The Beer Route

| 12 days |1475 km (915 mi.) + 2 h by ferry | from La Pocatière to Tadoussac

Over a hundred different craft beers are brewed in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord and Îles de la Madeleine regions. Here is a special tour through these regions that will take hops fans to a new microbrewery every day, where they can taste delicious beers made from local ingredients. Many of these microbreweries are also show venues and offer various other activities. While you are at it, why not spend the rest of your time visiting nearby attractions!

Adapted from La route des bières de l’Est-du-Québec (in French only)

Travel Itinerary

10 km (5 mi.)La Pocatière to Rivière-Ouelle

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Located in the centre of La Pocatière, the Ras L’Bock microbrewery welcomes you to its taproom, a festive spot where you can sample a selection of their beers, including Solution, an American-style IPA; Monsieur Madame, a slightly fruity Kölsch; and Hautjaardin, a citrus Witbier. If you are feeling a bit peckish, snacks made with local ingredients are also available on site.

Next, head east on Route 132 towards Rivière-Ouelle where you will find the Baleine Endiablée microbrewery, which offers brews featuring local ingredients that will please beginner beer drinkers and aficionados alike. With unusual names such as Sur une Autre Planète (On Another Planet) and Plume-Eau-Vent (Feather-Water-Wind), their beers will charm and surprise you, especially the cricket stout! Feeling hungry? The microbrewery also offers seafood and meat platters to share as well as sandwiches and salads.

Take the time to admire the farmland along Route 132 between La Pocatière and Rivière-Ouelle. Once you arrive in the village, you will notice the salmon river that runs through this area. Why not go for a bike ride along this waterway? You can also admire magnificent scenery and spectacular sunsets along the St. Lawrence!

40 km (25 mi.)Rivière-Ouelle to Saint-André-de-Kamouraska

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Further east on Route 132, the Tête d’Allumette microbrewery welcomes you in a typical century-old house in Saint-André-de-Kamouraska. A gathering place for visitors and locals alike, this microbrewery in the Kamouraska area will charm you with its prime location along the St. Lawrence and its beers brewed using a process that combines cutting-edge technology with traditional methods. Relax on the comfortable back patio, which offers a stunning view of the sea.

Take advantage of your visit to explore the villages in this area, which are some of the most beautiful in the province. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover artisans’ workshops, art studios, galleries, boutiques, fine restaurants, regional products and more!

120 km (75 mi.)Saint-André-de-Kamouraska to Dégelis

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Continue eastward on Route 132 and then inland on Route 289 to Pohénégamook. Located in a former presbytery, the Le Secret des Dieux microbrewery offers a selection of beers whose names are reminders of the building’s previous vocation—such as Baptême (Baptism), Confesse (Confession) and Sacristine (Sacristy)—and are inspired by Témiscouata history, most notably bootlegging in the early 1900s. To accompany these beers, enjoy English pub-style dishes made on the premises!

Next, keep driving on Route 289 and then Route 232 to Témiscouata-sur-le Lac, and then turn onto Route 185 to get to Dégelis. Here you will find the Madawaska microbrewery, which offers tasty beers accompanied by dishes inspired by the seasons and local ingredients, as well as incredible views of Lake Témiscouata!

A wide variety of outdoor activities are available in this area. In Pohénégamook, you can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, beach fun, hiking, cycling and more. In Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, you can commune with nature at Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata. On the agenda: hiking, wildlife observation, canoeing (including rabaska canoeing), camping and more!

90 km (55 mi.)Dégelis to Rivière-du-Loup

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Head back north on Highway 85 to Rivière-du-Loup. Located right downtown, the Aux Fous Brassant microbrewery offers up to eight beers brewed on site with original names based on colourful local expressions and old dialects. Enjoy these delicious beverages in a warm and relaxed atmosphere.

Rivière-du-Loup is a vibrant city offering a host of activities that will inspire you to extend your stay in this area. Opt for a whale-watching cruise in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park (available again in 2024), observe wildlife on the islands protected by Société Duvetnor or explore Île Verte (Green Island) and its lighthouse a few kilometres downstream.

