• Limetree

Mondial de la Biere 2022

Updated: May 27

By Tony Forder


It was so good to be back in Montreal, back at the Mondial de la Biere festival. Sure, I was there last fall for the Terrace d'Automne, a covid watered-down Mondial, but this was the real thing back in all its glory at the classic Gare Windsor, Montreal's elegant former train station.


Top, Peter McAuslan; volunteers at the Petit Pub. Below, Gare Windsor.


This year's festival reinforced the relaxed feeling of the Mondial, enabled by the absence of an entry fee – visitors are able to come and go as they please over a 4-day schedule, paying for samples as they go. The newly remodeled Rio Tinto courtyard provided ample outdoor space and seating and the weather proved better than forecast although a storm warning Saturday which never materialized evening did scatter some of the crowd.

Overall the fest was well-attended, not to the degree of some former years, but definitely encouraging for a city emerging from the Covid-19 shadow. More than 400 beers were in supply, plus an assortment of spirits – cocktails and mocktails – ciders and mead (hydromel), from some 70 exhibitors. The Mondial program also listed a dozen alcohol-free beers from various breweries.


Tony Forder, Ale Street News and Mondial de la Biere - a lengthy collaboration


The OGs like RJ, McAuslan, Trois Mousquetaires, Dieu du Ciel!, Le Saint-Bock, Helm and Brasseur de Montreal were there. Peter McAuslan, now making gin and whisky in his "retirement", was busy signing his new book Making Better Beer. Many Quebec newcomers too – colorful Lagabier, Gallicus, 4 Origines, Alpha, Domaine Berthaume and Shawbridge to name a few. Le Naufrageur made the trip in from the Gaspé peninsular, Beaus returned from Ontario and the Petit Pub presented beers from 9 Vermont breweries – Big Tree, Dirt Church, Drop In, Foam, Green Empire, House of Fermentology, Lawsons Finest Liquids, Lucy & Howe, Stone Corral, and Zero Gravity – along with Rare Form and Singlecut Beersmiths from NY State.


IPAs – New England, West Coast, Sour, White – were in good supply, as were Imperial Stouts and Porters, but lighter Lager styles and Sours were also much in evidence. New importers Pivot and Vitriol brought in Belgian Lambics – Drie Fonteinen and Tilquin – and an assortment of barrel-aged Imperial Stouts including a Chartreuse treatment.


So, with a roll of the dice, we can say the Mondial de la Biere Festival is back at full strength after a 2-year hiatus (except for the Terrace event last fall). Nearly 40,000 visitors attended the 28th edition of the festival. The only things missing were the MBiere judging competition and a fuller slate of imports. With Covid restrictions still lingering – the masking rule was only lifted a week before the fest – there simply wasn't enough time.

The Rio de Janeiro version of Mondial de la Biere, which was successfully staged in December 2021, will be back again in December 2022.


Photos here