Le festival des saveurs de Chambly

The interest for microbreweries and flavours from our terroir Québecois is still growing. Sunshine and mild temperatures have attracted a crowd of 65 000 visitors (2008 data) to the 8th edition of the unique Chambly Flavours Festival, an event which every beer lover should attend. I do not remember exactly, but I’m quite sure that I’ve attended every edition of this festival.

I went to two of the four days of the event. Firstly because it is wiser not to make the grand tour in one day and secondly because I had the privilege to work as a volunteer at the booth of the Microbrasserie du Trou du Diable from Shawinigan. I could have and share two different views of the festival.

First stop, promotional items booth. We can provide our own glass for the festival, but they offer a variety of glasses to complete our collections, even if they are already too full. It’s the same for t-shirts. Fine gifts to offer.

Subsequently, we quietly wandered among the ± thirty brewery booths. Over the years, you squeeze more and more hands; talk with the brewers which also explain why it takes at least two days to tour the event. It’s always fun to discuss about their new products, changes in recipes and brewer’s projects. Brewers did present up to eleven beers in their respective booths. Let’s take a look about whom and what they have to offer.

La Micro de Bromont offers now four hemp beers (black, red, blonde and a light). Nice to taste, but don’t expect to feel the hemp in it.
– For the first time, Bièropholie Private Importations held a booth. Those guys have been (and they still) working hard since years to provide a service of beer private importations in Québec Province. With this service, it is possible to order a case of every brewery in Belgium and United States via our Alcohol Society. So if you have a brewery and would like to offer your products to us, just visit their website www.bieropholie.com
For the occasion, they presented products from The Bruery, Anchor Brewery, St.Bernardus and Brewery Het Anker.
Le Bénélux still has incredible brews like the Cuda West Coast IPA and the Magnum Pilsner.
Dieu du Ciel! did add few beers since my last visit. Hors Saison (a Belgian saison) and Pénombre Black IPA. Maybe next bottled beers, maybe not?
Le Broadway presented a fruit version of the Sein d’Esprit Hefeweizen, brewed with apples.
À l’abri de la Tempête came to the continent with an expected product: Corps Mort, Barleywine. Run to buy this product and let it aged in your cellar. Simply intense.
Les Trois Mousquetaires released a new version of their Baltic Porter, brewed with cherry chips. Will be bottled for November.
Le Brouhaha won the festival contest for the best stout with their Choco-Framboise.
Le Trou du Diable presented La Chose, an India Wee-Heavy. This unique recipe mixes the strength of a scotch ale and the bitterness of an IPA. It gives a great result. Strong and hoppy.

Being a volunteer in a brewery booth is a great experience. You a can feel what a thirsty crowd is, try to educate them to great beers and teach them that the color of the beer won’t be necessary reflected in the taste. Anyway, as long as you can provide the magical liquid to every drinker in front of you, it is fine. I met people I’ve seen for a while and we made god tips! Another good thing is that you have free beer. You can’t deny that it’s a good argument.

My next beer trip will be in Beervana (oh yeah!) for the 1st Brewniversary at the Saraveza Oct. 9th and at the Bailey’s Taproom on Oct. 10th. Hope to see you there.


Marc Demeule