Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer is Montreal’s new bespoke source for Quebec beer, wine and cider

Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer is Montreal’s new bespoke source for Quebec beer, wine and cider

The new retail project comes from the team behind award-winning cocktail bars Coldroom and El Pequeño — and it’s an elegant solution to bar closures in the province.

Author of the article:

JP Karwacki

Fred Masse holds four packs of beer with co-owners Sam Kirk, left, and Kevin Demers, at the Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer, on April 23, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fred Masse holds four packs of beer with co-owners Sam Kirk, left, and Kevin Demers, at the Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer, on April 23, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette

Kevin Demers and Sam Kirk — known for lauded Old Montreal cocktail bars like the Coldroom, El Pequeño and Parliament — are among many bar owners who have felt abandoned during the COVID-19 pandemic. But when their services were deemed non-essential, these innovators figured they’d make themselves essential.

So they’re opening a bespoke dépanneur.

MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 23, 2021 — Kevin Demers stocks one of the beer fridges at Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Demers are co-owners Sam Kirk, far right, and Fred Masse, in background.
MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 23, 2021 — Kevin Demers stocks one of the beer fridges at Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer during the COVID-19 pandemic. With Demers are co-owners Sam Kirk, far right, and Fred Masse, in background. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette

After eight months of research and construction, Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer (BFCB) will open the doors to its Quebec-only inventory of speciality microbrews, wines and cider on April 27. With its pendant lighting and tiled floor, the shop has an almost apothecary feel — the medicine’s just different.

Montreal is certainly no stranger to dépanneurs with expansive selections — think Peluso in Little Italy and Plateau-Mont-Royal with upward of 1,200 options — but few can tout service from award-wining bartenders.

“We’re not your average beer store. We looked around at what’s offered and we thought we’d be able to put our bar experience into the retail experience,” Kirk explained. “In the end, we’ve more or less designed a bar in a retail space.”

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“The keyword we were using the last eight months was ‘COVID-proof’ because it’s a grocery permit and it’s considered an essential service,” Demers added. “That permit also gives us an opportunity to do cool things like direct delivery.”

Boasting a more polished and organized format than the traditional dep, BFCB will start with 350 specialty brews, though more are on the way. Beer will be offered alongside curated ciders and small-batch winemakers you won’t find at the SAQ, including natural wines and pét-nats only available in limited release.

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MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 23, 2021 — Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer boasts a Quebec-only inventory of speciality microbrews, wines and cider.
MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 23, 2021 — Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer boasts a Quebec-only inventory of speciality microbrews, wines and cider. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette

They’ll also be selling food to pair with the booze, making it that much easier to pop a cap or cork on a park bench and enjoy — especially given the shop’s proximity to the Lachine Canal. Alternatively, customers can take advantage of same-day delivery services across the island.

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Kirk said they plan to foster the city’s summer park lifestyle with the new space. “That’s what people are waiting for at the moment, so we’ve made it reflect the lifestyle of Montrealers and their needs,” he said.

There’s hope this will be a win-win for Demers and Kirk, who have spent the better part of a year selling merchandise, making just-add-booze cocktail kits, launching products and hosting pop-ups to get by. With an e-commerce website that connects customers to on-site employees and talk of developing their own retail libations down the road, this probably won’t be the last time you hear about this place.

MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 23, 2021 — The outside of dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer, set to open in Pointe-Saint-Charles on April 27, 2021.
MONTREAL, QUE.: APRIL 23, 2021 — The outside of dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer, set to open in Pointe-Saint-Charles on April 27, 2021. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette

Dépanneur Bière Froide Cold Beer officially opens on April 27. Located at 1905 Centre St., it will operate from 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every day with deliveries starting at 4 p.m. Opening and delivery hours will expand pending changes in public health restrictions.

jpkarwacki@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jpkarwacki

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