Monday, 12 June 2017

Another Year of Mondial de la Biere! (Another Year It Must Cope With Paternalistic Prohibition-Inspired Legal Limitations!)

As another year has passed, we once again find ourselves on the verge of the forthcoming Mondial de la Bière which runs from this Wednesday, June 14 through Sunday June 18 at Montreal's Palais des Congrès.

In year's past, I have given advice on arriving early if you wish to try rarities or to avoid the weekend party atmosphere (or late if you seek the party atmosphere!), on which specific beers to seek out, and on strategies for finding your specific beers of interest.

This year, I will be briefer, but will - in a somewhat different vein - push a bit of a political agenda (or two).

For example, one of the most sought-after beers on the list: Three Floyds nearly-IPA level APA "Zombie Dust" is on offer, but once again promises to be far too old for optimal enjoyment.  Oh, us geeks will still buy samples, "tap it," and lament the stale aged hops, but why don't we instead (or in addition) contact our local MNA and demand a change to regulations, or engage in a discussion over these sub-optimal beers as to how best to lobby for progressively amending outdated alcohol laws?  It isn't Mondial's fault that these beers must spend many months being 'tested' by the SAQ (despite the fact that no known pathogens can exist in a fermented beer below 4.5% ph or above 2% ABV), and I applaud Mondial for bringing in these diverse offerings  These regressive laws don't only baby us, they cost taxpayers needlessly and ensure that we are shielded from many great products in the global market.

Sure, some beer styles withstand this trip (and for those, I encourage you to check out Belgium's Brasserie de Bastogne, Brasserie de la Senne, Brussels Beer Project, Vliegende Paard Brouwers, Brazil's Cervejaria Colorado, America's The Lost Abbey, Three Floyds, and Weyerbacher, Norway's Haandbryggeriet and Nøgne Ø), but many are either not at their best or hindered by this delay.  (Typically IPA, APA, and other well-hopped styles are most adversely affected, while Scotch Ales, Imperial Stouts, Barleywines, sour beers, and saisons - mostly saved by higher ABVs - are better respresented after the wait).  Alternatively, stick to the many excellent local brewers (at least for the IPA/APA style).

I, alone, will not boycott the international booth, but perhaps this is a strategy discussion the beer community may want to have for future years, or at least to plan for as it may bring Mondial around to join us in pushing for change.  Their lobbying weight cannot be underestimated and it is surely in their interests to provide the best and freshest beer as well as the diversity for which we applaud them.

In an unrelated, but likewise politically motivated suggestion, consider that as starvation both threatens the stability of many and as climate change alongside a growing population means diminished access to food in the future, many have argued that insects should provide a more sustainable and healthy alternative to other protein sources.  Thus, my penultimate Mondial tip is to seek out Globe Trotter and to begin adjusting your palates to this delicious and nutritious food oddity.

Finally, remember the most important things: step outside of your comfort zone, try new beers and styles that you may never get to otherwise, but don't bud in line, don't be a jerk, and do not, under any circumstances drive drunk.  Having fun in such a way ensures that we all can.  Cheers and see you at Mondial!

1 comment:

  1. The Government control of our quest to discover new alcohols and beers is vastly more sinister than we can imagine. If you go abroad and find a great beer or whisky that is not offered here in Quebec (or for that matter Ontario) and when you approach the SAQ or LBCO to import this yourself, you will quickly find that it not only takes 6 months or longer, but you are personally on the hook for the cost of these government agencies investigating and testing alcohol, but any shipping they have to engage to do the testing. The costs are in the hundreds of dollars. And most of these beers and alcohols come from nations with extremely high standards, who have already commercially vetted these products up and down !