The microbrewing revolution has come to Coaticook, a town in the Eastern Townships about 20 minutes south of Sherbrooke and about 2 hours East of Montreal. Coaticook is a town that has been a part of my life since I was a child, as it is the closest town to Baldwin's Mills, an ancestral homeland/summer hideaway of mine, so I was excited to try some Coaticook brewed beers. Alas they are extremely new, having only opened about 2 months ago so the beers they are serving at their are beers from Alchimiste until their first homegrown beers are ready. No matter, Alchimiste still are a great microbrewery so I have no qualms about reviewing one of theirs, however I will need to make a return trip.
Alchimiste Ecossaise is an interesting but very tasty brew. It's quite malty and caramelly, with a very strong caramel taste when you first take a sip. It's not as sweet as a lot of English style brown ales like Newcastle, but it's not all that hoppy compared to other beer styles, giving it a good balance, it is actually hoppier than the 5 IBU rating would suggest. The one drawback is that the finish is a tad watery, but it doesn't detract from the overall taste of the beer. It is a bit thick, so I wouldn't want to drink a lot of it, but it is a good beer to have with some fish & chips.
Alchimiste Ecossaise is available throughout Quebec at Depanneurs (convenience stores) and on draught at a variety of pubs. Their website has a map with the locations. As for Microbrasserie Coaticook, their Facebook page indicates that their first batches of beers (an IPA and a blonde) should be available soon on draught and for purchase in keg form.
Rating: 3.5 Steins.
What you need to know
681 Rue Marion
About Microbrasserie Coaticook
1007 Rue Child (across from Coaticook dairy)