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Hats off to the master brewer

by Robert De Lisi September 25, 2012
Hats off to the master brewer

When walking along the streets of St. Laurent Blvd., one can easily find a place to dine, shop or party. However, every so often a spot stands out amongst all the flashy lights, restaurants and dive bars.

Next time you’re walking North on St. Laurent, try something new; take a right onto Duluth and step into Le Reservoir, a bar that stands out for its excellent house-brewed beers and its irresistible snack bar.

The two story bar offers a pub setting and ambiance that would easily fit in the trendy hipster neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Both floors are equipped with their very own bar, as well as an L-shaped, non-smoking terrace which wraps around the second floor. The interior design of the place is retro with just the right amount of lighting to set the perfect mood over a pint of any one of their fine beers.

Upon being seated, my girlfriend and I ordered off their chalk-written menu hanging above the bar. I ordered their white India Pale Ale, and my girlfriend ordered the cherry beer. Both came rather fast as they were skillfully poured before our eyes.

Through the glass wall behind the bar, the clientele can easily see the room where the giant metal containers called “worts” are kept. These massive containers house the delicious beer as it ferments in all its glory.

I have been yearning to go to Le Reservoir and try their beers crafted by their master brewer Nathan McNutt—beers that I can now happily say exceeded my expectations.

“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing people enjoy my work while at the same time fulfilling my passion for creation,” says McNutt. “Combining my skills, creativity, and toil with raw ingredients and machinery to make a delicious product that many people enjoy; I just don’t get tired of that.”

By the end the evening I had tried four of his beers and as a result, must encourage anybody who appreciates a well-rounded beer to head over there next time they want a quality pint.

I may not be a beer expert, but I can say that their white IPA was a refreshing pint filled with taste and character, and their Irish-inspired black beer was a full-bodied pint with a perfect coffee flavour finish. Even my girlfriend’s cherry beer was not just a simple, pretty coloured beer. It is fermented twice with polished cherries, resulting in a savoury beer worthy of being served along the other outstanding choices.

“Reservoir up until recently focused solely on classic styles of beer as opposed to the more fashionable aggressively hopped beers or strong exotically flavoured beers found in other brewpubs,” says McNutt.

While their beers may be filling and satisfying on their own, craving food after a few drinks is expected. Thankfully, Le Reservoir has a kitchen.

The place is well known for its weekend brunch which is supposedly superb. However, I went on a weeknight and so I got a chance to indulge in their snack menu.

I ordered the calamari platter and my girlfriend the Gruyere grilled cheese, toasted to perfection with marinated onions and apple butter. Both plates held decent portions and were creatively served. The grilled cheese was placed on a wood platter and the calamari served in a mason jar. Turns out we chose wisely as the food perfectly complimented the beer.

Overall, the place provided an ambiance and vibe that is different from many bars in Montreal. It is original and versatile in the sense that it is a cool place for a late night drink, yet perfect for an afternoon snack or weekend brunch. They offer a fine selection of beers and spirits at reasonable prices, and their food menu changes daily for a fresh and impressive experience. I love this place and I highly suggest you head on over and try it for yourself!

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