If microbreweries had a personality, Le Baril Roulant would be a hippie. Yes, you read that right – a hippie! The town of Val-David is an artistic enclave in the Laurentide Region of Quebec, so it makes sense that their microbrewery would fit right in.
Not only did I see more dreadlocks than I had seen in a long time, this “joint” just had that laid back feeling (I couldn’t resist!). We visited Le Baril Roulant during a torrential downpour, so we weren’t able to enjoy the lovely outdoor seating. Because the rain was falling so hard, the doors had to be closed which made it really warm at one point.
Funny story – as usual we ordered a flight. The bartender hesitated and I couldn’t figure out why – turns out they only have one flight board left! We agreed that we would only order one flight and that made it okay. We ordered:
Biophilia – an American blonde ale. Reminded me of one of my favorites (Gizmo’s Beekeeper) but without the honey. 5.5%ABV, 22 IBU
Immaculée – a traditional Belgian and tied for my favorite beer. 5.5% ABV, 20 IBU
Grisette Australe – a saison made with herbs. Surprisingly delicious but I worried that a pint would be too “food” like and not thirst quenching. I still managed to drink an entire pint! 4.5% ABV, 27 IBU
Cèilidh – a traditional Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy style beer. 8.5% ABV, 28 IBU
Barbe Rouge – a traditional Flanders red ale. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a Flanders red before. While the color and taste are those of a traditional red, there is a tartness at the end of the mouthful that is characteristic of this style. 8% ABV (IBU N/A)
I was somewhat surprised that Le Baril Roulant was out of some of their beers considering they advertised a beer festival for that same weekend. I really would have loved to taste two of their missing beers – Triple Sato which was a 9.5% triple Belgian beer and Quebec Pale Ale, a 6% beer made with 100% Quebec products.
The brewery is connected to a small lodge (auberge), so I was surprised by the small menu, but it fit the entire attitude. The blackboard menu announced a choice of pizza, nachos, chips and salsa, chips and olives (yep, you read that right), and marinated olives. Prices ranged from $3 to $16 for the large nacho order. We decided to try the nachos – can you believe they were topped with a cranberry sauce? And what is the obsession with olives? The underlying nachos were pretty good – Allan took over the cranberries since I didn’t want them touching my chips!
The artistic side was evident in the mosaic featured on a column and portions on the tiled floor. One of the tables was a barrel with a top consisting of various beer bottle tops. In the bathrooms, blackboard signs asked artists who wanted to belong to the communal atmosphere to approach the bar employees to book a gig. When we looked through the kitchen, we saw an employee re-upholstering some chairs – full service artists!
As with most breweries, WiFi was provided but not on a secure network. While trying to log in my beer choices on Untappd, I got the wheel of death and had to wait to log them in once we got home. At the bar, there were hooks for your purse, and the entryway had a coat rack to put your jacket. As in most places in Canada, in addition to the beer, Le Baril Roulant offered hard liquors, wine, and yes, their own Kombucha.
The lending library was discreetly tucked into a corner near comfy seating. In addition to the board games we have come to expect, there were books (take a book, leave a book), and various small instruments. While waiting for our beer flight to be brought to us, one of the patrons sat in the lending library area and started playing a digiridoo!
Would I return? Absolutely! And I hope that it would be a sunny day so that we could enjoy the terrace!
Check out their website for more information: Baril Roulant
Annick, The Common Traveler