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Montreal ready for beer

For the thirsty traveller with a hankering for hops and a soft spot forthe little guy, there may be no better place to visit than Montreal.

For the thirsty traveller with a hankering for hops and a soft spot for the little guy, there may be no better place to visit than Montreal.

Brew pubs and microbreweries abound and most are within stumbling distance of major hotels, bed and breakfasts and hostels. The city is also home to one of the biggest beer festivals in North America. The June 3-7 Mondial de la biere will showcase some 300 different brands of beer made by upwards of 100 brew pubs as well as large and small-scale breweries — the majority from Quebec.

Festival spokeswoman Marie-Josee Lefebvre said there are more than 70 brew pubs and microbreweries in the province with three or four new ones opening every year.

“They call us little Belgium because of the growing (number) of microbreweries,” she said.

The popular festival, which will mark its 16th year, is free and visitors need only purchase beer tickets at a buck apiece to begin sampling. Lineups, however, could be long, especially on weekends, and a four-ounce sampler could cost up to five tickets.

Lefebvre said the festival, which last year attracted some 80,000 people, is becoming increasingly popular among tourists.

“We have a lot of people coming up from the U.S. and Europe,” she said.

“I receive many emails during the year from people who say, ‘I want to plan my vacation in Montreal and I want to attend the Mondial de la biere.”

A quiet drink
• For those seeking a more low-key brew experience any time of the year, Montreal also has more than a dozen pubs featuring a variety of home brews.

 
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