Montreal Beer Festival 2015


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modialdelabierelogo_montreal_2015Montreal Beer Fest is quickly upon us again. We will be covering the event all week. Here are the details of the event.

Date: Wednesday June 10th to Sunday June 14th, 2015. 5 days.
Opening Hours: Wednesday 3:30pm – 10:30pm
Thursday to Saturday 11:30am – 11:00pm
Sunday 11:30am – 6:30pm
Address: Palais des Congrès (201 Avenue Viger Ouest
Beers: 523 products available, 475 beers. More than 85 breweries and 40 Quebec Microbreweries.


Best of Beau’s 4-pack & the return of Bog Water


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bob-2014Cold weather in Ontario conjures up cravings for strong, warming beer and hearty food. Just in time, Beau’s has shipped some shiver-stoppers to LCBOs across the province: the 2014 Best of Beau’s holiday mix pack, which features 4 different Beau’s beers as well as a series of 4 collectable recipe cards paired with each beer in the pack, courtesy of Beau’s chef Bruce Wood.

Selections for the 2014 Best of Beau’s 4-pack were chosen by fan voting back in June – the 4 top vote-getters made it into the limited-edition holiday sampler. Its offerings are a creative cross-section of the innovative and diverse beer styles Beau’s All Natural Brewery has come to be known for.

Copper-coloured St. Luke’s Verse Lavender Gruit (5.7%) offers up an aromatic herb-and-spice bouquet of lavender, accented by thyme and rosemary
Winterbrewed Coffee-Amber (6%) is brewed with Mexican micro-lot organic fairtrade coffee from Ottawa’s Bridgehead Roastery – flavours of coffee and barley melded with nutty, fruity inflections
Burnt Rock (5.6%) is a classic British-style porter brewed with a generous addition of organic vanilla beans – earned a pretigious Gold medal at the 2013 Mondial de la Bière in 2013
Mission Accomplished (6.7%) is an American IPA brewed with a combination of organic American and New Zealand hops, giving the beer sweet, juicy notes of tangerine, tropical fruit and pine

Beau’s winter seasonal, Bog Water, has also returned to the LCBO beer line-up, and will continue until spring returns. Dubbed by the brewery as an “Eastern Ontario” Gruit, this rare and ancient style shares the malt and yeast profile of a Belgian ale. Bog Water uses a wild-harvested herb known as bog myrtle or sweet gale, used extensively in brewing in the 1500s, to add flavour and to preserve the beer. The seasonal brew is malty with a plum-like fruitiness that is offset by a spicy, earthy bitterness.

This 3rd annual edition of the Best of Beau’s mix pack, containing 4 signature 600 ml bottles and a series of 4 collectable beer-inspired recipe cards, is now on sale at a price of $24 in LCBOs across Ontario; single bottles of Bog Water gruit are $4.35 each. Both products are also available direct from the brewery, and through home delivery in Ottawa via BYBO (www.bybo.ca).


Beau’s All Natural Boosts Local Beer Distribution to Include New York State


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VANKLEEK HILL – Beginning in March, Beau’s All Natural Brewing will once again be stretching its local distribution borders, this time to include the New York State craft beer market. The market expansion is part of a recently inked distribution agreement with Albany-based Remarkable Liquids, a boutique distribution company with a strong dedication to working with craft brewers.

First to pour south of the border will be Lug Tread Lagered Ale, Beau’s award-winning flagship beer, along with recent LCBO release The Tom Green Beer, a sessionable milk stout designed in partnership with the Canadian actor and comedian of the same name. Both beers are certified organic, and will be available in the US in Beau’s signature 600 ml (20 oz) bottles, as well as on draft in a variety of keg sizes.

“We’re super-excited to finally get to meet the neighbours,” says Beau’s co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “We’ve had our hearts set on keeping the beer we brew within a day’s drive of the brewery, because it’s important to us to have real relationships with the people who serve it, sell it, and drink it. Selling into New York State gets our beer out to more people to enjoy, but still lets us be a local brewery. By the same logic, we are taking steps to have our beers available in Quebec within the year as well.”

Beauchesne points out that, border crossings aside, selling into New York State was the easiest next step for Beau’s in growing as a regional brewery. “We are planning to keep our beer within a one day’s drive of the brewery, but I’m guessing we may have to make two localized exceptions,” he says. “Tom Green is getting pretty thirsty for his beer out in LA, and Dad [co-founder Tim Beauchesne] now spends his winters in Florida… those guys have a bit of pull around here,” he laughs.

