Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Monday, February 18, 2008

An Irish Pub with English Posters - Not In Quebec

I came across an article on CTV’s website about an Irish pub in Montreal that is being forced to change some of their posters and menu’s to include French language.

McKibbins Irish Pub was recently told by the Office de la Langue Francaise that they would face a $1,500 fine if they didn’t remove some beer posters from inside the pub. It turns out that the posters are those that you would find in any faux Irish pub, but because they don’t have any with French on them, the OLF is after McKibbins.

The report states that many French drinkers that consider McKibbins their local, have said how ridiculous this has been. There were some people in the pub having some drinks that felt that the lack of French signs warranted a call to the OLF in order for action to be taken.

I wonder if this is the case for other Irish pubs located in foreign countries like France, Germany, Czech Republic etc? I understand why the Province of Quebec wants to maintain their language, but the last time I checked, there are those that speak English making their home in Quebec. Even though it is a faux Irish pub, putting up signs in French would take away from the pub’s character. Those signs are probably replica’s that advertise for products unavailable at the pub and are only posted to enhance the Irish pub culture. I don’t imagine I would have a problem walking into a French pub with all French posters and ordering a pint of something, and that’s not because I can speak French (I can’t) but because beer has a universal language.

The pub owners have extended an invitation to Premier Jean Charest to visit the pub to point out which signs are in violation of the language restrictions. Because of all the media attention this story has received, you never know, Charest just might show up.

Which brings up a question I asked myself: Which politician would I enjoy having a drink with in a pub? I’ve met Bob Rae before and he was a great guy in person, and watching him on the Mercer Report was hilarious. So I would like to have some pints with Rae. On the provincial side of things it would have to be Belinda Stonarch. I would get a couple of drinks into her and get the scoop on the whole Tie Domi story.

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