The Beer Route

| 11 days |1330 km (830 mi.) + 2 h by ferry | from Saint-André-de-Kamouraska to Tadoussac

Over a hundred different 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. Most 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

Saint-André-de-Kamouraska

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Located on Route 132, the Tête d’Allumette microbrewery welcomes you in a typical century-old house in the Kamouraska area. A gathering place for visitors and locals alike, this microbrewery will charm you with its prime location along the St. Lawrence River 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!

55 km (35 mi.)Saint-André-de-Kamouraska to Pohénégamook

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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!

Outdoor activities abound in Pohénégamook: canoeing, kayaking, beach, hiking, cycling and more.

65 km (40 mi.)Pohénégamook to Rivière-du-Loup

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Head back north on Route 289 and then east when you hit the junction with Route 132. Make a stop in downtown Rivière-du-Loup, where the Aux Fous Brassant microbrewery offers up to eight beers crafted on the premises with original names based on colourful local expressions or old dialects. Enjoy these delicious beverages in a warm and relaxed atmosphere.

Rivière-du-Loup is a vibrant city that offers a host of activities to prolong your stay. Opt for a whale-watching cruise in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, 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 steps away from the St. Lawrence River. Their English-inspired beers are brewed mainly from ingredients grown in Québec, and the gourmet menu features local products. You are sure to enjoy the cosiness of this pub, which is perfect 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 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 Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer (Hell’s Gate Canyon).

95 km (60 mi.)Rimouski to Matane

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Route 132 will next take you to Matane, where the La Fabrique brewery, located in a former bank, invites you to enjoy a refined urban and industrial atmosphere. About a dozen English-, American- and Belgian-inspired 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 boast some 3000 species and varieties of plants. In addition, the annual International Garden Festival presents contemporary gardens that are sure to delight you!

85 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 stylish and rustic atmosphere.

There are so many attractions and activities to choose from in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and the surrounding 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; the Éole Cap-Chat wind energy interpretation centre, where you will find one of the largest wind farms in North America; and Valmont Plein Air, where you can kayak 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.

240 km (150 mi.)Sainte-Anne-des-Monts to Gaspé

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Continue driving along the coast all the way to Gaspé, at the tip of the peninsula. Along the way, you will see several lighthouses, which bear witness to local history, including the tallest in Canada, in Cap-des-Rosiers. Stop at the Cap Gaspé Craft Brewing Co. to enjoy a German- or American-style beer. Tasty snacks featuring regional ingredients are also on the menu.

The Gaspé area is also home to several museums and interpretation sites, as well as Forillon National Park, where you can enjoy a host of activities: whale-watching excursions, sea kayaking, hiking, maritime heritage, etc.—all of this against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery!

75 km (45 mi.)Gaspé to Percé (Anse-à-Beaufils)

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After a short drive from Gaspé, you will be in the Percé area, where you can visit the two Pit Caribou locations and discover their products: first, the pub, located in a heritage building in the heart of Percé, 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 internationally renowned for being home to famous Percé Rock as well as the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world!

195 km (120 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 cosy 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-rich site: Parc national de Migusha. 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 get to the Îles de la Madeleine by driving to Souris, Prince Edward Island (580 km / 360 mi.), and then taking the CTMA ferry (5 hours).

Once on the Islands, 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 plants, 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 on the Islands! Enjoy outdoor activities (hiking, cycling, sea kayaking, kitesurfing, sea excursions), discover local artists and artisans, relax on the beach, savour fresh seafood and much more!

210 km (130 mi.) + 2 h by ferryCarleton-sur-Mer to Baie-Comeau

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From Carleton-sur-Mer, Route 132 will then take you to the Matapedia Valley, more specifically to Amqui, where you will then head to Matane on Route 195. From there, board the F.-A.-Gauthier ferry 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 nature, history and culture. Try out the unique Crâââbe, a crab-flavoured bitter brewed in the spring, at the height of snow crab season!

During your stay, discover other local products by visiting a soap factory, for example. You many also want to head north on Route 389 to discover Manic-5, the largest multiple-arch-and-buttress dam in the world.

SIDE TRIP

From Baie-Comeau, head east on Route 138 to the Minganie area. After driving through Sept-Îles (where you will want to visit the Sept Îles Archipelago), you will pass through Havre-Saint-Pierre, the gateway to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, on your way to Natashquan. This 650-km (405-mi.) journey will undoubtedly make you thirsty, so be sure to stop at the La Mouche brewery, an Indigenous and non-Indigenous company. Their name refers to fly fishing, which has also inspired the names of their beers. While you are there, enjoy a Pirate, Muddler or Mickey Finn!

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 in several locations along the way to observe whales from the shore. Once you arrive, you can visit the Microbrasserie de Tadoussac, where you can savour a wide variety of beers with names inspired by the region, including the Tadoussac 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.