“We are both excited and honoured to be the company that gets to introduce Beau’s to the New York market,” says Spencer Roakes, founding member of Remarkable Liquids. “They epitomize what we are searching for in a supplier partner: great people making great beer in a very sincere and conscientious way. The craft beer drinkers of NY are going to be absolutely thrilled by the quality of the Beau’s portfolio.”


Beau’s 5th Oktoberfest Now On Sale


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poster-b-finalEarly bird tickets for Beau’s all Natural Brewing’s signature fundraising event go on sale today and the first 1000 ticket holders will receive a complimentary compilation CD featuring music by this year’s musical lineup. Beau’s 5th Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-themed festival, will take place on October 4th and 5th at the Agricultural Fairgrounds in Vankleek Hill, Ontario.

Oktoberfest festivities kick off Friday, October 4th (4 pm to 11 pm) and resume Saturday, October 5th (11 am to 9 pm). Traditional live Bavarian music, dancing, and performances by Canada’s Polka King and three-time Grammy Award winner Walter Ostanek will be featured each day alongside musical acts:

• FRIDAY: Kathleen Edwards, The Sadies, Young Rival, The Balconies
• SATURDAY: Sloan, Rich Aucoin, The Mahones

A total of nine beers will be featured, including Lug Tread, Night Marzen, Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, The Tom Green Beer, and a surprise Beau’s brewer creation. The final four selections are past Oktoberfest favourites and will also appear in a commemorative 4-pack to be released in the LCBO prior to the festival. These are Oktobock, Smokin’ Banana Peels, Mr. Hyde, and Two Weeks’ Notice. The 4-packs will be available beginning in early September. As well, Cask Days returns with a large variety of cask-conditioned ales from Ontario and Quebec.

Activities return with Oktoberfest fan favourites such as the stein-hold struggle, spouse-carrying race, sausage-eating contest, malt-sack races, and the beer keg toss. For the first time festival goers will be able to participate in the Beau’s Oktoberfest Team Challenge where groups of six will compete together against opposing teams in keg toss competitions, malt sack races, and a tractor pull. Those looking to sharpen their beer knowledge are encouraged to participate in educational seminars known as “The School of Bock” for guided talks from beer experts, including renowned brewer Anders Kissmeyer from Denmark. Kinderfest, a non-licenced area will include new interactive games, activities, and entertainment for children of all ages.

Beau’s has raised more than $167,000 for charities in total over the past four years, and is projecting to add another $75,000 for its fifth anniversary. This year’s benefitting organizations include the Canadian Canoe Foundation (www.canadiancanoefoundation.ca), Kiva (www.kiva.org), and the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Society. New this year is the Beau’s Oktoberfest Ride: a 94 km ride from Ottawa to Oktoberfest to raise money for the United Way. The Just Food interactive midway returns, as does Rethink Breast Cancer’s beer-filled dunk tank.

On the food front, more than 20 restaurants will interpret Bavarian fare including:

• Union 613’s Bavarian Fried Chicken with Spicy Mustard
• Hintonburg Public House’s Braised Pig Cheek with Blaukraut and Potato Pancake
• Whalesbone Catering’s Oysters with Bavarian Twist
• Olivea’s Corn Beef Brisket with Garlic & Chili Sauerkraut

Oktoberfest tickets go on sale today online at www.beaus.ca, through the Ottawa-based home delivery service BYBO (www.bybo.ca), and at the brewery retail store in Vankleek Hill. Tickets include admission, parking, an alpine hat, pretzel, and first beverage (beer, coffee, pop or water). Single-day adult passes are $22, or a two-day pass can be purchased for $38. Youth admission (18 or younger) is $5. Ottawa, Cornwall and Montreal residents are invited and encouraged to travel to Oktoberfest via shuttle bus. Round trip bus fare can be added on to any ticket for an additional $15. Festival organizers suggest purchasing tickets early as past years have sold out in advance.

Beau’s also encourages attendees to “Volunbeer.” An integral part of the festival, Volunbeers will receive a complimentary 2-day pass to Oktoberfest, Volunbeer hat, and free transportation from Ottawa, Cornwall, or Montreal in exchange for one half-day shift helping out at the festival. Those interested can learn more at www.beaus.ca/volunteer.


Add this to the list of beers I need to drink: 8-Bit Pale Ale

Tallgrass Brewing Co. has a new beer out that is obviously marketed to kids and geeks. And it worked because I wanted to try this even before I read the description of hops used. This is some brilliant marketing and can design.

