We’re nearing beer o’clock. More specifically, we’re nearing the most highly-anticipated 60 hour stretch of conspicuous beer consumption of the year. It’s called the Mondial de la Bière.
Unlike your average worknight, where access to Porto Alegre or Farnham microbrews can be tricky to say the least, a quick métro ride will suffice to sample over 500 types of malted bev between June 11th and 15th.
570 is a big flashy number, kids, but here’s what I’m most excited about.
Over half those beers are making their Mondial premiere. Given the fact that each brewer generally wants to showcase as much product as possible every year, this is a big deal.
What does this mean? 269 beers that you’ve likely never tried before.
Where to start? From Noir et Blanc’s Abyss’ale to DDC’s rhubarb & grapefruit stout to a new 8% sparkling cider from McKeown, the newbie carte is vast. Some on the list have already premiered around town, such as Brutopia’s Dreadnought or McAuslan’s Double IPA. But that should not stop you from tasting a drab or two and learning more about how they make their beers–if only to make more informed decisions in the future.
Eat while you drink
While you may think that the only food you’re interested in is barley or wheat, you must recall that beer tasting goes smoother (and longer) if puncutated with just the right amount (and type) of nourishment
For the first time, I’m very happy to see the Mondial assuming some serious gastronomical duties. Whereas previous iterations have featured a smattering of stands with small nibbles, this year features 15 full-out food kiosques and an entire slate of tutorials on cooking with beer.
So to that end—and possibly because, well, beer drinkers are such sturdy types—you’ll find stalls with deer smoked-meat (on panini) seal’s loins and even wild boar hamburgers. If yours is a fragile stomach, don’t worry, there’s plenty of traditional stuff like pretzels, sausages and meatballs.
How bout them apples?
500 varieties of malted bev can be rather overwhelming. But gluten doesn’t rule the day here. At the Mondial, “bière” is a loose term, and you’ll also find over 50 different ciders, meads, and other fruit-based options.
So save up your loonies this weekend ($1 gets you a drink ticket; most drinks cost 2-4 tickets). Next weeken will be a hoppin’. (Sorry)
Keep an eye out for our recap of the Mondial’s gastronomical offerings, as well as a Top 10 new alcoholic “découvertes”, right here in Food & Drunk!
The Mondial de la bière runs from June 11-14 (10 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and June 15 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.) at the Palais des congrès.
Got suggestions of beers we should test? Tweet us at @forgetthebox and we’ll “do our best” to drink even more!
Cover photo by Martin Dougliamas via Flickr (cropped)