Visit to Mondial de la Biere June 6th 2009 Sunday, Jun 7 2009 

I can not cover the Mondial de la Biere in just one visit so I went back on Saturday June 6th. I was amazed as to how many others  were there.  This of course means you are lined up for everything. If you can arrange it you might want to go in the day during the week. Due to the crowding my note for the most part are very brief.

So I lined up, to get my tasting glass and some tickets. Then a quick walk around to see if there was anything new.

1st stop Booth 172 Molson/Rickard’s to try Rickerd’s White 5.4%. It was a light tasting beer, it’s now been added to my summer list.

Next was Brasserie Artisanale Le Saint-Bock @ booth 64, and tried their R.I.P @ 14.9%. It is in a Russian Imperial Porter style. Yes this is a 2nd taste for this beer. I am starting to like this beer for it’s taste, and I think it would be a great beer for use in cooking.

On to Booth 14 Okanagan Spring Brewery for their Okanagan Spring Pale Ale 5%, it’s a nice clear looking, light and crisp tasting beer.

Benelux-Brasserie Artisanale Et Cafe for their Novis 5% Pale Ale Belge. It’s a very nice Pale Ale. Benelux is now on my list of pubs/bars in Montreal, the free WiFi will just be a bonus. I want to try some of their other beers to see how good they are.

Then on to the Black Oak Brewing Co. for their Black Oak Pale Ale 5%. Nice golden colour very refreshing finish.

For some thing a little different I stopped that Booth 18 Asahi Breweries Ltd. and tried their Asahi Supper Dry. A very Cold Crisp Beer.

Getting ready to head for home and had a couple of tickets left, so I stopped at Booth 6 for a Sol.

Food stopped at Experience Kangourou yes I had the “Mini Skippy Burger” again. Starting to like Kangaroo.

Stopped back at InterMiel booth 54  to buy some Mead I got a  bottle of Rosee hydromel which is a Rose petal and cranberry honey wine and a bottle of Bleuets Hydromel a Blueberry honey wine.

Plan for next years Mondial de la Biere will include 2 weekday visits.

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Visit to Mondial de la Biere June 3rd 2009 Wednesday, Jun 3 2009 

Took a 1/2 day vacation today so I could visit the first day of the Mondial de la Biere ( you can down load PDF’s with all the information on the festival from here)

The layout was similar to last years layout. I started with Combo 1 with is a 8 oz Tasting Glass, a copy of “Beer Tasting guide by Mario D’Eer and 10 tickets

I had gone over the list of beers with a few friends the day before so I had a list of some that I wanted to try. No tasting notes for this post. Where I have the companies URL I have loaded it.

I had not had lunch yet so I stopped and grabbed some sushi from the Sushi Shop @ booth 40

First Up from booth 132 Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! Rigor Mortis Abt  coming in at 10.5%  I would love to get a 6 pack of this beer and get to know it over a warm sunny afternoon. It’s complex beer.

Next I stopped by the InterMiel booth 54  and tried the Geai bleu which is not a beer but a Maple and Blueberry Liquor coming in at 22%. Not a drink for sitting down and having a few but more like a brandy or port for after dinner. I ended up buying a 375ml bottle for $20.00 CDN

Then it was off to Brasserie Artisnale Brutopia Booth 52 and tried the Smoked Stout (do not know the %) this beer is not listed on the program guide, but a late addition to the festival. I could see having a few of these by a fire in the late autumn.

Next was Brasserie Artisanale Le Saint-Bock @ booth 64, and tried their R.I.P @ 14.9%. It is in a Russian Imperial Porter style. Not a beer that I made friends with on the first sip. I could see it taking a few glasses of R.I.P to get use to it but it would be worth it in the long run.

I stopped by the Les 3 Brasseurs booth 88 and had one of their La Blonde  @5.2%. This Brew Pub has 4 locations in the Montreal area, a great places to drop in for Beer or 2 and a bite to eat. It’s a good beer, I had it to reset my taste buds.

Then on to Brasserie McAuslan at booth 100 this is my favorite Brewery. Had my first glass for 2009 of their St-Ambroise a f’ Abricot @ 5% I love this Apricot Wheat beer. Then a Griffon extra blonde @ 5% a nice crisp beer. I also picked up 2 hats and a bottle of their St-Ambroise mustard.

I was hunger again so I picked up from 2 specialty booths:

Experience Kangourou yes I had the “Mini Skippy Burger” first time I have tried Kangaroo, well it did not taste like chicken it was better. Not planning to drop Pork or Beef to switch over but would buy some to try.

Les Bons Roules Keve I tried some Buffalo other wise know as the North American Bison and some Boar. Interesting taste but not sure if it was the meat or the spices in the meat. Again would love to buy some to try at home.

The Kangaroo, Buffalo, and Boar was wash down with Corona @ 4.6 from Brasserie Modelo booth 172.