Just like those classic video games we all grew up with, 8-Bit Pale Ale is spectacularly simple at first glance yet remarkably fun and complex when you get into it. Our Hop Rocket infuses the character of Austrailian grown Galaxy Hops into an American Pale Ale, giving a unique tropical, almost melon aroma in a classic American style.
ABV: 5.2% IBU: 40 Malts: 2 Row, Victory, Vienna & Munich Hops: Magnum, Centennial, Cascade & Galaxy

Tropical melon aroma? Count me in. Too bad this is not availble in Canada though.


Celebrate Global Warming March with a Beer


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Spring time is upon us and the weather is amazing. The sun is out and the birds are chirping… And you and your friends should be celebrating with a beer! For all the Montrealers out there, McAuslan announced it is opening the terrace on Wednesday for a 5 a 7 BBQ.

It`s SPRING FEVER!! The weather is beautiful and it is warm, so we are opening the terrace for 1 day only, this Wednesday march 21st for a 5 a 7! BBQ, beer on tap and lots of fun! See you there!


A microbrewery brewed out of spite: Spiteful Brewing


Here is a great interview with two lifelong friends born out of a hockey fight who are starting a brewery in Chicago. Small and at their own pace. They describe themselves as a nanobrewery and are trying to supply a few bars in the Chicago area.

Shaffer and Klein’s hockey friendship strengthened in high school when they played for the same team for three years before they ditched the ice for the warm sun of Arizona during college. After a year there together, Brad transferred to Colorado, where his craft beer obsession took root. It hasn’t let go.

I like the idea of two guys who spent a few years brewing in their kitchen going at it incrementally. Instead of trying, and potentially failing, by opening a big brewery right out of the gate. It seems like they are doing it the right way. More craft beer can only be a good thing. Keep an eye out for them when you’re in Chicago.


Benelux Moves Into Verdun, Ends 47 Year Prohibition In Area.

It’s surprising to me that no bars have existed in Verdun for 47 years, but alas it’s true. Until Benelux, a microbrewery, moves in sometime this spring. Since 1965 only restaurants in the area were able to obtain an alcohol license.

La microbrasserie sera située «près de la rue de L’Église», a-t-on simplement indiqué.
Le nouveau commerce marquera un virage important selon le maire de Verdun, Claude Trudel.

«C’est une première étape qui nous permettra d’aller plus loin», a indiqué le maire, en précisant que d’autres établissements de ce genre pourraient voir le jour. Toutefois, «il n’est pas question pour l’instant d’ouvrir la porte toute grande aux bars».


Bacon and Beer AND MAPLE!

Well it’s March and here in Quebec we like our Maple Syrup. And normally at a cabane à sucre you will mix said maple syrup with bacon and pork rinds and all kinds of lovely pork meats. So the idea of a bacon maple ale sounds absolutely delicious! I’ve had a few smokey flavoured ales and porters from Germany that had a bit of a bacon familiarity but this is the first time I’ve seen a product using bacon.

They use 13 ingredients in this brew, including many smoked malts, pure maple flavouring and applewood-smoked bacon. Sold in 750mL pig pink painted bottles. This is a huge smokey beer that will definitely fill your stomach with the spirit of spring.

This beer is available in the states. You might be able to order this online. At $13 dollars and about $23 in shipping I’m not sure if it is exactly worth it.

Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Bacon Maple Ale! This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including bacon and maple syrup from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts.

Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale is available for purchase by the bottle at one of the following locations:

Rogue Hall
1717 SW Park Ave.
Portland, OR 97201
Rogue Distillery & Public House
1339 NW Flanders St
Portland, OR 97209
The Green Dragon
928 SE 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
Brewer’s on the Bay
2320 OSU Drive
Newport, OR 97365
Rogue Ales Public House
748 SW Bay Blvd.
Newport, OR 97365
Rogue Ales Public House
100 39th St. (Pier 39)
Astoria, OR 97103
Issaquah Brewhouse
35 W. Sunset Way
Issaquah, WA 98027
Rogue Ales Public House
North Beach
673 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Bacon Maple Ale is also available for purchase by mail order on the rogue.com store.


A Beer a Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Often a source of the only clean water available, in moderation, beer can be good for you. It appears that the carbon-dioxide in the beer improved water absorption with carbohydrates replacing lost calories for athletes. Beer is also rich in B vitamins, silica for bone health and fibre. What about that beer belly you ask? Well, glass for glass, beer has less calories than wine. Just cut out the binge drinking and the chips and salsa.

‘Beer has a bad image – it is more often associated with drunken football crowds than health-conscious, discerning drinkers,’ says Dr George Philliskirk of The Institute of Brewing and Distillery, who specialises in yeast research. ‘But when drunk in moderation, beer provides a wider range of health benefits than wine.’

Like you needed a reason to drink beer. Now you have no excuse not to crack one open tonight with dinner! Cheers.