The Windsor Station, one of the most beautiful public buildings in the city, is home again to the Mondial de la Bière, Montreal’s beer festival which in its 26th edition is once more offering Montrealers the chance to taste beers from different parts of the world. These are beers which you won’t have the opportunity to find at your local dépanneur or supermarket. However, in comparison to previous years, when the event took place at the Palais de Congrès, this year’s edition of the Beer Fest has fewer brewers presenting their products. The presence of food stalls is also smaller. Still, what we had the chance to taste during the opening this Wednesday will please those in search of some new beers, and especially, variations of this ancient product.
Beers from Canada, and especially microbreweries from Quebec, are naturally the ones with a larger presence, but there are also beers from the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and Norway. That on top to those foreign beers which are brewed under licence by Canadian breweries. Among these, we should mention a new wheat beer produced by the Dutch brewery Grolsch which we tried and is a great refreshing drink. We were told that this new product should be available in Quebec shortly.
We also had the chance to try several other beers at the press place, including some Brazilian ones: Sunset (O.K., but nothing special), Witbier Majacuja e Manjericão (refreshing but not particularly exciting) and the Italian Abiura (a beer with a pleasant flavour). German beers are, of course, some of the most sought items at any beer event. We should recommend the tasting of two of the Erdinger beers, in particular, the Weiss (wheat) variety.
Although there are fewer food kiosks this year, the bison and wild boar grilled meat on a stick found at a small booth were much better than the Wurst sausages (too greasy and the croissant-style bread used for the sandwich is not the right one). Those in search of a variation on a traditional Quebec staple could taste a poutine “à la bière” (we didn’t try that one).
A panel of ten judges is also choosing the winner of this year’s M Beer Greg Noonan Contest: Diego Giannini Baião (Brazil), Marilou Caty (Quebec, Canada), Laurent Cicurel (France), Frédéric Cormier (Quebec, Canada), Tony Forder (United States), Serge Noël (Quebec, Canada), Averie Swanson (United States), Myriam Tremblay-Collin (Quebec, Canada), Kaitlin Vanderbosch (Ontario, Canada), and Deborah Wood (Quebec, Canada),
The Mondial de la Bière also features music starting at 11 a.m. Live music shows featuring The Royals and Croche Blanche will be on stage on Friday and Saturday, respectively, from 7 p.m. to 8:15. The Beer Fest opened this Wednesday, May 22 and runs until Saturday, May 25, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Windsor Station (metro stations Bonaventure or Lucien L’Allier). Free entrance, coupons for tastings $1, the cost of a tasting varies between 2 to 8 coupons. Tasting mug $10.