Saturday, 25 May 2013

Mondial Marvels: Enticing Options

I have said it before and I'll say it again: unless you want to get stuck just buying whatever is near and getting who knows what based on name or (perhaps) style, you need to make a plan for Mondial de la Bière.

For me that means entering each brewery into beeradvocate and/or ratebeer and checking out the offerings available as detailed on a pdf on the Mondial site.  From that, I have narrowed down my quest and given my trip a purpose.

There may be larger beer festivals in the world, often with a shorter time-frame, but this worldwide selection is unparalleled in diversity while five days allow for days off in between and or multiple days of moderation in the pursuit of many new and typically unavailable tastes.  As this is the world of beer and with the booming craft beer scenes of Italy, Brazil and, of course, the United States, it means that these will be my areas of focus (if not exclusively) alongside a few harder-to-find Quebec oddities.

Specifically, I am excited to try brews from Brazil's breweries Bodebrown, Colorado, Gaudenbier Cervejaria Curitiba,  St. Gallen, and Wäls, especially Wäls' Brut since these champagne-style beers are so rare and wonderful!  Bodebrown brings some enticing IPAs and DIPAs, while Colorado's Brown, IPA, and Russian Imperial Stout seem to hold some strong promise too.

From the States, I look forward to some untried offerings from Allagash, Dogfish Head, Elysian, Smuttynose and Stone.  Specifically, I am anxious to try Elysian's wild/sour ale called Mortis and, though I am only likely to get two or three things I have had before, I will definitely be having an Allagash Curieux again as this Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Tripel is a rare marvel to enjoy and may even dig into another Burton Baton from Dogfish as it is a remarkable and unique oak-aged blend of an old ale and a double IPA!

Like Brazil, Italy also has a booming craft beer industry and top Italian brewers Baladin, Birrificio de Ducato, and Birra del Borgo top my list with the largest number of enticing offerings (not that others, as  with those from the countries above, don't also offer magnificent prospects!).  Del Borgo's l'Equilibrista and del Ducato's La Luna Rossa offer me my craved sourness that is so hard to find, while many of these breweries (and the other unmentioned Italian ones attending) also make strong American IPAs and Belgian styles commonly, especially Saison.

Finally, a few of Quebec's limited production breweries, Le Trou du Diable and Hopfenstark especially, promise much that is usually quite hard to come by and hold the promise of their excellent and well-deserved reputations!  I am disappointed about the apparent absence of Microbrasserie Charlevoix who seems not to be on the list this year and, though I have had all of their regular beers, I will truly miss the opportunity to once again taste their delicious Brut.

Off-site, after-hours, we get the off-Mondial events listed on yet another pdf linked at the Mondial site.  Though I don't know if I will get to any, the Franco-European beer event on Wednesday at Dieu du Ciel looks like a gem, but you'll have to arrive super early, while Saturday promises 15 Quebec casks at the Sherbrooke Benelux location.  Additional events at the St. Ambroise Terrace, Le Chavel Blanc, and Le Saint Bock should also impress those who don't get their fill between the 11am and 10pm hours of the event itself.  Frankly, there is so much to do, drink, and try at this event and around it that it should please any who enjoy a good beer.

For those who don't there is also a fantastic selection of mead to be had on site and, from last year, I can attest to the deliciousness of this sweet honey-wine!

Oh - and one more thing I am looking forward to is the new venue at Palais des Congrès and with inside and outside sections.  Now if only the weather cooperates to maximize the outdoor enjoyment, I anticipate a near perfect week!

Enjoy safely and responsibly, and let me know what most impresses!

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