Monday 10 February 2014

Specialty Beer Shops: Marché Station 54

Welcome back to our Specialty Beer Shops segment, where we introduce local Montreal microbrew vendors. They are not as pervasive as your typical depanneur, and tend to be located in gentrified/gentrifying neighbourhoods. Today we bring you to Marché Station 54, located in the borough of Rosemont - Petite-Patrie (RPP). More specifically, you can find this artisanal beer store/ grocery store on Rosemont boulevard, between St-Hubert street and St-Denis avenue. Marché Station 54 rents out the main floor of a newly built condo development, Quartier 54, in a quickly changing neighbourhood. The area represents the fluid socio-demographic transition between the hip, trendy and costly Mile-End neighbourhood and the less expensive multi-cultural neighbourhood of Petite-Patrie.

The name of the store, Marché Station 54, and the logo, a tramway, tell a tale of a not-so-distant past, when tramlines covered Montreal. I have heard that the location of Quartier 54 was originally a train depot or station, though I have not been able to confirm this. What I have found however, is that the tramway that used to traverse Rosemont boulevard was indeed called the 54. Although, upon further investigation the Rosemont tramway, the 54 line, does not seem to have gone further west than Papineau. I found all this and a really cool map overlaying the 1941 transit lines over the 2011 transit lines, coupled with a transparency slider to be able to compare/contrast the two, on Cat-Bus, a local Montreal transit blog. Check it out if urban transit history is something that interests you.... okay fine maybe I'm alone here.

All trains aside, we wanted to see what Marché Station 54 was all about. Marché Station 54 services the new development, so they do not just sell beer, but also fruits, vegetables, meats, and prepared meals; they also have a nice cafe. The store has a tight layout to accommodate the variety of products found within the space. The beer is all refrigerated with the exception of some non-conformist packaging, e.g. McAuslan's cylindrical tubes. All the artisanal beer can be found in the back corner fridges, and along the open refrigerated wall you can find microbrew six-packs from the likes of Dunham to Brasseurs Sans Gluten. They also have a walk-in fridge with all your favourite macros and mesos.

For the most part the beers are organized by company and not by style. There are pros and cons to that, but in doing it this way they ease the employees' workload. Most of the fridges had a good amount of empty shelving which would suggest a steady influx of craft beer lovers. Their location is perfectly geared towards the craft beer market, so I have no doubt that they have a quick turnover rate - expect fresh beer.

As usual we never leave empty handed and we took home with us a bottle of Brasseurs Sans Gluten Imperial Buchweizen, they have become one of my preferred Montreal microbrewers and I am happy that I am able to find them at most specialty beer shops.

If you are ever in the area check them out Marché Station 54 and get your groceries done at the same time!


- Jean

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