Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a big craft beer drinker and I often try and sample some of the regional beers when I travel that may be difficult or impossible to find at home. Last month I went up to Montreal, I had some miles on United that I could put to work to get a free ticket, Montreal is a city I love and hadn’t been to in 6 years and it just so happened that the annual Mondial de la biere festival was in June so I said why not, fly for free, try some new beers, and Montreal is actually warm in June. Wine enthusiasts seem to travel all the time to partake in their passion, Sonoma and Napa probably wouldn’t see half the visitors they do if it weren’t for all the oenophiles out there, I wonder if the growing passion for craft beer is going to start translating into beer tourism? Already Oktoberfest is an event you pretty much need to book and plan a year in advance if you’re going to go, but that’s also Oktoberfest which seems like an event that’s something all its own. But I know the annual Great American Beer Festival….tickets for which incidentally went on sale today here…..….also sells out very quickly and has to be planned months in advance. Anyway, the Montreal festival is a slightly different set up, you don’t need to buy tickets in advance, it’s open to the public there is no entrance fee, you just need to pay to get a tasting glass and then pay for tickets which are redeemable for pours, and depending the brewery and size of the pour, pours ranged from $2-$8 Canadian. Pretty interesting selection, probably 75% of the beers were Canadian with a heavy emphasis on Quebec beers, so it was interesting to try new labels we can’t get down in the States, though probably some of the best beers I had were European and Brazilian…not sure what that says about the state of Canadian beer.