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Montreal Beer Store Throwdown: Veux-Tu Une Biere vs. Le Paradis de la Biere

Posted by Amie / January 31, 2011

Montreal Beer Throwndown: Veux-tu une biere vs. supermarche rahman paradis de la biereVeux-tu une biere? Do you want a beer? Yes, please.

Criteria: Selection, Sizes, Snacks, & Price

Sure, you can get beer at any Depanneur in Quebec, but finding all the amazing micro-brews that the province offers requires a specialty shop. Le Paradis de la Biere (aka Supermarche Rahman) on Laurier between Parc and St-Laurent has always won out as the place with the best selection of local hops-y delicacies, but about 5 months ago a new beer store called "Veux-Tu Une Biere" opened right next to Crémazie metro on rue Liege. It's not a Dep, and it's not an epicerie that also carries a lot of Quebec beer like Le Fromagerie Atwater in the Atwater Market or the Marché des Saveurs du Quebec at Jean-Talon Market. It's more like Délires du Terroir in Plaza St-Hubert, but there's a feeling when you walk in that this is a place for all types of drinkers - beer beginners, intermediates, and pros (you can definitely be a beer pro, both the legit kind and not so legit kind) - and despite the selection of local cheeses, spreads, vinegars, chocolates, nuts and teas, the shop's raison d'etre is to help you explore a few beer options you've never seen before and might just love.

Best Selection of Micro-Brews: Veux-Tu Une Biere is a smaller shop than Paradis de la Biere, but while this may make it seem that the selection is smaller, that's not necessarily the case. In fact, cases are the problem. Paradis de la Biere has cases of beer everywhere, which makes it quick and easy to grab a half dozen of any kind of Dieu du Ciel - something that gives me shivers - but all those beers are also available at Veux-Tu Une Biere; they're just organized individually in the fridges.
Carrot and Jalapeno Beers from Micro du LievreOne of the beer fridges at Veux-Tu Une Biere?

This encourages a kind of DIY-case of beer option where you can add some variety to your case. While bigger companes such as Dieu du Ciel and Au Maitre Brasseur offers this mixed case philosophy for their own beers, Veux-Tu Une Biere lets you choose from any of the Quebec micro-breweries stocked in the fridge. So it's kind of impossible to know which store has a better selection (they both carry the carrot and jalapenos beers from the Micro du Lievre), especially since new beers come to Veux-Tu Une Biere? all the time, which you can find out about on their Facebook page.Carrot beer from Micro du Lievre

The fridges themselves are the best part of the store. They're not organized by brand, but by beer type. So all the rousses, all the blondes, all the porters, all the stouts, and all the lagers are together. If you like Belgian-style beers but are looking for something you can't find at your average Dep, there will be a good 5 or 10 options you've maybe never seen before (Micro Brasserie du Lac's "Vire Capot" Belgian-style blonde, or La Chouape 1881) all lined up side by side. There are even abbey-style beers made right here including Les Freres Houblon's Fontaine du Diable. Feel like trying some barley wines? There are four:Barley wines at Veux-tu Une Biere?Barley Wines at Veux-Tu Une Biere?
Specialty beers at Paradis de la BiereSpecialty Beers at Paradis de la Biere
Paradis de la Biere also carries all the standards that Deps must carry (Molson, etc.), but they definitely carry a lot of unique offerings and beer gift ideas including the special sets of 4 Simple Malts plus a glass (top left of photo):Paradis de la Biere gift packsYou can find the same at Veux-Tu Une Biere stacked above the peanut butter and apple butter:Veux-Tu Une Biere gift packages and peanut butter

The Make-Your-Own-Case system is all well and good if you like to mix and match, but what if you just want a whole lot of the same beer?

Size: Veux-Tu Une Biere?Grosses Beers at Veux-Tu Une Biere?But if the large format jugs are too much for you to handle, either make some friends and/or try these instead:
Un peu moins grosses bieres at Veux-Tu Une Biere?"A little less big" beers...

