as well as a hobby many would not be able to sustain. Both he and Marcel directed me to some interesting lower St. Lawrence beers like a 750ml of an 11% Les Trois Mousquetaires weizenbock - destined no doubt for a good long sleep in the stash - as well as a cherry tripel from Trois Riviere not to mention a mixed 2-4 from Dieu Du Ciel. I bought the, err, challenging offerings from Kamouraska on my own call. I shall be learning soon what extreme gueuze means.
There were more examples of craft beer in this one dep than you would find anywhere in the entire province of Ontario. At the SAQ there were fewer choices than at either the LCBO or Marche Jovi but I survived given that there was Orval, seven buck 750mls of Achouffe and eight more bottles of La Duchesse than when I entered the place. Plus they had calvados, a 1999 Chateau Musar from Lebanon. I have limited my wine collecting to dessert wines and Chateau Musar as a form of economizing. Clever me.