Mount Royal Renaissance

Brewery and Country of Origin: Brasseurs R.J. of 5585 Rue de la Roche, Montreal, Quebec, H2J 3K3, Canada

Date Reviewed: 11-18-14

As discussed in the introduction to the Montreal Pubway Map, the second largest city in Canada has a rich culture intertwined with French and partly Belgian heritage. France, though more heavily known for its pinnacle wine industry, sent early settlers of Quebec from parts of the country where the production of beer and cider was more socially and economically more important than wine. Since before the 1650s, beer has been made in Montreal to some extent. The earliest settlers of Quebec made a spruce beer, which utilized spruce instead of hops. It didn't take long for Montreal's beer scene to erupt into a vibrant and diverse industry, but as is with many places around the world, the onset of industrialization brought large scale breweries to the mix, which meant the end to many smaller operations which couldn't compete. For more than two decades from 1960 through the early 1980s, only three breweries commanded nearly the entirety of the Quebecois beer market (Molson, Carling-O'Keefe, and Labatt). These breweries helped make Pale Lagers the most popular beer style in Canada. However, starting in the mid 1980s, many cities and towns began seeing small brewpubs opening up with the Regie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (the Quebec government board in charge of regulating the alcohol, gambling, racing, combat sports, and publicity contest industries) issuing more and more permits by the year. These new breweries brought back many of the French and Belgian styles of beer which had almost disappeared from the region completely. This renaissance, which the west coast of The United States experienced around the same time, brought many new and exciting breweries to the Province of Quebec and elsewhere, including Unibroue and Brasseurs RJ, which makes, among other perennial offerings, the Belle Gueule Rousse. Today, more than 60 breweries exist in Quebec, and many more microbreweries have sprouted all across Canada.
Date Sampled: 7-18-14 At: Bier Markt, 1221, Rene-Levesque Boulevard West, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1T1, Canada
Beer Style: Canadian Amber/Red Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.20%
Serving Type: Keg, 20 oz Stange Glass
Rating: 3.63


This French Canadian beer pours fairly choppy with a good amount of carbonation action, producing a thick, tall, full inch tall foam head with a medium high density, an average retention, and an off white color. This beer displays full lacing on the glass which fades after a while. This beer shows off a bright, rich amber color with a brilliant shine and a big glow in light. This is a clear and filtered beer with no visible sediment, no settling, and an average amount of effervescent effect.


This beer gives off a rich caramel roasted malt aroma which is sweet overall. This is complemented by a subtle hint of delicate, yet dull hops which do little to carry a balance. This beer has a fairly strong grainy cereal like secondary note and a persistent nutty undertone. There are no fruity or citrusy notes present, and in general, this is a fairly aromatic beer whose smell somewhat enhances this beer's grainy and malty flavor.


This is a medium bodied brew with an above average weight and a matching viscosity. This beer also has a below average carbonation with a dull, yet somewhat dry and lingering finish. This is a somewhat crisp and refreshing beer, especially at the close, which has no alcohol bite, and a somewhat chilling feeling at the end. Overall, this beer is fairly smooth with no presence of any texture. This is a casual beer with no hard seasonality, though it would go better with the fall time.


As indicated by the aroma, this beer has a heavy presence of sweet toffee and roasted caramel flavor which comes with almost no balancing hoppy bitter notes. There are hints of pale grainy malt and even some bitter darker roast. This beer has a biscuity and grassy secondary with a somewhat noticeable nutty undertone. There is some trailing bitterness from the deep malt at the somewhat lingering aftertaste. This beer has a dry finish with no alcohol or metallic flavor.

Our Take

Overall, this is a rich, malty beer which is pretty easy to drink but better for the colder weather, and should come across as satisfying for most beer drinkers not looking for anything too heavy or hoppy. This is not a well balanced beer as you will not detect very much in the way of bitter hops, and this beer does have a somewhat low alcohol strength which leaves you thinking this beer is lighter than it really is. This beer does in fact go well with poutine, (though what doesn't?) and should be easy to drink through most seasons. It's generally sweet flavors and aromas make it a better pair for pasta and lighter salads, but this beer would go well with most desserts and pountry or fish dishes as well. If you are looking for a malty French Canadian beer which actually doesn't pull too much from a yeasty Belgian style or a sour Lambic, and you happen to be in the local Montreal market, you should give this a try. This beer has a solid flavor, delivers a positive aromatic experience, and drinks fairly easily with a wide range of foods.