Microbrew beer flap settled, Quebec to sell 150th-anniversary suds

Microbrew beer flap settled, Quebec to sell 150th-anniversary suds

MONTREAL — After seemingly being frosty to the idea, Quebec liquor stores will carry a special cross-country craft beer pack that celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday.

A dozen breweries from Canada’s 10 provinces, Yukon and the Northwest Territories announced earlier this year they were banding together to create the unique 12-pack.

Owners of the Trou du diable brewery, the microbrewery behind Quebec’s contribution, said on social media last week the province was balking at selling the collection of brews because the presence of the Quebec beer was not guaranteed in all the packs.

That caused an uproar among beer connoisseurs, although it appears miscommunication was at the root of the decision to not sell it in Quebec.

The beers are being sold in three different ways: the Red Racer Across the Nation Collaboration 12-pack including beers from every jurisdiction, and two different six-packs specifically for Ontario, where craft beers can’t be sold by the dozen.

A spokesman for Quebec’s liquor corporation said discussions took place over several days with the distributor and he confirmed an order was placed Tuesday for the 12-pack, which includes the Quebec beer.

“For us initially, we wanted to make sure the cases we were selling in Quebec contained the Quebec beer,” said Renaud Dugas.

“There were some logistical issues with the distributor at that level, but we’ve managed to overcome those and the good news for Quebec clients is the beer will be available.”

Dugas conceded that perhaps there was some misunderstanding in discussions around the smaller packs, a view that was shared by Daryn Medwin, vice-president of sales at Central City Brewers and Distillers, the British Columbia-based brewery behind the initiative.

“Basically, the intent on this package was to be a 12-pack, so every province and territory was represented,” said Medwin.

“The fact that we still had the 12-pack available to them was lost in translation. Every once in a while, you get a broken telephone.”

As part of a cross-country tasting tour, an event at Le Trou du diable is scheduled for June 29 in Shawinigan, Que.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
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