The Montreal Beer Fest is now in its 18th year, which means that it’s legal drinking age. Celebrate this glorious occasion from June 8 to June 12 starting at 11am everyday at Place Bonaventure and the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure. This is a beer festival like none other and an opportunity to spend some quality time with your best friend: BEER. The festival will have an official “housewarming” on June 8 where the first 1000 “Biertrotters” will be offered an official glass and a slice of pizza to amp up for a day of drinking and, of course, learning.
Go and enjoy the refreshing taste of beer, mingle with industry professionals and beer scientists from around the world. There are over 609 beers from 136 breweries and 26 are handcrafted in Quebec. For those of you who have been to the festival before, there are now 253 new beers that have never graced the festival so there’s something new for everyone.
This year’s theme is the United Kingdom and will feature 10 handcrafted brews, nine of which have never been tasted at the festival and special guest Jim Robertson, brewmaster of Wells and Young’s, and Alex Barlow will be there to guide you all the way. He’s a brewer and the author of the All Beer Guide so presumably he knows his ale.
But, just to keep things reasonable the festival also features 11 food stands to soak up all that alcohol and the food selection is just as impressive as the beer. There’s a European style sausage sandwich, pork, grilled shrimps, lobster, deer, buffalo on a stick, turtle, alligator and kangaroo for you adventurous types. If you have an incurable sweet tooth, delight in the 40 different varieties of fudge being offered. The Federation des Producteurs de Lait du Quebec will also be celebrating all things beer and offering cheeses from their boutique for you to sample and enjoy.
On June 11, look for the Flaveurs Bières et Caprices at the Hotel Bonaventure, where food pairing experts will dazzle you with their partnering of 9 countries (Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the U.S. and U.K.), 18 beers, 9 gourmet appetizers and 1 cider to complement the chocolate and cheese. The evening is a joint effort with the culinary insights of Chef Louis Rodaros from the Montreal Hilton Bonaventure and Alsatian Chef Daniel Zenner.
There’s so much happening at the Festival Mondial de Biere Montreal, but not all of it is about beer and snacks. For instance, there’s a Silent Dance where dancers wear headphones and dance to their own tunes in between tastings. But of course, the event also has some DJs lined up for later.
With 6 new themed areas, a beach where you can sit back and get a massage or limbo if the mood strikes you, and experts from around the world including beer import specialist Nancy Rossi, there’s no reason not to indulge in one of Montreal’s most revered festivals. What could possibly be better? Just one thing. Now you can buy the beer offered at the festival all year round if you like. Maybe have a little beer fest of your own if you’re feeling a bit beer curious.
Mondial de la biere Montreal 2011, June 8-12, 2011
11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Place Bonaventure, 800 De La Gauchetière Street West