In Montreal for a quick, two-day run through the Mondial de la Bière, arguably the best beer festival in Canada. (Don’t get jealous, Great Canadian Beer Festival. I’m coming out this fall to check up on you and may revisit this assessment if necessary.) Spent a few hours yesterday cruising what appears on the surface to be a bit of a stripped down event.
The place to be, without question, is at Distribières, the consolidation booth for eight Québécois craft breweries, including Charlevoix, Bilboquet and La Barberie. Lots of interesting stuff to taste there, including the new Dominus Vobiscum Brut from Charlevoix, to my knowledge the first méthode champenoise beer anywhere to be fully fermented, bottled, conditioned and disgorged entirely in-house. It must have been a sizable commitment in terms of money and equipment, but on the basis of the slightly too youthful sample I tried, well worth it. One of my beers of the fest thus far.
Another beer of the fest is the offficial Beer of the Fest, a 5.5% Helles from Hopfenstark. Beautifully perfumey and wonderfully structured, with a light malty sweetness in the front and middle that dries out completely on the finish, it’s hard to believe that this beer was fermented with an ale yeast, albeit at 12 degrees Celsius.
The third discovery of yesterday for me was Brazil, or more precisely the abundance of craft brewing that’s going on in that country. Speaking at length with Marcelo C. Da Roca of Cervejaria Colorado, I was astounded to find that there are 150 craft breweries operating in Brazil, and as it is in North America, they are almost uniformly in growth mode while the majors are hurting.
Memo to self: Get thee to Brazil!