Lorbeer, one half of the Laurier BBQ revamp, is officially complete. Lorbeer is a no-frills, authentic craft beer bar that’s all about good vibes, great eats, and a welcoming staff, the type of place that begs you to stick around for one last round. Whether you’re an in-the-know hops-head or just fancy a pint after work, Lorbeer will be your craft brew haven, the ideal spot to post up and slake your thirst.
You won’t find just any beer on tap. Lorbeer will become the showcase for Stinco and partner Eric Lefrançois’ Bromont-based brewery, The West Shefford Brewing Company. Of course, bland beer names wouldn’t fit with the duo’s eclectic personalities, so patrons can choose from creations like ‘Cette Sorte-Là’, ‘L’Autre Sorte’ and ‘Pretty Bastard’. Not sure which one to knock back first? No problem. Just ask for the tester plate, which accommodates three varieties in slightly smaller glasses. Now that’s how it’s done.
Tired of your old barley brew? In the back of the space will be a glass-enclosed brew lab, where the boys will fiddle with bizarre blends and exotic creations. Lorbeer wants to spice it up a little with oyster and chocolate variations. “We’ve always wanted to be able to experiment with new blends,” says Stinco. “Now we’ll have somewhere to do it.”
Lorbeer will also be dishing out some seriously stepped-up bar food by Chef Émile Balk (Globe, Houston). Think curry-braised lamb tacos, grilled beef lettuce wraps, and Stinco’s personal favourite, Italian meatballs served with smoked cheese and grilled bread.
The design for Montreal’s hot new watering hole was led by Rebecca Bourke, who also master-crafted Laurea (the other half), which is set to open in a few weeks. “Lorbeer is like Laurea’s cool, dark younger brother,” explains Rebecca, who wove her love of antiques and repurposed material into the space. The benches in the front seating area are old church pews, and the lighting in the back of the bar was created from converted 1920s oil lamps. Even the bathroom sinks have a story.
If there’s one thing you have to hand Jeff Stinco, he knows how to entertain. From the bartenders, to the waitstaff, the Lorbeer crew is not your average group of pint pushers. “All the staff here have a story,” Stinco explains. “We’ve got musicians, artists, athletes, a little bit of everything.” Why the motley crew? “It’s important that the staff is able to talk to the customers, bond with them. That always makes the night more interesting.”
But what could be more entertaining than a sudsy self-serve? Yep, you heard right. Post up at a hightop in back and enjoy your very own private tap. “I don’t want people to have to wait for their next round,” says Stinco. “So now they can just pour their own.” Don’t mind if we do.