This evening I take a trip back in time when not so long ago, my band Sweet Jane (now Crash Nation Empire) and I hung out at a place called Brutopia on Crescent street, in Montreal. Brutopia was one of the first three Montreal bars to brew their own beer. Today, their regular beer menu has become quite extensive and you can enjoy anything from a Kriek, blonde Ale, IPA or a sexy stout. Added to these precious gems is a selection of seasonal beers that are always worth dropping in for.
Aside from their great tasting beers, their band choice was always (and continues to be) fantastic. We’d come in on Fridays and/or Saturdays and watch the Capones or Shane Murphy but nowadays other uprising bands like The Weber Brothers, John Hale or Toronto’s The 24th Street Wailers are often featured and well worth a listen. Come in and enjoy owner Jeff Picard’s hospitality, listen to great new music, drink fantastic beer and munch on some succulent tapas.
Since my early visits to Brutopia, it has become quite an institution in Montreal, a hangout join for college kids, tourists of all sorts, artists, downtown workers and music aficionados who know how to pair great music with beer.
I’ve had my small share of romances in this bar, such as my first date with the fine lady who became my wife, Lisa.
So, tonight I drink their home-brewed IPA, a fantastic concoction prepared by master brewer Chris Downey as well as a sample of their new
Look: On draft only, the Brutopia IPA pours beautiful dark amber with orange hues. The head is generous and retains quite well.
Smell: The smell is fantastic, lots of hops and hints of caramel. Smelling it is like enjoying a great caramel strudel in a hops garden.
Taste: The balance is well crafted. Hops hit you right upfront and maintain their fair presence throughout. The malty caramel complement well while small hints of citrus, soft pepper and pine tickle your tongue. Well done.
Finish: A little dry, but that’s okay. It has just the right amount of bitter with a medium feel and good carbonation throughout.
Context: What can I say, at Brutopia you’re among friends and this great IPA is always perfect whatever the occasions.
Pairing: Tapas, pull pork sandwiches
Availability: All year round
Beer type: India Pale Ale
Alcohol/Vol.: 5% – 6%
Country / Region: Montreal, QC