Wednesday 27 November 2013

Specialty Beer Shops: Tabagie Ranger

Tabagie Ranger is one of those unexpected gems. The exterior facade screams Molson, but when you step foot inside you are treated to a sizable assortment of Quebec microbrews. It was here that I bought my first microbrew six pack, "L'Accomodante" by Dunham, and my first big beer -- Big Ten not included --, "Porter Baltique" by Les Trois Mousquetaires. I cannot quiet remember when I started to frequent Tabagie Ranger, but I first noticed it when we started to hang out on Beaubien St. near Molson Park and the sign in the window, "Spécialité, Microbrasserie, Bieres du Quebec" sparked my curiosity. 

In the roughly four years that I have been a regular customer of Tabagie Ranger I have seen their inventory of products increase steadily, a microcosm of the craft beer phenomenon, which has allowed us to venture into worlds unknown, so to speak. Though it may seem daunting for a novice beer buyer -- like I was those many years ago -- the variety is actually a blessing in disguise. Gone are the days of choosing between similarly bland beer brands - not to say that one cannot have brand loyalty or be price conscious. That is not the argument here. What is being argued is that the diversity of beers and styles enables us to get to know what we prefer, we just have to give that funky labelled, funny named beer a chance. Only then will we know where our tastes lie. Diversity of microbrews is what keeps us, and our friends, coming back for more. 

Tabagie Ranger was once an old school dépanneur with a post office and no microbrews. Now, it is a neighbourhood staple. We come here to get our microbrew fix whenever we are in the neighbourhood, and that is pretty often. Of note, they do not carry any of the big Canadian or American beer brands -- that I have noticed -- and considering that they are otherwise a typical dépanneur, that is a pretty corageous thing to do. That being said, they are located on a charming stretch of Beaubien, near Molson Park and Cinema Beaubien, so their customer base might be a little more open-minded to different beers. 

What more can we say about our first microbrew dep? It may be small and it may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some others, but so long as they have microbrews they will always have our support! As the holidays fast approach, why not head down to Tabagie Ranger and pick some Réserve de Noël by Les Trois Mousquetaires. Their address is 6476 1av, corner Beaubien. And as always, thank you for checking out our Specialty Beer Shops segment: Tabagie Ranger.


- Jean

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