Best Snacks: Veux-Tu Une Biere, but Paradis de la Biere for chips, junk food, and Dep essentials.

The biggest difference between these two shops can be demonstrated by comparing the photo above of the organic spreads at Veux-Tu Une Biere? with this one of Paradis de la Biere:Uncle Ben's and good beer at Paradis de la Biere

Veux-Tu Une Biere is about beer appreciation and even beer pairing, which is why Carl, one of the owners of Veux-Tu Une Biere, explained to me how one of his favourites, the Corps Mort Vin d'Orge, goes well with some of the Quebec specialty cheeses the store sells. Want some chocolate with your coffee porter? They have some dark, bitter, high-end options. They also have locally-made terrines, bulk nuts, and fresh fish from Nova Scotia. And if you got dragged into the store by a friend and somehow aren't tempted by the ridiculous selection of beer, there are even artisanal bulk teas. Not exactly the same effect, but to each his or her own. Salvage the friendship if you can, I guess.

If all you want is a snack, Veux-Tu Une Biere? does have baked and fried chips and some local salsas, but you won't find any Uncle Ben's or Chef Boyardee in these parts. So Veux-Tu Une Biere? is definitely on a very different food level than the suggested cookies and beer combo (however satisfying) at Paradis de la BiereCookies at Paradis de la Biere

Price: Paradis de la Biere when there are sales, and Veux-Tu Une Biere? for individual beers.

Like the beer-organization system at Veux-Tu Une Biere, there's also a handy sticker system that tells you the price of each beer in each fridge (and saves the hassle involved of sticking price tags on everything). Paradis de la Biere can have some great sales because they've been around longer, are bigger, have more traffic for Dep items including beer and are more centrally located. At Veux-Tu Une Biere, however, the beer costs less the more you buy. Bulk prices on beer? Again, yes, please.

The only other big difference is that Carl and co-owner Patrice of Veux-Tu Une Biere don't brew and sell their own beer in store like Paradis de la Biere does ("Paradisiac"), but they'll happily walk you through the already enormous selection of the best bottles (and jugs) being produced in the province. Conveniently, both are open everyday for a Dep-like amount of hours.

Thirsty?

Paradis de la Biere (aka Supermarche Rahman)
Where: 151 Laurier West
When: Daily, 8am-11pm
514-279-2566

Veux-Tu Une Biere
Where: 372 rue Liege East
When: Daily, 11am-11pm
514-871-2771

Discussion

45 Comments

Ryan / January 31, 2011 at 11:22 pm
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I haven't been to Veux-Tu Une Biere, but I've been to Rahman and it's great. There's an even more impressive one that's much bigger than Rahman and has a very helpful staff. It's the Boni-Soir on Rachel and Iberville. From the outside you can't tell but inside has a fantastic selection of beer.
Louigi / February 1, 2011 at 09:46 am
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Thanks for the heads-up about the new place! Rahman is actually called "Paradis de la bière" and not "Palais de la bière", no (see your picture, above)? (Actually, on the sign it's called Paradis de la biére"...)
Amie replying to a comment from Louigi / February 1, 2011 at 10:22 am
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Thanks, Louigi. Dumb mistake to make on my part, but some of the references to it online call it "palais de la biere". Obviously the store's own sign is correct. Tourism Montreal got me a little confused: http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/blog/nightlife/beer-bottle-paradise-in-montreal/
Ronnie / February 1, 2011 at 11:41 am
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PARADIS PARADIS PARADIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
theGareth Lewis / February 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm
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1. Is the place in St Hubert plaza still there? I loved that one...

