A Taste of Quebec in Philadelphia – Unibroue Beer Brunch at Local 44

In Philadelphia, Wine and Beverage by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch2 Comments

We don’t know what came first – our love for Quebec or our love for Unibroue beer. In many ways, the two are intertwined. We even have a favorite pub in Montreal that serves Unibroue beer on tap. We love the intense flavors created by the brewery’s traditional yet innovative bottle fermentation process. Fruity, spicy and complex all at the same time, Unibroue beer packs a flavorful wallop in each and every bottle.

Unibroue Brunch

Once a year,  we can enjoy Unibroue beers on tap and hang with master brewer Jerry Vietz without going to Quebec. That time is during the annual Philly Beer Week. And that time is now.

When the Philly Beer Week schedule was posted, we scoured the list for the best events. The Unibroue brunch at Local 44 jumped right out at us. With four Unibroue beers on tap plus promises of special surprises, it was a no-brainer.

Unibroue Brunch at Philly Beer Week

Unibroue Brunch at Philly Beer Week

We arrived for brunch at 11:30, found two spots at the bar and immediately ordered two glasses of beer before we even looked at the food menu. Yes, we had our priorities in order.

Liquid Brunch - Unibroue Beer

Liquid Brunch – Unibroue Beer

Daryl ordered a glass of Trois Pistoles, an Abbey style strong dark ale with an ABV of 9%. The dark brown beer is on the sweeter side but with deep flavors emanating from roasted malt, cocoa, ripe fruit and dark spices.

Daryl Downing some Trois Pistoles

Daryl Downing some Trois Pistoles

Mindi ordered a glass of the Raftman, a peat-smoked whiskey malt ale with a 5% ABV.  This amber red beer is relatively light for a Unibroue beer, but the taste is still rich, with flavors of smoked malt whiskey and carmelized apples.

Mindi Enjoying a Glass of Raftman

Mindi Enjoying a Glass of Raftman

When Bernard Johnson, Unibroue’s regional sales manager, let us know that the special samples were coming, we quickly ordered some food. Keeping with the Québécois theme, we were compelled to order the mushroom poutine. We also ordered shrimp and grits because, well, we love shrimp and grits. This was our first time eating at Local 44, and the food was quite good.

Brunch for Two - Mushroom Poutine and Shrimp and Grits

Brunch for Two – Mushroom Poutine and Shrimp and Grits

Brunch is usually about the food, but this brunch was all about the beer. The special samples were as advertised – special. We considered ourselves lucky to taste four unnamed beers not yet available at our local beer stores. The first sample was a beer fermented with bread and candy. The second sample was a young beer with flavors of Christmas. The third sample was an experimental reserve fermented in oak barrels that previously stored cognac and rum. The fourth and final sample was an aged beer with cherries. All samples were unique, delicious and true to the Unibroue spirit.

Unibroue Master Brewer As much as we loved drinking and tasting the beer, it was an equal treat to chat with master brewer Jerry Vietz. His passion and personality shined as he described the different beers and how Unibroue was the first brewery in North America to make Belgian style beer. His exuberant descriptions of the special samples truly enhanced the tasting experience.

Unibroue Master Brewer, Jerry Vietz, in his Signature Bowler Hat

Unibroue Master Brewer, Jerry Vietz, in his Signature Bowler Hat

Unibroue Swag

We left brunch with Unibroue swag in our pockets and smiles on our faces. The hat and beer opener are choice, but it’s the recipe book that really gets us excited. The book’s detailed beer and cheese pairings chart will definitely come in handy. With the book’s 20+ recipes, each featuring the different Unibroue beers, plus 18 different beer cocktail recipes, we plan to keep the Unibroue love going in our own kitchen.

Beer Brunch Swag - Unibroue Recipe Book

Beer Brunch Swag – Unibroue Recipe Book

We don’t know what we’ll be doing when the world ends, but we know what we’ll be drinking. Le Fin Du Monde indeed.

Local 44 is located at 4333 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States.

Unibroue is located in Chambly, Quebec, Canada. The specialty brewery does not offer tours. However, their beers can be enjoyed throughout Canada and the US as well as in the 2foodtrippers kitchen. 

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    1. Author

      Thanks! In our opinion, any place that serves Unibroue is a nice spot.

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