Best Montreal - John Sleeman Pub



1454 Peel,
Montreal, Qc, H3A 1S8

English pub with a French flair
New addition at Alexandre et fils

Owner is the man responsible for bringing imported beer on tap to local bars in 1982

Matt Radz
The Gazette

Bar: John Sleeman Pub
Address: 1454 Peel St. (upstairs at John Sleeman Pub), just north of St-Catherine St.
Phone: (514)288-5105
Hours: Noon to 3 a.m., seven days a week
Bar: The new pub’s raison d’être, a vast selection of exotic beers on tap at 6$ a pint, features Sleeman’s Silver Creek lager, Cream Ale and Rousse, plus Guinness, Harp and Tartan, as well as

Quebec ales from Unibroue, Raftman and Blanche de Chambly, Sleeman bought Unibroue last year and when the namesake pub opened at this downtown location last month, the Quebec brewer created a new beer to mark the occasion – Chambly Noire, specially crafted “to appeal to people who find current black beers too heavy. It is exceptionally smooth, not too bitter, with an attractive and persistent beige head.” Wine by the glass includes Château Maligny Chablis ($10.50) and Château d’Escurac Médoc ($15).
Restaurant: Steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Stilton cheese, as well as all the bistro favourites from Alexandre’s kitchen, like knuckle of veal & risotto, steak with or without frites, roasted deer, steak tartare and Chilean sea bass.
Brunch: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, $24.50 (marinated salmon, avocado and crab, grilled salmon, eggs Benedict. Etc.), free children’s portions.
Cover charge: None.
Ambience: Architect-designer Malcolm Brown has created a British gentleman’s pub atmosphere with an elegant combination of shiny brass, subdued lighting, muted colours, framed prints and a Victorian fireplace. The large space has an open convivial area around the bar and private nooks. Sports fans are invited to watch all major events on strategically placed plasma screens.
Music: Soft recorded sounds to match the day’s mood.
Special nights: Half-price tastings for pub regulars, also a “half price plus a buck” cinq à sept.
Noteworthy: French-born restaurateur Alain Creton, who came to Canada in 1967, introduced imported beer on tap to Montreal tipplers in October 1982 when he offered Bass & Guinness to the customers at Alexandre’s, his authentic brasserie parisienne on Peel St. Until then, the only beer on tap had to be locally brewed and served in a tavern.

Creton was given a four-week SAQ permit to demonstrate that ending the tavern-keepers’ monopoly would not ruin the province’s suds biz. The experiment was a great success and the rest of the course is history. A year later, 20 bars around the city were serving imported beer on tap, a trend that would spawn micro-breweries and brew pubs.

Tap beer is non-pasteurized and non-filtered, requiring special equipement. It was John Sleeman, then the only importer of kegs of Guinness and Bass, who supplied it, enabling Alexandre’s to carry on his draft plan. The price back then was $3.75 a pint. The john Sleeman pub is Creton’s way of welcoming the Unibroue connection and recognizing the longtime partnership that changed Quebecers’ beer-drinking habits.

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