Mondiale de la Biere

All posts tagged Mondiale de la Biere

Happy Friday, everyone! Things have slowed down a bit this week in beer news in our region, but we’ve still got some info to share…

• With the opening date for their brewery approaching fast, Les Brasseurs du Petit-Sault has released information on their two inaugural beers. The first beer, a Blonde named Bob LeBoeuf, is a light-colored beer coming in at 5.2% ABV and 22 IBUs, while the second beer is a Wheat beer named Tante Blanche. Another light-colored beer perfect for the upcoming summer months, this beer has an ABV of 4.7%, and 18 IBUs. Both beers are named after real-life characters from the history of the Edmundston area, where the brewery is located. The brewery hopes to have both beers available to the public by late June; when released, look for them at ANBL stores in the area, in singles and six-packs in the old “stubby” format; they’ll also be available for sale at the brewery, along with 1.9 L growler fills. For more info on the beers and their label design, check out the brewery’s blog post here.

• Meander River Farm and Brewery, after a sold out opening day on May 17th, will once again be selling beer this weekend. Open Saturday and Sunday 11-5, folks can drop by for a refill of their Lunchbox Pale Ale. Like last time, we suggest showing up early to avoid disappointment. While there, grab some of their lavender and hops products (grown and made on site), and take a tour of the brewery and farm.

Rockbottom Brewpub has released their newest beer, Hali-Lager. With warmer temperatures finally breaking through, this should be a perfect “lawnmower beer”, as it is a light-colored lager clocking in at a sessionable 4.5% ABV, with 17 IBUs. It was brewed with 2-row and Melanoidin malts, and lightly hopped with Hallertau Hersbrucker, with “a twist of Cascade hops in the finish”. Get down to the brewpub to give this new beer a try!

• Bix Axe Brewery in Nackawic will be releasing their Simon Saaz Summer Ale this weekend. From brewer Peter Cole, “A ray of golden light shines through a thin patch of the blotchy white sky. Our summer ale is light gold in colour, dry and refreshing with a citric hop aroma and crisp flavours of orange and coriander. Released from a dark closet of winter, Simon Saaz Summer Ale is moderately hopped with 5.5% ABV and is sure to satisfy. It’s a perfect summer day in New Brunswick”. It should be available in growlers Sunday, and should make it on tap in the next few days as well.

Propeller Brewing has announced that they’re releasing their next Gottingen One-Off beer. Their Smoked Ale is brewed “with ample amounts of Smoked malt”; it’s a malt-forward beer that the brewery describes as pairing well with grilled meats and vegetables, as well as strong cheeses and apple pie. Look for it at both brewery locations for growler fills; it could pop up in limited quantities at the better beer bars in the HRM. Drop by today to fill your growler and, if you’re visiting the Windmill Rd location, grab a grilled cheese sandwich from the Cheese Gypsy food truck.

• The 2014 Canadian Brewing Awards are being held this weekend in Fredericton, which means that the collaboration beer between Picaroons and Great Lakes Brewery is now on tap! Eastbound and Down IPA, a 6.5% ABV American IPA, was released last evening at several bars and restaurants around the city, including The King Street Ale House, Brewbakers, The Snooty Fox, the James Joyce Pub, and Wilser’s Room. The last remaining keg will be released today at the Brewtique for growler fills, starting at 5 pm. It goes without saying that this beer is in very limited quantities, so make sure you try it before it’s gone! For more details on the beer, check out our post from earlier in the month.

• After a successful visit to the Tide and Boar yesterday, the crew from Trou du Diable are making their way west to Fredericton today. The King Street Ale House will have a tap takeover of several kegs, and even more bottles, this evening. No tickets necessary, just show up for some pints and good discussion. You’ll be able to chat with some folks from TDD, as well as other brewers from across the country, in town for the CBAs.

• The Ladies Beer League is celebrating their first anniversary in style! On June 20th, they’ll be hosting a fun event at the Wooden Monkey Dartmouth, in the Alderney Ferry Building. They will be pouring special casks from North Brewing, Big Spruce, and Garrison Brewing. No tickets necessary, just drop by, and pay as you go. The event starts at 7:30, and in addition to the great beer, you’ll be able to pick up some LBL swag, and get some insight on what the future holds for the future. Cheers and congratulations!