2. This site needs more features on indie businesses like this.... it's great.
Scoubidou / February 2, 2011 at 02:45 pm
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Another very nice place with a LOT of choice is :

Dépanneur Simon Anthony‎
(Also known as Paradis de la bière)
1349, Rue Beaubien Est
Montreal, QC H2G 1K7
(514) 272-3632
Brett / February 2, 2011 at 07:55 pm
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Go to Au Coin Duluth. Veux-tu une bière takes is idea (green-yellow and red tags) from Au Coin Duluth. Come on guys! The best price: AU COIN DULUTH 418 Duluth east (corner St-Denis)
Will / February 2, 2011 at 09:37 pm
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anyone see this new place that appeared out of nowhere on St. Laurent near Cafe Pi, with giant windows and a fair selection of microbrews? I think the name had "unique" in it. I only popped in briefly and picked up a Simple Malt sampler. They've got 5.99 PBRs and all sorts of Dieu Du Ciel and some other stuff, didn't look as exhaustive as Rahman, but given how close it is to my house it'll be my winter go-to.

Another excellent one is Depanneur Jose, which may be the same as Au Coin Duluth? Why do all of these places have two names? Maybe they're two different places. But Jose has AMAZING selection, including growlers of Naufrageur which is one of my fave QC beers.
Garry / February 3, 2011 at 06:50 pm
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C'est très rassurant pour un gars du Lac qui déménage relativement bientôt à Montréal de savoir qu'on peut y retrouver de La Chouape! (Je suis fan de leur salle de dégustation, passez faire un tour si vous êtes dans le coin de Saint-Félicien!)
Gregory Longere / February 4, 2011 at 04:42 pm
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Before I had to get beer either at the SAQ or at a depanneur. But for me, Veux-Tu une bière is not only the place to get awesome beer, but I also get great advice, friendly service and above all else an amazing selection, and I mean HUGE.

I think there's over a hundred kind, and I'm more of the taster genre, so I'm not looking to get drunk over quality beer.

Bottom line, if you haven't visit Veux tu une bière yet, don't be so quick to judge and pay them a visit. They are new and they are here to stay in my opinion. They keep adding more an more quality product and have become a great addition to Villeray.

Go now!
Amie / February 4, 2011 at 04:54 pm
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I'm pretty sure Delires du Terroir (the one in Plaza St-Hubert) is still there, unless they shut down very recently.

Garry, vous pouvez aussi trouver La Chouape chez Fromagerie Atwater. Je viens de la voir aujourd'hui. Bienvenue a Montreal!

I completely agree with you, Gregory. Veux-Tu Une Biere is going to make its name by having friendly, knowledgeable service. It's the kind of place you'll end up going out of your way to return to.
Kate Noori / February 4, 2011 at 06:08 pm
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Totally agreeing with you Gregory. Veux-tu une bière is an amazing spot where I find great and new beers to taste every week. I live in Villeray, right between this shop and Delires du Terroir, and they both worth the stop. My new personal favorite, La spéciale B of Brouhaha Pub, you should try it (go see at the Paradis de la bière if you find some)...
Vince / February 5, 2011 at 09:53 am
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Veux-tu une bière is THE GREATEST!!! They always give me a great deal on amazing beer!!! They also have fresh fish that just melts in your mouth.

Just go see for yourself. Veux-tu une bière? @ 372 rue Liège Est corner of St-Denis.
I ALWAYS BUY MY BEER OVER THERE. I'M HOOKED!
Sarah / February 8, 2011 at 05:28 am
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wow. I think I must check this out. Great article Amie! way to go!!!
Blamanche / April 4, 2012 at 01:40 pm
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I have to say that the Boni Soir on Rachel and Iberville is as good as the others but does not have an extensive selection of food. There are so many food stores in Mtl that I really don't care about the food at the Beer store. While I like many of the Québec beers these stores are lacking in european and other import selection (they have a few though).
If you have the time a stroll down Mont Royal can be rewarding but you'll have to bounce in and out of several shops. Anyone know if any bars have nice import draught selections?
I have only been living in Mtl for 6 months and still learning the ropes....a ta santé!!
Bill / October 19, 2012 at 10:48 am
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The BoniSoir at Rachel and Iberville is Depanneur Peluso
http://www.depanneurpeluso.com/. It has been a stop on my
Visits to Montréal during Mondial for years
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