110 km (70 mi.)Rivière-du-Loup to Rimouski

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Continue your journey east on Route 132. In Trois-Pistoles, Le Caveau des Trois-Pistoles welcomes you in a family-friendly atmosphere. This microbrewery makes innovative beers such as a rye stout and a potato IPA. Although no food is served on the premises, if you need a bite to eat, you can order in from nearby restaurants.

A little further east is Rimouski, where you will find the Le Bien, le Malt brew pub right downtown, only a few minutes’ walk from the St. Lawrence. Their English-style beers are brewed mainly from ingredients grown in Québec, and their gourmet menu features local products. You are sure to enjoy the coziness of this pub, which is the perfect place for a chat over a pint!

Outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs will find enough attractions in the Rimouski area to keep them busy for days. While Parc national du Bic offers a wide range of outdoor activities (including sea kayaking, wildlife observation, cycling and hiking), the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site provides a unique opportunity to learn about the sinking of the Empress of Ireland ocean liner as well as climb to the top of one of the tallest lighthouses in the country and visit the Onondaga submarine. You may also want to take a side trip inland to commune with nature at Domaine Valga (where you can enjoy treetop trekking in the “Forêt de Maître Corbeau” adventure park) or at the Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer (Hell’s Gate Canyon).

95 km (60 mi.)Rimouski to Matane

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Route 132 will then take you to Sainte-Flavie, the gateway to Gaspésie, where the seaside Le Ketch microbrewery will welcome you in a maritime atmosphere. In addition to tasting regional craft beers from other microbreweries, you can also try a blonde ale made on site called Vaisseau d’Or (named after Québec poet Émile Nelligan’s most famous poem). Savour your beer on the patio while admiring a view of the sea!

Keep driving east to Matane, where the La Fabrique microbrewery, located in a former bank, invites you to enjoy a refined urban and industrial atmosphere. About a dozen English-, American- and Belgian-style beers are served on a permanent basis, along with a variety of seasonal beers. Brewery tours are also offered; inquire about the tour schedule.

While in the Matane area, be sure to participate in a guided moose- or bear-watching excursion at the Réserve faunique de Matane. You will also want to visit the Reford Gardens, which are about 50 km (30 mi.) west of Matane and are home to some 3000 species and varieties of plants. In addition, the annual International Garden Festival presents contemporary gardens that are sure to delight you!

90 km (55 mi.)Matane to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

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Your drive along the St. Lawrence Estuary will next take you to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. Established in a former grocery store, the Le Malbord microbrewery serves about a dozen craft beers whose names are inspired by various Haute-Gaspésie characters, such as La Collin or La Pagon. Order your pint and breathe in the fresh sea air in this friendly place with a rustic yet stylish atmosphere.

There are so many attractions and activities to discover in the Sainte-Anne-des-Monts area. A few you won’t want to miss include Exploramer, where you can observe some of the marine species found in the St. Lawrence Estuary up close; Projet Éole, where you can discover the highest vertical-axis wind turbine in the world; and Valmont Plein Air, where you can go kayaking on the Cap-Chat River. Hiking enthusiasts will also want to visit Parc national de la Gaspésie, just south of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, to climb the Chic-Choc Mountains.

315 km (195 mi.)Sainte-Anne-des-Monts to Anse-à-Beaufils (Percé)

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As you continue driving along the coast towards Percé, you will see several lighthouses, including the tallest in Canada, in Cap-des-Rosiers (Gaspé). The Gaspé area is also home to Forillon National Park, where you can enjoy a host of outdoor activities at the tip of the peninsula. In Percé, you can visit the two Pit Caribou locations and discover their products: first, the pub, located in a heritage building in the heart of the village, and then the microbrewery itself, in the fishing harbour of Anse-à-Beaufils. Pit Caribou beers are crowd pleasers for sure—among other distinctions, they have won awards at both the Canadian Brewing Awards and the New York International Beer Competition!

An outstanding tourist attraction, the village of Percé is packed with fine restaurants, shops and art galleries. Enjoy a sea excursion to Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, which is renowned for being home to the world’s largest accessible colony of northern gannets as well as legendary Percé Rock!