• Since our post earlier this month, the final beer list for the 2014 Atlantic Beer Festival, being held Saturday, May 31st, at the Moncton Coliseum, has been released. There is also a mobile version of the list, but requires several clicks to see everything. The booth numbers match up with the map of the festTickets for the afternoon session are still available.

• This fall, the first Celtic Oktoberfest will be held in Port Hawkesbury. Being held on Saturday, October 25th at 6:30 pm, the festival will highlight 10 Nova Scotian breweries, and 8 Cape Breton food establishments. There will also be lots of live Celtic music throughout. Tickets are on sale now, and are $70; they can be purchased here. We’ll have more details on the festival, including a full brewery list, as soon as they come available.

• Nova Scotia’s newest entry into the craft beer scene, The Schoolhouse Brewery, will finally have beer available to the public next week! Both of their inaugural beers – Principal Ale, a dry-hopped Pale Ale, and Chequers Ale, a Robust Porter – will be on tap at the Library Pub as of Friday, June 6th, and at the Spitfire Arms June 7th. We’ll have a full profile on the brewery early next week.

We’re at the Canadian Brewing Awards in Fredericton this weekend, taking part in all of the conferences and festivities. We’ll be posting some pictures and information on the event next week. Here’s hoping that there’s some awards won by some of our Atlantic Canadian breweries! The gala is being broadcast Saturday night, be sure to tune in on the Canadian Brewing Awards website.

While the intent of this blog is to focus on Atlantic Canada, you’ll never see me pass up the opportunity to learn more about different beer scenes.  I recently had the opportunity to meet with a couple of guys who are extremely knowledgeable about the Montreal (and broader Quebec) beer scene.

Teklad Pavisian or Tico as he is known to all, is originally from Iran and has been living in Montreal since 1987.  His stay in Montreal was expected to be a short one.  He arrived that Winter with the intentions of making and saving a bit of money and eventually moving to Chicago where his uncle lived.  When Summer came, and he saw what a great spot Montreal is at that time of year, there was no way he could leave.  Tico is definitely an authority on beer and the specifically the Montreal beer scene.  He is a brewer at Benelux, a long time home brewer and is Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Certified although he is quick to point out he is not a “style Nazi”.

Anthony Wilson or Jaf as he is more commonly known, is a native of Melbourne, Australia and has lived in Montreal for roughly the past five years and really developed his love of craft beer since moving here.  Throughout our conversation it was very apparent that he has a thorough knowledge of the local scene including detailed knowledge of individual brews offered at different spots.

The balance of this post is based on my discussion with the two of them.

Overview of the Montreal (and broader Quebec) beer industry
There are currently approximately 40 breweries in Quebec of various sizes with 25 permits pending for new brewpubs and microbreweries.  When I asked Tico about collaboration between micros he indicated that there isn’t much formal collaboration resulting in official production but a great deal of knowledge sharing and “backstage” collaboration.  There are a lot of friends within the industry and they tend to show respect by supporting special events and after parties put on by other brewpubs. Most brewpubs bring their own unique character and there is no fear of market saturation.  He also definitely agrees with the idea of the craft beer industry being a brotherhood and that the more people discover great craft beer, the better it is for all.  They way he described it craft brewers are looking to “enlighten” customers about the great brews that they offer.

The Montreal craft beer scene is still relatively young with many of the players only being around the past 10 to 15 years and still developing their expertise.  Jaf’s advice for anyone looking to try the best beer in the market was to stick to draught as many of the very small bottling micros are experiencing quality inconsistencies from batch to batch.

As is commonly known, the Quebec beer scene is greatly influenced by Belgium tradition.  This influence is driven primarily by language.    Technical literature from Belgium is available in French, whereas information from most other parts of the world is most commonly available in English and to a lesser extent German.

Top 5 spots in Montreal
When I asked Tico and Jaf to list off the top 5 spots in Montreal for great beer they agreed on the list with the disclaimer that they were in no particular order.

Vices et Versa (6631 St-Laurent) is not a brewpub but has the broadest range of Quebec craft beer with over 30 taps.  If you only had the time to get to one, Jaf suggested this one due to its wide selection.

