Tuesday 22 October 2013

Specialty Beer Shops: Depanneur A.S.

On a beautiful Saturday morning we took a nice walk on St-Laurent street around the Mile-End neighbourhood of Montreal. Our first destination was Dépanneur A.S. a corner store which we would often pass by after some late night bagels at Fairmount, but never really found ourselves around the area during the daytime. We were always intrigued by the very nice and well displayed artisanal beer signage. That Saturday we finally had a chance to stop in and get a good look at what Depanneur A.S. is all about.  

The first thing you'll notice when you enter is the weird, narrow ramp to enter the store and the awkward staircase into the basement - where one might still be able to rent movies and video games. As soon as you pass the entrance you get a good look at their large, extensive beer collection. The first aisle had three levels of beer bottles and is longer than our photos can properly represent. Depanneur A.S., like most corner stores, is focused on density. The aisles might fit two human beings and the shelving units are rather tall. We have seen corner stores that were rather sparse; the added space can be quite weird and rather underwhelming, so we definitely appreciate density over sparsity.

They have a few beer fridges in the back and some along the side wall - if you need a nice cold beer, though most beers should not be refrigerated for more than a half an hour before serving. Unlike the specialty beer shops that we have visited to date, Depanneur A.S. is a true corner store. They sell everything from milk to toilet paper; cigarettes and lottery tickets; canned foods and popsicles, you name it they have it. To be honest we were not expecting that, given our previous experiences. That being said, the more traditional corner store elements makes us nostalgic. 

Though they mostly sell artisanal beers, you can still find a hidden away case of LaBatt 50 - so no need to worry... The beer bottles were organized by brewery and not by style, we cannot say that we prefer one over the other. However, organizing by style allows you to be able to compare across brands, otherwise impossible when organized by brand. They have all the big 750ml bottles in the front of the store, visible as you walk in, with a few 500ml bottles mixed in. We asked the dude working behind the counter what new beers they had received and he pointed us towards Microbrasserie Charlevoix's Vache Folle series: Palisade Double IPA and Chicoree Porter. We are still waiting to try either of them, maybe at a future beer tasting night. 

If you like to take a walk on St-Laurent from time to time, why not hit up Depanneur A.S. for an ice cold LaBatt 50... Or better yet a nice bottle of artisanal beer! If there is anything we did not think of mentioning, hopefully our photos can cover all that was left unsaid. Oh, and before we go, Depanneur A.S. is located on the corners of Fairmount and St-Laurent, the address is 5191 Boulevard St-Laurent.

Thank you all for checking out our Specialty Beer Shops: Depanneur A.S. post. Stay awhile and enjoy the pictures!


- Jean

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