The 19th edition of the International Beer Festival pops off this June 6 for yet another celebration of all things beer. The festival is designed to introduce beer lovers to select ales from around the world and to educate beer enthusiasts through conferences, workshops, events and an elegant array of snacks…
This year’s festival will showcase 724 adult beverages over 5 glorious days. You can look forward to exquisite beer, honey wine, cider and assorted malt beverages. Simply put, the event is a whirlwind sip tour through 637 beers from around the world and from 191 breweries and 31 handcrafted local breweries. For those of you who were lucky enough to attend previous years festivities, there are additionally 295 new beers gracing the festival for the first time in 18 years.
South America takes centre stage at this year’s fest. Ales from exotic locales such as Argentina and Brazil are gaining notoriety as emerging brewers. In North America, Michigan is quickly becoming a serious contender in the beer world thanks to the industry’s rapid growth so look out for the seven Michigan based breweries this year as well.
I’m sure you’re familiar with Italian wine, but Italian beer is also making a statement this year. And it wouldn’t be a festival without Quebec who is again on the worlds stage for their contribution to beer culture. It sounds like a lot, but the festival is expertly organized into three Petit Pubs. The Latin Pub (a new addition) will feature beer from Argentina, Brazil and Italy. The European Bistro Petit Pub will focus on beer from Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland. The Petit Pub Oktoberfest will showcase beer from Canada and the US. If you’d like to take your beer obsession to a new level, drop in and see how beer is brewed with brewers Marc Belanger (Pub Brouhaha) and Frederick Moreau (Archibald) everyday from 11am to 5pm.
But the festival isn’t all about drinking. It’s about eating too. The Flaveurs Bieres et Caprices on June 7 is an event that will offer food and beer pairings expertly crafted by seasoned gourmands. Tickets are available on the festival’s website. If you’d prefer to just have some snacks, stop by the 15 food kiosk. Vendors will be serving everything from pizza to kangaroo to smoked meat sausage and varieties of buffalo and boar on sticks. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, there will also be tons of desserts.
If you consider yourself a bieretrotter then I’m sure you’d love to attend the festival’s workshop on beer and cheese pairings, one of the many conferences or a enjoy a discussion that will explore the specific challenges germane to creating a microbrewery in Quebec. The festival is the most important of its kind in North America and is a new way to entice, delight and educate beer enthusiasts about one of the oldest beverages in the world.
Mondial de la Bière, June 6-10, 2012
Place Bonaventure, 800 de la Gauchetière West, (514) 397-2233