I had a great time and will be going back on Saturday or Sunday and will take some tasting notes.

If you are in the Montreal area and like beer come on down and have some fun.

Mondial de la biere Montreal 2009 June 3rd to 7th Sunday, May 31 2009 

The 16th Mondial de la biere Montreal kicks off on June 3rd this year.

The line up of Breweries  look’s great, lots of Quebec and Ontario brewers. From outside Canada there will be breweries from USA, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark.

It is been held at the Windsor Station and Courtyard 1160, De la Gauchetiere Street

The web site is not very Web 2.0.  You have to open a number of PDF’s to get the information but it will be worth it if you go.

To try a number of beers you need to go more than once.

I have a off site meeting on Wednesday Morning, so I think I will take the afternoon off and go.

I an also planing to go on Saturday or Sunday not sure which yet.

Hope to see you there.

Snow 2009 Montreal Vs Toronto Part 1 Sunday, Feb 1 2009 

Time for an other one of my views on Montreal Vs Toronto. We have had a good amount of snow fall so far this winter in Montreal.

I was in Toronto around Christmas time as was not impressed with the snow removal job being done. I was visiting my parents in the Steels & Yonge Street area, and the apartment building next to theirs it 100% retired people and their building is at least 50% retired. The sidewalks were not plowed I found walking to be very hard, I had to tell my Mom, if you have to go out drive do not walk. Where the sidewalks meet the road you had to scramble over snow banks 2 to 3 feet high. I was all over downtown Toronto just seeing the changes and check our a few favorites stores.  It looked like the various stores were cleaning in front of their stores but there were still either snow banks to climb over or 3 to 4 foot slush puddles 3 to 6 inch deep to wade through. Back before they combined all the cities in to TORONTO the snow clean up was much better.

You do not see this in Montreal very often. They start by plowing the road and 1 one the sidewalks making sure that even the corners are clean and clear. By late the next day all the sidewalks are clean and snow between the sidewalk and the road is gone.

As some one who gets around on Public Transit or walks Montreal seems to be handing the snow much better than Toronto over the 3 winters that I have been in Montreal.

Montreal get more snow than Toronto on average and have set up their snow handling system to handle what they get. I hear Montrealers complaining about how bad the snow removal is here but I just smile. It has to be at least twice as good as Toronto’s.

2008 in Review Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

Mixed feelings about 2008

The Good Stuff:

Not laid off yet

Still enjoying living in Montreal

My Dad made it thorough an other year

Made it to the 2008 Clearwater Beach, Ontario Annual Fun Day and caught up with a number of my oldest friends

Reconnected with a number of old friends via Facebook

Made a number of new friends around the world via Plurk, and Twitter

Learned way more about the accounting side SAP than I wanted

Learned more about SAP in general

All the SNOW Montreal had in 2008

The Earl Haig Secondary School 80th Birthday Bash

The Lachine Canal Fold Festival

Flaveurs Bieres et Caprices

The Bad:

One of those few I considered my mentors Garry Enright passed away at the end of July. Garry had been in the Electrical industry for a number of years, @ Chromalox, Square D, Schneider Electric and The OEL.

One of my oldest high school friends lost his dad at the start of December. Bruce my thoughts are still with you

The general economic melt down.

The various “stars” here is my list (I may have missed a few) in date order

Suzanne Pleshette, Barry Morse, Roy Scheider, Jeff Healey, Ivan Dixon, Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Duffy, Dick Martin, Harvey Korman, George Carlin, Estelle Getty, Jerry Reed, Paul Newman, Paul Benedict, Nina Foch, Bettie Page, Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Eartha Kitt

The end of the Royal Canadian Air Farce

Learned way more about the accounting side SAP than I wanted

Next Post Plans for 2009

Flaveurs Bières et Caprices Montreal Nov 14 & 15 2008 Saturday, Nov 8 2008 

This upcoming festival is focusing on the brewing creativity of Sweden and Denmark. In addition there will be brewers from the USA, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Belgium, France.

They also have some ciders.

For an over view please check the link to the festival home page

One of my favour brewers will be there McAuslan Brewing, and they are bringing The Great St-Ambroise Pumpkin Ale! I have never tried it but McAuslan’s speciality beers are great so I look forward to trying this one.

I plan to go to the early Saturday session 11:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

They also will have food from Sweden and Denmark and other places.

Look’s like a fun way to spend a November Saturday.

Hope to see some of you there

Public Transit Montreal Vs Toronto Part 1 Sunday, Jul 27 2008 

TTC vs STM

Or

Toronto Transit Commission vs La Société de transport de Montréal

Round One Cost for Adults:

TTC Cash Fare  $2.75    5 Tickets $11.25  Weekly Pass $32.25   Monthly Pass $109.00

STM Cash Fare $2.75     6 Tickets $12.00  Weekly Pass $19.25   Monthly Pass $66.25

Winner Round One Montreal the cost of the Monthly and Weekly passes put’s Montreal the way over the top. Bonus you can buy the passes at a number of local shops.

