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  1. Read more:
  2. Montreal's tempest in a beer cup A summertime deal between Labatt and the city's Gay Village raises questions about private interests dominating public spaces From Tuesday's Globe and Mail August 5, 2008 at 3:57 AM EDT MONTREAL — Stéphanie Dagenais didn't mind the Bud Light parasols and cups she was forced to use on her restaurant patio in Montreal's Gay Village. It's when the brewery started telling her Bud Light had to go in those plastic cups that the manager of Kilo bristled. "I think it's an aggressive way of doing a sponsorship," said Ms. Dagenais, who was forced to sell the beer under an exclusive deal struck between Labatt, which brews the beer in Canada, and the Gay Village business improvement group. The business association sold the right to sell beer on 54 new patios along a stretch of Ste-Catherine Street to Labatt, part of a summer-long festival that will see cars banished from the street. Owners say the $100,000 deal came with minimum sales quotas for each bar and restaurant, including a healthy sample of Bud Light. Patrons at a bar on Ste-Catherine Street in Montreal drink Molson Export out of the Bud Light cups required through Labatt’s sponsorship of the area. (John Morstad for The Globe and Mail) The Globe and Mail The deal irks restaurateurs like Ms. Dagenais, who doesn't sell much beer at her small restaurant, best known for tasty desserts, and others who try to tempt palates with fine dining, wine and specialty ales. A representative of the business group even suggested Bud Light is a popular beer among gays in the United States. While the banishment of cars from the street has been good for many businesses and great for pedestrians, the sponsorship is triggering a broader tempest in a beer cup over how much control private enterprises should have over public space. "I guess everything has a price," said Ms. Dagenais, who has several cases of Bud Light collecting dust. "But should it be that way? I don't think so, but it seems to be the way we work in North America." Christopher DeWolf, a writer for Spacing Montreal, an urban affairs website affiliated with the Toronto magazine Spacing, questions how corporate interests were allowed to take over a public street. "The closure to cars has created a destination, it creates an ambience that is impossible with cars," Mr. DeWolf said. "But here you have a product foisted on merchants and their customers. It raises the question of how far we should allow private interests to have such control over our public spaces. I think it's a burden on merchants and it restricts public choice." Bernard Plante, director of the Gay Village business association, said the deal is no different than exclusive beer rights negotiated at other city venues. He pointed to the privately owned Bell Centre where only Molson beer is sold. Mr. Plante brushed aside complaints about the use of public space, saying his business group is provincially legislated and democratically run. "These are the decisions we made on behalf of businesses on the street," Mr. Plante said. Merchants could shed the restraints of sponsorship when the deal runs out after the summer of 2009, he added. But they will have to agree to pay for the street closing, including the cost of street decor and rent to the city for having patios on public streets and sidewalks. Across North America, summer festivals run by private entities take over parks and streets, often with exclusive rights to allow access and to sell products. Many of the examples are more intrusive than the Montreal beer sponsorship. In one infamous example in the United States, Washington's National Mall was fenced off for a Pepsi product launch and concert - a 2003 scene described by the Project for Public Spaces as "singularly shocking for its sheer scope and audacity." Steve Davies, a vice-president of the New York-based group that encourages sensible integration of private business in public spaces, says sponsors get in trouble when they start constraining normal commercial activity. "It goes too far when they use a sponsorship to start telling dozens of private businesses what to do on public land over an entire summer," Mr. Davies said. In Montreal, big chunks of major downtown streets are regularly closed to traffic for short periods for everything from the Jazz Festival to Just for Laughs. The Gay Village pedestrian mall will last 2½ months. Mr. DeWolf said Montreal has one big thing right: The city usually emphasizes free public access, even if access to products like food and drink are often restricted. Labatt officials could not be reached yesterday. But Jean-Luc Raymond, owner of La Planète, which specializes in international cuisine, says he's noticed a little more flexibility from his brewery representative since the controversy broke out. Mr. Raymond has managed to get a little more of the fashionable Stella Artois and a little less Bud Light. "The Bud Light is still languishing," he said, "but I'm not like some others who have to try to sell Bud Light and cheesecake."
