Yesterday, I went to le Mondial de la Bière at the Palais des Congrès. It was Montreal’s 20th year of the beer festival. I had never been to it before and decided last minute to go there with Rox since we couldn’t have any reservations at Au Pied de Cochon. It’s a month’s wait for saturdays, so expect a review by fall! The festival started on May 29th until June 2nd, yes sadly it ends tonight at 8 p.m. It ended at 10 p.m. on the other days.
We entered through De la Gauchetière street, I had to buy some fans in Chinatown to survive the heat wave. I was delighted to see a couple of food trucks, so excited for June 20th where public places will be streaming with food trucks! Rox noticed a grilled cheese with sour cream from La Gargantua. We decided to visit inside first.
You have special combos where you can get coupons with a reusable plastic mug or a small glass. We chose combo no. 3 that gave us 15 coupons and a plastic mug. A drink is worth between 2 and 6 coupons.
I am not a big beer person, except if it’s free. I prefer light beer, not too strong. I cannot chug either, the times I’ve done it, I end up spitting out the beer. I was more excited about the food tasting. Rox accompanied me in my delight. We were immediately attracted by the smell of sausages on stick but the line-up was too long and we were starving. We decided to try cajun flavoured crayfish. We had never tried crayfish and we thought it tasted similar to shrimps since it looks like it. It was 3 pieces for 5 dollars but the guy was nice and gave us 5 pieces. Though we didn’t expect it would be cold. He showed us how to open the tail and eat the meat. The first try was difficult, we got better at the second try. Our thoughts? Shrimps are way better than crayfish. It tasted weird and even if it wasn’t worth our money, at least we can say we tried crayfish. Not that I would recommend it… We also tried eating the body part but it was worse, to not say disgusting.
After a while, we finally got to try sausages on a stick!!! Unfortunately, they didn’t have their tasting plate anymore where you could try 7 sorts of meats. Rox tried the mushrooms and boar while I had the cajun bison. Both delicious! There was a thunderstorm when we wanted to go back outside so we got more sausages. Rox got the infernal duck (spicy) and I chose the octoberfest deer (beer flavoured). Yet again, delicious! Though the duck was too spicy, Rox had trouble finishing it. A sausage was 5.75 dollars, definitely worth the price.
I wanted to get some pretzels but Rox wanted to try other things first, including the grilled cheese with sour cream. But due to the thunderstorm, we didn’t and it was closed when we got out at 10 p.m. To my disarray, the pretzels were sold out! My heart broke in little pieces when I saw this cute sign!
At least, I was able to get some fudge! We got 6 pieces for the price of 10 dollars. Of course, we took crazy different flavours: butter & pecans, amaretto, jalapeno, maple & nut, pralines and sucre à la crème (dunno how to translate it in English). Rox only tried amaretto and butter & pecans with me. She had too much alcohol in her system for a little amount of food. I tasted all of them and my favourites are amaretto and pralines. I also have to mention that the guy at the fudge booth was hilarious. I told him we’d take a box so he only gave me a box. He said that he needed to see a piece of ID for the amaretto flavour and Rox was ready to show him her card. I almost died of laughter. Also they were so many flavours, making a choice wasn’t easy.
Rox fell in love with the rhum flavoured amber, best beer she’s had of the festival. It actually tasted and smelled like banana syrup. She has me to thank for it, as soon as I saw the guy with his Hulk Hogan moustache, I knew the booth had strong beer. He cracked me up when he served a couple beer. The girl asked what flavour was which and as he couldn’t remember, he sniffed them both. We tried mead, a fermented beverage made of water and honey, malt, and yeast. Rox had one that had raspberries even if it wasn’t pink. Mine was rose flavoured, it tasted ultra sweet and the colour matched my nails! I only took light beers, like one that was raspberry flavoured or ciders.
Overall, we had a great time tasting beers, ciders and snacks. It was our first experience and we will be going back next year. I definitely recommend checking the place out at least once.
Cute sign that they ran out of beer, shortly after we arrived so around 7 p.m.