Practically everywhere you go on les Iles-de-la-Madeleine, when you ask for a beer you will be presented with a list of beers brewed locally since 2004 at the microbrewery A l'Abri de la Tempete, and it's easy to understand why - they make some of the best beers I've ever tasted! It's actually possible to get them straight from the tap, so to speak, by going to the microbrewery located at l'Etang-du-Nord. Guided tours are available, but visitors can also simply go up to the bar and sample beers by the pint, glass or bottle. My two favourite ones were Vieux-Couvent, an unusal wheat beer perfumed with local herbs, and Grave du Cafe, a stout beer with a delicious moka aftertaste. While the place is mostly filled with tourists during the day, locals come in the evening and some tables are cleared to make room for a small dance floor. There wasn't anything special going when we were there, but we did see a sign for salsa dancing on some evenings!
Dress Code: Casual
If you're planning a trip to les Iles in the summertime, you might want to check to see who's playing at Aux Pas Perdus. Located at the heart of Cap-aux-Meules, this little bar is one of the Islands' most popular music venue. Artists from Quebec and elsewhere love to play there (well, who wouldn't jump at the chance to travel to les Iles?!) so there is almost always something going on at Aux Pas Perdus. In lots of cases it's possible to buy tickets at the door, but sometimes for more popular artists it might be a good idea to book ahead of time. If you feel like starting your evening early, you can stop for drinks at the bar, which is also where people (and sometimes the artists) tend to converge after the show's over.
Dress Code: Casual
We arrived at les Iles-de-la-Madeleine late in the evening but we were way too excited to go to bed so we went out for a few drinks at Le Central. For a Wednesday night, the place was fairly busy and we very much enjoyed the atmosphere - we actually got to chat with a few locals who'd spotted us on the plane :o) There were other tourists at the bar, but mostly it was filled with students who were back home for their summer holidays and clearly didn't seem in a hurry to leave again. The music was good, not too loud... the perfect place to chat over a few pints!
Dress Code: Very casual