Round Two Subway vs Metro:

  • Downtown area access. Montreal has better coverage than Toronto. The multiple lines give means you tend to be a little closer.
  • North – South access. Hard to call, but a slight edge to Montreal as it’s north south branches are further apart then Toronto’s
  • East – West access. Toronto win’s the Bloor-Danforth-SRT lets you cover about 80 % of the East West length of Toronto, being in close to the middle of the north south distance it is a fast way to get accross the city. Montreal is missing a good east west metro link. If you live on the west end of the island you have no metro coverage. They try to make up for it with express bus coverage but it’s not a good. The east end has some what better coverage but still not a good as it could be.

Winner Round Two, hard to call, if you live down town Montreal, if you live to east or west ends of the city Toronto. So call it a tie.

Round Three Bus coverage:

This will be purely subjective. If you just look at the maps Montreal seems too not have as many routes and they seem confused. I thought so but after using the bus’s in Montreal for around a year now, the routes now makes sense. They cross over and by doing so they make the walk to the bus shorter in many cases. The routing may make the ride a little longer than the straight line route would.

Winner Round Three, going to call this on a tie. The Toronto bus straight line runs may mean you get from point A to point B faster but only if you are close to the major streets. The Montreal routes may take longer from point A to point B but they tend to be much easier to get to.

Round Four Hour’s of Operation:

Both Montreal and Toronto start morning bus and metro/subway services about the same time.

Montreal Metro’s last train starts @ 12:30 am weeknights & Sunday 1:00 am on Saturday.

Toronto Subway’s last train starts @ 1:30 every night.

Montreal’s Over Night Bus Services starts between 12:30 and 1:30 am depending on the route weeknights.

Toronto’s Blue Night Service starts @ about 1:30 am every day.

Winner Round Four, Toronto by nose. Standard Service runs latter than Montreal’s. Not a huge difference.

Over All Winner, Montreal with the Monthly pass at almost half price, beats the slight advantage of Toronto’s service times.

Beer Montreal Vs Toronto Part 2 Wednesday, May 21 2008 

Buying Beer part 1

Splitting Buying Beer in to several parts…  This post buying in Ontario.

Ontario

In Ontario for the most part you buy your beer at one of two places, the “Beer Store” which only sells beer or the LCBO which like the SAQ  in Quebec sell Wine, Spirits, and some beer. In remote areas some grocery stores are licensed to sell beer. Some breweries also have have on site sales stores.

The are 3 kind of “Beer Store” layouts. 

1) the full self serve where all the different beers in all the package sizes are in a cold area and you go and pick what you want. Most new stores are on this model.

2) the full they serve. You walk in and get in line and tell the person what you want they call it out and someone in the back cold area pick’s puts it on a roller and it come out the hole in the wall and you pay the one who you gave your order to and walk out with the beer. These are mostly the older stores.

3) the mixed serve. You want a 6 pack or a 12 you pull it from the self serve area or if you want a case of 18 or 24 you have to go to the person at the counter and order it just like the they serve. There were not many of these, and I think they are or were phasing these out.

If you want to get a keg you have to call ahead to order it. You can order from 70 different brands.

The true mico-brewery beers are hard to get at the “Beer Store” because it is hard and expensive for them to get placement at the “Beer Store” chain wide. What would happen was you could get it at the “Beer Store’s” close to the brewery but maybe not be available at a “Beer Store” hundred miles away…. 

Here is list of brewers currently available from the “Beer Store” as of May 2008

 

Domestic Brewers

Amsterdam Brewing Company

Better Bitters Brewing Company

Black Oak Brewing Co. Ltd.

Brick Brewing Co. Limited

Cameron’s Brewing Company

Cool Beer Brewing Co.

Durham Brewing Company

F & M Brewery

Great Lakes Brewing Company

Heritage Brewing Limited

King Brewery

Labatt Breweries Ontario

Lakes of Muskoka Cottage Brewery Inc.

Magnotta Brewery Limited

Mill Street Brewery

Molson Ontario Breweries

Moosehead Breweries Limited

Neustadt Springs Brewery Ltd.

Niagara’s Best Beer Ltd.

Northern Breweries Ltd.

Robert Simpson Brewing Company

Skeena Brewing Company

Sleeman Brewing & Malting

Steam Whistle Brewing

Steelback Brewery

Trafalgar Brewing Company

Walkerville Brewing Company

Wellington County Brewery Inc.

Import Brewers

AB Gubernija

Affligem Brouwerij BDS N.V.

Asia Pacific Brewery

Bass Beers Worldwide Limited

Bavaria USA, Inc.