Benelux (245 Sherbrooke Street West) was identified due to its broad range, accuracy for style and excellent brewing craft.  This may seem as a homer pick as one Tico is one of the brewers but after sampling 5 of their beers during my visit I certainly vouch for their quality.

l’Amère à Boire (2049 St-Denis) was another spot identified by both.  One of the unique aspects of this location is that many of its beers are of the lager variety which is quite rare for micros due to the longer brewing and holding time of beers of this style.  Jaf mentioned their Czech Pilsener, Kolsch, and banana flavoured Hefenzweizen among his favorites.

Cheval Blanc (809 Rue Ontario Est) was identified as they like to experiment and make very interesting beers.  They also noted that their brewer was very approachable and often there.

Last but not least, the original Montreal brewpub, Dieu du Ciel (29 Laurier Ouest) was mentioned very fondly.  They described it as a brewpub with great character and always have a great mix of basic and experimental beers.  Jaf mentioned their Black IPA Chinese tea blend and a Ginger & Mustard Seed Blanche (with very subtle ginger) as some of their recent innovations.  As per, they offer 15 of the best 50 beers in Canada including #1 and #2.

Beer Clubs
MontreAlers is an English local home brewing club that has been in existence for the past 15 or 16 years.  Tico has been a member for the past 14 years and this is how he met Benoit Mercier who is the Head Brewer and part owner of Benelux.  Jaf has been a member for the past few years and is the current president of the organization.  Many of the professional brewers in the area got their start as members of this club.  Nathan McNutt is another noteworthy member who is brewer at Reservoir Brewpub and the only National ranked BJCP Member.

The Club currently has 55 paid members with and additional 75-100 on their mailing lists.  The club meets up once a month at someone’s house to sample beers and have general beer discussions. They generally do blind tests of members’ brews and provide constructive feedback on the brews with the intent to help them correct any flaws.  The experience is as serious or as laid back as the individual wants.  After sampling some home brews they then normally sample some commercial beer.  The group encourages members to push the limits of extreme styles only once the basics of brewing are well understood.

A French beer enthusiast club called Biereapholie also exists.  This particular group isn’t based on home brewing but are general beer lovers.  They have beer tastings and organize importations from other areas with purchases normally being full pallets at a time.

Beer Festivals
Tico indicated that brewers are generally very supportive of festivals and that most brewers attend most events.  Here is a quick run down of Montreal and broader Quebec events:

The Winter Warmer festival is in its second year and takes place in Montreal and is put on by Brouhaha Brewpub.  Tico would like to see them tweak the format.  Tickets for this year’s event were $95 + tax.  Many find this a steep cost to sample 30 or so heavy alcohol beers although he did mention the festival also offers excellent food.

The Mondiale de la Biere is the largest beer festival in Montreal and takes place in June.  This year’s event will also serve as the backdrop to the Canadian Brewing Awards and related conferences.  This promises to be a road trip worthy event and if possible would be more enjoyable earlier in the festival when the crowds aren’t as large.

The Chambly Bieres et Saveurs Festival is near Montreal and is an event that Tico described as “beer lovers meet food lovers”.  Several American brewers come up for the event and offers good quality beer, cheese and sausage.  It is also a very family friendly event as you can leave your kids in a supervised park for free during the event.  This festival takes place Labour Day weekend.

Outside of Greater Montreal there are a few festivals that they mentioned as well. Festibiere de Gatineau will take place in May. Festibiere de Sherbrooke will take place in late August.  The Oktoberfest des Quebecois takes place in Repentigny in early September.


The 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards will take place this June 8th and 9th in Montreal as part of the 19th Annual Mondiale de la Bière.  This marks the first time that the event will take place outside of Toronto.  TAPS Media is committed to move the event to a new location each year and can officially consider this post the start of lobbying to bring it to Atlantic Canada in 2013!

This year will also see the expansion of the Awards Ceremony to include an additional daylong conference featuring speakers, seminars and networking events.  Speakers will include brewing pioneers, beer educators and more.

Atlantic Canadian Breweries have traditionally been very successful at this event.  Fredericton’s Picaroons is the 2011 Brewery of the year with Moncton’s Pump House Brewery having won the Award in 2005.  Garrison Brewing Company has also enjoyed success winning the Beer of the Year for their Imperial I.P.A. in both 2007 and 2008.

This is an event that is sure to be worth a trip to la Belle Province for any Beer Enthusiast.