A pint like chili, garlic, or whiskey? This microbrewery in Quebec is reinventing beer by brewing unusual drinks on demand to satisfy hop aficionados’ thirst for novelty.
Based in Quebec City, Brasseurs sur Demand is the first in the French-speaking province to specialize in making specialty beers.
“There’s something for all seasons, all occasions,” cheers Helen Martel, 53, a customer sitting on the balcony with sunglasses on her nose. “It’s really complete, it’s fun!”
Experimentation is the hallmark of a microbrewery, which is produced in small quantities (in principle between 500 and 1000 liters) and brewed manually.
The establishment has also built a special batch of prototypes called “Line 1”: this batch of “test beer” allows brewers to produce approximately one new product per week in small quantities (20 liters) that can be discovered by hobbyists on site.
“There is a great deal of gastronomy in beer,” says another client, Matthew Gingera. “We will not always eat the same and I will not always drink the same,” says this hobbyist.
Beer is Canadians’ favorite alcoholic drink, accounting for nearly 40% of all alcohol sales in 2019, according to Statistics Canada figures.
“It’s an epicurean world, people want to discover new flavors and new ways of doing things,” notes the founder of this micro-brewery, Bertrand Lemoine.
Young and female customers
Established in 2017, Brasseurs sur specializes primarily in brewing for the specific requests of individuals or businesses.
However, with the “epidemic, the number of requests for personal fermentation has decreased significantly,” according to Bertrand Lemoine. He adds that the microbrewery now focuses almost exclusively on unusual beers that are distributed “in grocery stores and supermarkets”.
“Extraordinary” beer is still confined to microbreweries because it is produced in small quantities, and emerged about 15 years ago in the French-speaking Canadian province, according to Martin Barrott, president of the Association of Micro-Brasseries de Québec (AmbQ).
In the region, the number of such establishments has doubled since 2015 to now reach 276, according to this association. And in its wake, more and more specialty retailers appeared.
The show attracts “young” clients, mainly 25-40 years old, 60% of whom are women, as Martin Parrot identifies. Little by little, this phenomenon is gaining new followers, he says, outside the “beer aficionados” (beer lovers).
Perhaps the versatility of offering explains the trend, as every consumer can find a beer that they like, he says.
But sometimes “we do good things, and sometimes we do less good things,” says Bertrand Lemoine, referring to salt-grass beer that tastes like “spaghetti sauce.” “Not great”…
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