Saturday, June 16, 2012

Festibière de la Gatineau

Hi there!

I like beer, you like beer, every good Canadian likes their beer! Surprisingly, the Internet just told me that per capita, we're barely in the top 20 beer-drinking countries (#19). The Czechs are number 1, which is no surprise whatsoever, since they kind of invented the beer-brewing process as we know it and make really freaking good beer!

But I digress...

I think it's fair to say that Canadian beer is pretty delicious. Some of my favourites include Mill Street's Tankhouse Ale and Vanilla Porter, Creemore Springs Lager, and Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale, all brewed in Ontario.

But on the weekend of May 25-27, it was our Quebecois friends across the Ottawa River's turn to show their stuff. The Festibière de la Gatineau was held in Parc Lac-Leamy, just down from the Casino Lac-Leamy, currently the premiere gambling establishment in the area (although it would seem that we're getting one in Downtown Ottawa).

It was a fantastic time, beautiful weather, hilariously trashy crowds and AMAZING beer (and tasty food to boot!). So, instead of going into some great comparative beer tasting, I'll simply take you on a photographic tour of the Festibière.

Day1 - The beer drinking masses amass

The event was remarkably kid-friendly. To the left (unseen) is a bouncy castle for Mommy to take spawn while Daddy gets boozed up. Also, ice cream and face painting. As an aside, what a view!

Random beer facts

Steampunk Stilters - why not?

Hot redhead beer expert. I love Quebec!

Micro de Bromont's "Chanvre Rouge" (Red Hemp Beer) - best beer of the weekend - Deep rich hoppy flavour with only the subtlest of "weedy" undertones.

Flash car!
Flash bike!

Down and out...

...But not for long! (I love Quebec!)
Sun setting on the 'fest

Day 2 - Sunday brunch courtesy of Pain voyageur

Unibroue tent
Ranch panoramique - They had very tasty food (Bison meatballs!)
Another hot beer expert!
Barbacoa BBQ truck - very tasty ribs
La Micro de Bromont - They do amazing things with hemp and hops!
A little musical entertainment
Festival Organizer Mario D'Eer talking about the plight of the whopping crane. Or maybe, possibly, beer.
The menu at Brasseur de Montreal - The Ghosttown Absinthe Stout was definitely one of the more unique beers I've ever had! Yet still tasty.
The menu at Brasserie Grimoire out of Granby - Their "Desérables" maple beer was by far Kari's favourite of the weekend.
Au revoir Festibiere! See you next year!

So, those are just a few of the sights and sounds of the 2nd annual Festibière de Gatineau. It was a really fun time even if it was basically walking around drinking and eating and people-watching. I tried many a delicious and interesting new beer, got to see some of the processes involved in running a microbrewery, and got to spend two days drinking outside! And to top it off, Kari insisted we hit the slots at the casino (we all have our weaknesses) and I won about 40 bucks! 

Ironically, we went to Montreal a couple of weeks later and popped into Le Mondial de la Bière. Instead of being held outside, this event was at Place Bonaventure. It was kind of like they moved the Festibière from a beautiful sunny park into a Cold War bomb shelter. Point: Gatineau!

And that's about it for this post! I hope you get the chance to try some of the microbrewed beers offered by our Quebecois neighbours. It'll be worth your while!

Enjoy! Happy Drinking!

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