Friday 20 December 2013

Specialty Beer Shops: Depanneur Simon Anthony (Le Paradis de la Biere)

On a cold Saturday morning in November, Adri and I woke up with the intention of visiting a specialty beer store. We bring you "Le Paradis de la Biere", Depanneur Simon Anthony. This quaint depanneur is located on Beaubien corner Lanaudiere, across the street from Poutine Ville. This was our first time walking into "Le Paradis de la Biere" and it was quite an intense experience. When I first walked through the doors I said to myself that this was a pretty decent setup, a lot of bottles, nice tall shelving units, narrow, but long rows. But, I did not see any refrigerating units, I thought that was strange. They could not possibly call themselves "Le Paradis de la Biere" without an awesome selection. Then Adri popped out of a hole in the wall and said, "Hey, there is another room back here". So, I walked into the other room, smaller than the other, but loaded with fridges, and a wonderful row built upon overstock cases of Le Castor and Unibrou, amongst others. 

The place is tight and hard to manoeuvre around. But, as I gazed upon the incredible selection I was overcome by a wave of euphoria. Was anything missing? Was there a company not well represented? Not here, no. They have everything a self respecting beer geek needs or wants.

I had a chance to speak with the owner briefly. I asked him how long he had been operating for and he said they had been around for a good 13 years. So, I followed up with, "and how long have you been selling microbrews?". "The entire time", he said. That is pretty cool, and it is awesome to know that depanneurs like "Le Paradis de la Biere" have been supporting the microbrewery industry for so long. Just think about it. Who was around 13 years ago, with bottling capacity, and a distribution system? I would like to see what his store looked like all those years ago. Well, I suppose the store would probably look more like this: most of the floor space would be taken up by Molson-Coors and Labatt-Budweiser; then you would probably see some Sleeman's, Boreal (Brasseurs du Nord), Belle Guelle (Brasseurs RJ), Griffon (McAuslan), and most definitely Unibrou. Of the microbrews that we love to drink today, only La Barberie, Charlevoix, and Le Bilboquet were around, but did they distribute to Montreal in the late 90s early 2000s - I wonder. I hope never to live through a regression to the dark ages of beer, where only Molson is sold - sounds like a dystopian society... what's scarier is that that is not so long ago.

Let's make sure that never happens, so keep supporting our local beer industry and the small brewers across our wonderful province. And, as part of your commitment to beer, take the time to check out "Le Paradis de la Biere", Depanneur Simon Anthony. They have an awesome selection, a lot of quality beers, and more than enough of everything to make every beer lover happy. We know we left very happy customers. We bought a nice bottle of J, from Brasseurs Illimites; though, the ratings are not very good, we hope we have a better experience.

Thank you all for taking the time to read about our experience at "Le Paradis de la Biere", Depanneur Simon Anthony. We hope you enjoyed the post and the photos. And, hopefully we will have our next segment of Specialty Beer Shops up before long. So keep coming by, or look out for us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


- Jean

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