As far as Canadian beer, I've tried Sleemans (correct spelling?) and thought it was very good. I like that trois pistoles quebec beer cause it reminds me of a mixture of beer and wine.
European beers some of my faves are hoegaarden, and pilsner urquell. I like to try a lot of micro brews, but I always forget all of the names of them anyway, if i like them or not. I did try a German beer that got a 98 on ratebeer.com and I thought I was drinking a bottle of soy sauce, yuck.
That's awesome that you get back to Canada (edit) just in time for the playoffs.
I tend to differentiate the "Canadian" and Quebec beer industries just because they seem so separate, although the Quebec beers are becoming more available out of province. Quebec's microbreweries are strong - Unibroue is very good, McAuslan is pretty good, etc. I highly recommend the Montreal "Mondial de la biere", held right outside the Bell Centre.
Steamwhistle is as good a true lager as you'll find around Ontario. Creemore is good too. All the micros tend to be good, even though I don't go for some of the strawberry wheat beer thing, they are quality beers made by people who have pride in the product. Micros in the US are just as good. But mainstream Canadian beer is nothing to brag about. It's a slightly stronger version of mainstream American beer. If this add is leading to another version of an anti-american beer rant, how embarrassing.
I 've lived 24 years in Belgium and almost two in Canada , so I notice some differences and, in my opinion, to drink a beer, I prefer to be in Belgium.
First, the choice. You have around 1000 beers made in Belgium, brewed in a huge variety of ways. They have the standard beers (Jupiler, stella,...), the Abbey beers (Leffe, Buche,...), the Trappist ales (beers made in a monastery by monks, even today) and some others kind of specialty beers.
The standard beers which we called "Pils" are the most common. Stella is one of those but only a few Belgian drink it because it's one of the worst. We drink jupiler which has 5.6 % alcohol, in a glass not too clean because the movement of the bubbles in your glass of beer is important for the taste. You serve it with 4-5 cm of mousse in the head of the beer.
A special beer has between 8-14% of alcohol, rarely more then that . You have a specific glass for each kind of specia ty beer and usually you eat cheese and salami at the same time. You have some places where you have can choose from more than fifty types of Belgian special beers. After three, you start singing .
The lower percentage of alcohol and the absence of movement in the beer (resulting in a fermentation inside the bottle) are two bigs reasons of why European guy doesn't like a lot of Canadian beers, it's just tastes like flavored water.
But that's not true for all of your beers. Personally, I really appreciate the Keith's and can drink a Labatt. Maybe it's because those beers have been sold to the Belgian company Inbev a few years ago .
If you have an advice for a really good canadian beer, I'm open-minded .
The closest thing to Belgium in Canada is Quebec City. I lived there for six years. It was a regular affair to have a bunch of friends over for a 'Fondu Chinois' and each person would go to the Depanneur and buy a beer that they had never drank before. Each person would arrive with a different beer. Each beer was then opened, discussed, poured into multiple glasses, and then tasted. After the third or fouth beer, the tasting was replaced by drinking.
Anything beyond 10% is basically wine. Quebec has a lot of beers that reach up to 9.9% and with those, it doesnt take much to get you hammered.#
As for your request for advice, i would suggest the Blanche de Chambley, Seigneurial, Boreale, ... and if your looking for a kick - try: Maudite (damned), Eau Benite (Holy Water) and Fin du Monde (End of the World). Their English translations are rather self explanatory.