Craft Brewery ‘3 Brasseurs’ Embarks on Ambitious Expansion as it Begins Franchising Locations in Canada [Interview]


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Unique craft brewery concept 3 Brasseurs, based in Quebec, is expanding its footprint with its first two franchise partners and more growth planned for the future.

The brand started in France in 1986. It was one of the first microbreweries and restaurants in one place in France – very new for that market.

The concept arrived in Canada in 2002 with the first restaurant in Montreal on Saint Denis Street.

The brand today has about 80 restaurants in France with 15 in Canada, 11 in Quebec and four in Ontario. There are also two restaurants in Brazil as well as a presence in overseas French territories.

Image: 3 Brasseurs
3 Brasseurs La Capitale (Image: 3 Brasseurs)

There are eight restaurants around Montreal and three in Quebec City. There are two in Ottawa, one in Oakville and one in Toronto.

Nathalie Canivet

“What is unique about the brand is that in each location you do have a microbrewery,” said Nathalie Canivet, Marketing & Communication VP. “ You have in each restaurant a brewer who is brewing the beer. So regarding sustainability, it’s the closest way from a brewer’s path to your table because we don’t deliver beer in other restaurants. We really produce our own beer.”

She said the brand’s values are simplicity, generosity and warmth.

Éric Demoncheaux and Mélanie Trudeau are the company’s first franchise partners in Canada.

Éric Demoncheaux and Mélanie Trudeau (Image: 3 Brasseurs)
3 Brasseurs Grande Allée (Image: 3 Brasseurs)

Jean-Marc Zerbib, Franchise Development Manager, said the company was initially only corporate locations.

Jean-Marc Zerbib

“We have started the franchise process,” he said. “The first step of the process of the franchisee was to franchise the existing corporate restaurants but also after COVID we have a new development program to open new restaurants which is going to be the second step.

“We have tested in France before here the franchise process and we realized that in terms of development the development is going faster when we have franchisees than to open the restaurant in corporate . . . We now want owners in their own restaurants to operate more fastly, close to the market. It’s a really different process for us but we realized in France it works very, very well.”

The Quebec City franchisee is taking over two existing locations in that city with one store to remain corporate – 3 Brasseurs La Capitale – Québec City and 3 Brasseurs Grande Allée – Québec City are now franchise run.

3 BRASSEURS YONGE & DUNDAS (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Richard Tranchant, Director of International Operations, said the company has also found a franchisee for its location on Yonge Street in Toronto, Tej Bhatti.

Tej Bhatti (Image: 3 Brasseurs)

Zerbib said Ontario is a very active province and the brand only has four restaurants there. The potential is great for that market. There is also continued potential for growth in Quebec.

“After that we can think about going outside of those two provinces,” he said. “We have to first continue to develop in Quebec, re-start the development in Ontario and after that think about other provinces. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. And why not in the future maybe British Columbia.”

3 Brasseurs La Capitale (Image: 3 Brasseurs)

The company on its website says: “Our story began over 100 years ago in Lille, France when three brewers joined forces to create a brewery that would grow to become one of the most important in the country. In 1985, the descendents of the original founders opened their first neighbourhood microbrewery – long before anyone had even heard of a “microbrewery” or “craft beer”.

“The key to our success then, as it is now, is an unrelenting passion for creating the perfect pint. That’s why our beer is brewed in-house, just steps from your table, by brewers who understand that brewing beer is a magical combination of art, science and dedication. They also have a great respect for the history of brewing and the craftsmanship of those who brewed before them.

“Each of our neighbourhood locations truly pays homage to the past – when each village had its own brewer. While our passion for beer remains unchanged, we do embrace change if it elevates your beer experience. We’ve crafted a menu of food that pairs with individual beers to enhance the flavours and to elevate your overall sensory experience. In that case, change is good. And delicious.”

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.


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