Full Monty

Your next beer destination

Beer aficionados on hops-based pilgrimages often venture to cities like Portland, Denver and (now) San Diego. But if you're looking for an internationally laced brew quest, grab your passport and head to Montreal.

Local microbreweries look to the city's dynamic heritage–which spans all over Europe–for inspiration. As a result, it's easy to find revamped Old World offerings like smooth, low-alcohol English milds and brawny Belgian ales–and they're one step closer for Stateside fans to reach.

Here are our favorite Montreal microbreweries for a pint or deux.

Benelux During fair weather, check out the front patio for people-watching and sipping Belgian- and West Coast-style brews such as the candied, potent Zoot Triple and piney Psyclo pale ale.

Vices & Versa Located in Montreal's Italian quarter, this placid pub (pictured) serves crusty pizzas and boasts 33 Quebec-only taps, including house-brewed beers like hoppy Rye PA.

Dieu du Ciel! Since 1998, brewer Jean-François Gravel and Co. has created exotic elixirs like the tart Rosée d'Hibiscus, colored pink with hibiscus. Swing by the dim, boisterous brewpub to sample numerous seasonal drafts.

L'amère à Boire Situated on the lively St-Denis block, this split-level brewery rotates a roster of a dozen unfiltered and unpasteurized beers. The Cerná Hora Czech pilsner is sparkling perfection.

Le Cheval Blanc Montreal's first licensed microbrewery (open since 1986) specializes in caramel-tinged amber ales and easy-drinking wheat beers. All day Sunday, pints are discounted to $4.75–a steal when you remember it's in Canadian dollars.