Poorer weather helped thin out the crowds on Thursday, leaving lots of chances to talk with the breweries and enjoy some extra elbow room. After spending most of my time on Wednesday drinking American beers and those of the three main international countries (Belgium, Brazil and Italy), it was time to shift my focus on Quebec brewers. This turned out to be a smart decision as the local breweries are quite generous with their pours, often giving more than three to four ounces. While this is great in many ways, it can also impede how much beers one can try in a given day. A very minor complaint.
It was also funny to walk around and see what styles have come to be the specialties of Quebec brewers. While Ontario is inundated with pale ales and generic lagers, Quebec abounds with saisons and beers with weird grains (such as rye and buckwheat). That isn’t meant to offer a comparison in terms of quality, just to point out that the province has some unique beers. It is hard not to try something new at Mondial.
And a final note about Quebec breweries (and, yes, this is a very generalized statement): they have some terrible labels. Lots of amateur art, bad fonts and poor quality of printing. A lot of people don’t care about labels, but it hard to expect a quality brew when the brewery doesn’t take the time to make their packaging look half-decent.
- Trois Mousquetaires American Pale Ale (Canada): One of my favourite brewery discoveries this year, though I wasn’t sure what to expect from a brewery that mainly makes lagers. I first thought the smell was aromatic and floral, but started to get lots of cardboard and boiled grains later. Lots of caramel flavours and tropical fruits. Nice amount of bitterness. Average. (Ratebeer)
- Charlevoix Dominus Vobiscum Brut (Canada): Half champagne-half beer, the Dominus Brut uses champagne yeasts and goes through a bottle aging process. Poured with a large, fluffy, crackling head. Very pale straw colour. Extremely sweet – I thought there might have been added sugar. Lots of fruitiness and some honey. Syrupy body and definitely not as light as champagne. Dry, spicy finish. Very interesting – really glad I got to try this! (Ratebeer)
- Beau’s Matt’s Sleepy Time Belgian Imperial Stout (Canada): Transparent brown, with ruby tones. Nice nose of chocolate and spices. Coffee, cocoa and spices (coriander, chai). Reminded me of eating a spiced dark chocolate bar. A little yeast. Medium bodied, which works well. I really liked this (my notes say “fantastic”) – not your typical imperial stout, but lots of depth and flavours. (Ratebeer)
- Hopfenstark Post-Colonial IPA (Canada): Ah, finally a cask beer! Grapefruit and caramel. Yum! Two check marks!(Ratebeer)
- Rogue Chocolate Stout (Canada): Man, was this disappointing. Lots of chocolate, but no complexity. A little bitterness. Got bored of this beer really quickly.(Ratebeer)
- Allagash White (USA): Yeah, I had this yesterday, but was I supposed to say no to a free sample? (Ratebeer)
- Stone IPA (USA): Obviously a fresher bottle than I had in the States recently. Not a mind-blowing IPA, but tasty. (Ratebeer)
- Left Hand Imperial Stout (USA): Almost black, except for some dark brown spots around th edges. Lots of cocoa and bitterness. Definitely packs an oomph and some alcoholic warmth.(Ratebeer)
- Avery Hog Heaven Barley Wine (USA): Definitely an American barley wine, with the hops almost stealing the show. Vanilla and raisin. Strong pine bitterness in the end. Blurs the line between barley wine and imperial IPA. (Ratebeer)
Another fabulous day! And, in case you’re wondering, that Avery sticker is on the side of a urinal. I made sure no one else was in the washroom before I took the photo.
Today: 1.06L. Year-to-date: 112.88L.