Lisa Morrison (author: Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest)
& Gary Lohin (Brewmaster, Central City Brewing Co.)
For the second year in a row I was fortunate enough to spend an entire week in Montreal at Mondial representing TAPS The Beer Magazine, where I got to meet so many TAPS readers over some incredible beer. Working the festival is a completely different experience than simply going to the festival to drink. It entails long days, lots of 'festival food', dealing with the inebriated on a nightly basis and losing your voice; though I love doing it every year.
The Grimley's made their way from Toronto to indulge
in some of the 253 new beers never offered at Mondial before
After getting the booth set-up the two of us set off to explore the new home of Mondial, Place Bonaventure. Other breweries and vendors were also setting on their site so we'd pop into different locations to say hi, grab a sample or two, then continue on. Right away the new location (totally indoors) won me over. Air conditioned, lots of tables and chairs for patrons to rest, more food vendors and more space to walk around freely. The new addition of the beach volleyball court, DJ/dance floor, Petit Pubs and the cheese dome were all looking great before the festival got underway and were a big hit throughout the five days.
We said our goodbyes and headed back to Benelux for a night cap before calling it a night - we did have a long day ahead of us after all.
We were up early and off to the festival to make sure that our booth was ready for the onslaught of people to walk through the doors at the 11am start time. The first day of Mondial is probably my favourite as a vendor. Wednesday is when the most passionate beer drinkers seem to flock to the festival, and many of them stop by our booth to see what we're all about. It's always a pleasure talking beer with people from Quebec, the east coast or the US. It's also the best time for TAPS when it comes to selling subscriptions!
Eccelstone and I would take turns heading out into the sea of people to fill our glasses with a different beer. Over the course of each day we were able to discover a wide array of new beers that we'd both never tried before, and re-visited many old favourites, including Hopfenstark's Berliner Weiss, which was tasting terrific.
Complete list of Greg Noonan MBiere Winners:
• Helles – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! (Montréal)
• Fusion – Moor Beer Co. (Pitney, Royaume‐Uni)
• Saison Faucille – Southampton Publick House (US)
• Grande Armada Réserve – Benelux (Montréal)
• Millésime 2010 – Brasseur de Montréal (Montréal)
• Double de Bonsecours – Broue Pub Brouhaha (Montréal)
• Bodebrown Wee Heavy – Cervejaria Bodebrown (Brazil)
• Helles – Hopfenstark (L’Assomption)
• Captain Swing Barley Wine – Hopfenstark (L’Assomption)
• Big Swell IPA – Maui Brewing Co. (US)
• Terre Ferme – Microbrasserie À l’abri de la Tempête (L’Étang‐du‐Nord)
• Pike Old Bawdy Barley Wine – Pike Brewing Co. (US)
• Russian Imperial Stout – Rogue Ales (US)
• Chipotle Ale – Rogue Ales (US)
• Chocolate Stout – Rogue Ales (US)
• Don de Dieu – Unibroue (Chambly)
• Blonde de Chambly – Unibroue (Chambly)
• Fin du Monde – Unibroue (Chambly)
|Part of the 96,000+ customers|
We met a lot of great beer folks, drank a bunch of beautiful beer, hung out at a number of Montreal beer institutions (Le Saint-Bock, VV, Dieu du Ciel, Benelux, Le Chaval Blanc, and more), and fell in love with Mondial de la Biere all over again.
Congratulations to all the organizers for taking the new venue and building on the 17 previous Mondial's. I'm already looking forward to next year, which by the way, will take place between June 6 - 10, 2012.