Big Rock Brewery Ltd.

Brasserie Fischer S.A.

Brasserie Licorne SAS

Brau Union International GMBH

Brauerei Beck GMBH & Co.

Brew Alliance of Quebec

Brewery Huyghe

Brooklyn Brewery

Brouwerij De Koninck

Carib Brewery

Carlsberg International S/A

Cerveceria Bucanero S.A.

Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma

Cerveceria Modelo, S.A. De C.V.

Charles Wells Limited

Co. KG

Coors UK

DAB Brewery 

E & J Gallo Winery of Canada

Fuerstlich Fuerstenbergische Brauerei

Greene King Brewery

Grolsch Export B.V.

Guinness Brewing

Hacker-Pschorr Brewery

Heineken Brouwerijen B.V.

High Falls Brewing Company

Holsten Brauerei AG

Inbev S.A.

Interbrew UK

Kirin Brewery

Krombacher Brauerei Bernhard

Lowenbrau

Mark Anthony Group Inc.

Marston’s PLC

McAuslan Brewing Inc.

Miller Brewing Company

Neversink Brewery

Paulaner Brauerei GmbH & Co KG

Pilsner Urquell a.s.

Pivovary Staropramen A.S.

Privatbraurerei Erdinger Weissbrau

R.J. Brewers

Royal Unibrew

Schadeberg GmbH & Co KG

Scottish & Newcastle Breweries plc

Stiegl Getranke & Service GMBH &

The Boston Beer Company

The Stroh Brewery Company

Warsteiner Brewery

Werner Brombach GmbH

==================

 

Oh you usualy can get beer related stuff at the “Beer Store” tee shirts, golf shirts, ball caps, and glassware. Also if you do not know what to get for someone Gift Certificates.

The system works but it can be pain at times is you are not near a “Beer Store” or a LCBO.

Beer Montreal Vs Toronto Part 1 Wednesday, May 14 2008 

Toronto Vs Montreal and Ontario Vs Quebec this is a tough one when it comes to beer. This is going to be a multi part blog entry…

Beer at Bar’s

Not sure that anything will knock Guinness out of my #1 Spot… it’s not a beer for every occasion but it’s my go to beer. It my session beer, I can drink it all not and not get wasted.

Ontario

Some of my best memories with friends in Ontario were a one of our locals over a few “pints” from small brewers…

Upper Canada in it’s several flavours was possibly my second favorite. When it was on it’s own I knew the Sales rep at about 3 different bars. They would at a minimum at least say hi if you were drinking Upper Canada. The one guy who called on my main local did not care what I was drinking but would stop and chat for 10 15 minutes. Every now and then a pint or pitcher would just show up… no charge or an order of wings… It was not expected or needed  but it was a nice touch. Once they were bought out… new reps, who did not seem to have the time to say hi, is the beer Ok? As soon as a micro or small breweries get a good following one of the bigger breweries tries to buy it. With in months of being bought… the beer goes down hill. The availability at the bars start to be spotty because it not being shipped as regularly as it use to

Then there is the anti-beer attitude in some bars. If you are drinking beer some how you are not a real customer… If your not ordering fancy drinks your not what they want… I put up with it once, because stuff can happen… but 2 times I do not come back, not even it the girl friend demands it. The reward may be great but some hoops are not worth it.

Quebec

In Quebec, still looking for what will be MY LOCAL, it just a lot of nice or great bar around where I live and downtown, but I am working on one…. but it will take time as I am not going out as often as I  use to.

The micro breweries are available at different bars, so I go to is some what dependent on what I feel like drinking.. still working on meeting the sales rep’s… but it will happen.

Have not been in Quebec long enough to see a buy out yet. But in talking to the staff at bars and friends there does not seen to be the buy out thing going on there. The small and micro beer is usually in stock and ready to go.

Have not found an anti-beer attitude in Montreal. Even at a very high end bar no attitude  when you order a beer. 3 of us had 5 beer’s waiting to get a table for dinner at the bar (the bill was about $49 with out tax for beer in a bottle) the girl was quick, friendly, and willing to put up with my really bad french…

Plus the later hours in Montreal…

I will share some of my favorite bars in Montreal in a latter post

Over all Montreal KICKS Toronto’s butt in the bar race…

Montreal Vs Toronto Part Hockey Part 2 Sunday, May 11 2008 

Hockey part 2

 

It took a while to write this post as I had to think about it…  I was downtown for several of the playoff games and the TRUE FANS were in the bars having a few and a good time, or just walking around. There were groups around stores that hadTV sets that you could see from the streets…

There was no indication that anything like the “riot” could or would happen. 

I was not there for the “riot” but I  do not see how it was the real fans that I had seen, had drinks with, and talked to on the other nights. On the nights I was there it was a bunch of fan’s just out for some fun and wanting/expecting a win

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