200 km (125 mi.)Percé to Carleton-sur-Mer

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Still on Route 132, head to the Chaleur Bay area where you can visit a lively and cozy place in Carleton-sur-Mer: the Le Naufrageur microbrewery. The selection of beers—a dozen of them on a permanent basis—will please visitors of all kinds. Relax on the sunny patio or by the fire and be sure to sample some of the many regional dishes on the menu.

Chaleur Bay really lives up to its name (chaleur means heat), which makes Carleton-sur-Mer a particularly good place to enjoy outdoor activities: hiking, swimming, relaxing on the beach, camping, etc. A few kilometres away, the town of Nouvelle is home to an important fossil site: Parc national de Miguasha. Included on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List, the park will take you some 380 million years back in time!

SIDE TRIP
Îles de la Madeleine

From Carleton-sur-Mer, you can take a side trip to the Îles de la Madeleine archipelago by driving to Souris, Prince Edward Island (580 km / 360 mi.), and then taking the CTMA ferry (5-hour crossing) to the Islands.

Once on the archipelago, head to the town of L’Étang-du-Nord, on Cap aux Meules Island, where the À l’Abri de la Tempête microbrewery will welcome you in a seaside atmosphere. Its award-winning beers are made from local ingredients including seaweed, herbs and smoked malt from Fumoir d’Antan, a smokehouse located on a neighbouring island. Fresh and authentic flavours are guaranteed!

There are many things to do and see in this region! Enjoy outdoor activities (hiking, cycling, sea kayaking, kitesurfing, sea excursions, etc.), discover local artists and artisans, relax on the beach, savour fresh seafood and much more!

140 km (85 mi.)Carleton-sur-Mer to Amqui

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Route 132 will then lead you through the Matapédia Valley to Amqui. Located in the centre of town in a historic building that has housed a police station, jail and fire station over the years, La Captive is a microbrewery that will delight foodies. In addition to offering beers ranging from a fruity white to a black IPA, the brewery also offers a boutique selling local products and a restaurant. On the second floor, you will find a venue that showcases up-and-coming bands.

The Amqui area and the Matapédia Valley are home to many salmon rivers, lakes and covered bridges. Go for a hike to discover some of them!

65 km (400 mi.) + 2 h by ferryAmqui to Baie-Comeau

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From Amqui, take Route 195 to Matane and then board the F.-A.-Gauthier ferry to get to Baie-Comeau, in Côte-Nord. This is where you will find the St-Pancrace microbrewery, the first in the region, which offers beers inspired by local history, culture and nature. Try out the unique Crâââbe, a crab-flavoured bitter brewed at the height of snow crab season in the early spring!

During your stay, discover other local products or head north on Route 389 to go on a tour of Manic-5, the largest multiple-arch-and-buttress dam in the world!

SIDE TRIP

From Baie-Comeau, you can head east on Route 138 to Sept-Îles. After visiting the Sept Îles Archipelago, stop at the La Compagnie microbrewery. Inspired by the industrial history of this city and the region, the craft beers brewed on site will delight your taste buds. Will you opt for an Ouvrière, Clarke, Blanche des Forges or Wagon Rouge?

200 km (125 mi.)Baie-Comeau to Tadoussac

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From Baie-Comeau, head west to Tadoussac on Route 138. You will drive through stunning scenery and can stop at several sites along the way to observe whales from the shore. Once in Tadoussac, visit the Microbrasserie Tadoussac, where you can savour a wide variety of beers with names inspired by the region, including Pale (Wh)Ale.

While in Tadoussac, be sure to explore the village and the surrounding area. Go on a whale-watching cruise, discover Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay, visit a replica of North America’s first trading post, etc.

SIDE TRIP

You can also head to Sacré-Coeur via Route 172 to discover the beers made by the Chasse Gardée microbrewery. All of their brews are made with local ingredients (such as northern berries, wild mushrooms, herbs and flowers) using eco-friendly processes. Visit the boutique, go on a guided tour of the microbrewery and sample their products in the tasting room.