  3. Hmm... might take a little trip to Quebec for the weekend. Seeing I haven't been in over a decade.
  4. 10 things you can do in Montreal but not Toronto Toronto Star lists Jul 03, 2009 04:30 AM 1. Bring your own wine without being charged a ridiculous corkage fee that defeats the whole purpose. ok jusqu'à maintenant 2. Rent a bicycle from the public bike system, Bixi, and ride some of the most extensive bike paths anywhere. ok 3. Take St. Lawrence Market and Kensington Market combined, double their size, and enjoy the spacious Marché Jean-Talon. encore que le St.Lawrence Market est sympathique 4. Sit and stew at a red light, unable to turn right, because it's against the law. As a pedestrian, dodge traffic as unsympathetic drivers get a jump on the green light. Je trouve que la réputation des conducteurs montréalais est exagérée. La cohabitation piétons / automobilistes se passe plutôt bien, en général 5. Find a strip bar with very little effort, often in your own neighbourhood. bon, là j'imagine que c'est parce qu'ils sont très visibles au centre-ville. Parce qu'ailleurs, il n'y en a pas tant que ça, tout de même 6. Drink beer at a major festival without being corralled into a beer garden. oh yeah, tout à fait vrai 7. Live in a world rich with Quebec TV shows, Quebec films, Quebec musicians and stars, and a media that believes, in a twist on the old saying, "If it doesn't bleed Quebec, it doesn't lead." mmm... c'est plus que le peu de vedettes canadian qu'il y a ne nous intéresse pas 8. See people wearing crampons to navigate treacherous, ice-covered sidewalks in winter . . . and legitimately fear being killed by snow removal equipment. Bof. Est-ce tellement mieux à Toronto? 9. Hear separatist extremists attempt to drown out an English band at a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day concert, or hint at violence if the Battle of the Plains of Abraham is re-created. il oublie de mentionner que la réaction contre le banissement des groupes anglos a été presque unanime. Pour la bataille des Plaines d'Abraham, par contre, je crois qu'il a raison. Je trouve que les autorités ont vite plié devant la "menace" de quelques extrémistes... On s'en serait foutu un peu, non? 10. Watch a hefty extra chunk of your tax dollars disappear into provincial government coffers. C'est de moins en moins vrai. Les familles sont avantagées au Québec au niveau fiscal. Les célibataires et couples sans enfants le sont en Ontario. - Andrew Chung quand même intéressant de voir Montréal d'un point de vue extérieur
  5. J'ai réalisé à quel point il nous manquait à Montréal, des terrasses urbaines permanentes où il fait bon boire un café ou une bonne bière. Il s'agit d'intégrer les parcs et les squares avec une activité urbaine, où on peut relaxer autour d'un verre et profiter d'un après-midi ensoleillé. Il s'agirait d'avoir davantage de terrasses urbaines comme celle dans le parc Émilie Gamelin (temporaire) avec un bar extérieur. Il s'agirait de profiter davantage de l'environnement urbain, et de l'ambiance d'une ville ouverte sur les autres. Ce type d'endroit rajouterait à l'unicité de la ville en plus d'offrir à ses habitants, des terrasses magnifiques qui incitent les gens non plus uniquement à courir les magasins en vitesse, mais bien à relaxer et prendre le temps de discuter, de pavoiser. Je vous présente donc l'idée des ''Beer Gardens'' de toute grandeur. Voici l'exemple de Berlin.!1s0x47a851ff1dec4b0f:0x7199f1fd1c97a3eb!2m5!2m2!1i80!2i80!3m1!2i100!3m1!7e1!4s!5sBeergarden+berlin+-+Recherche+Google&sa=X&ved=0CJMBEKIqMAtqFQoTCInM4qH13cYCFcirHgodJnIISQ
  6. KAMPAI GARDEN : NOUVEAU CHIC BEER GARDEN DANS LE SHAUHGNESSY VILLAGE « Kampai, ça veut dire cheers en japonais. On voulait créer une destination où les gens pourraient boire et manger; un établissement entre un club parfois trop bruyant et un resto parfois un peu plate. On voulait un endroit avec la vibe d’un 5 à 7 le fun en tout temps. » Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai est le nouveau projet de grande envergure d’Alexandre Besnard et PJ Goupil du groupe A5 Hospitality (responsable d’une quinzaine des établissements les plus populaires de Montréal dont le Jatoba, Flyjin, Apt.200, Fitzroy, Mayfair) et du chef Antonio Park (Park, Lavanderia, Jatoba). Le Kampai s’installe dans le Faubourg Sainte-Catherine, un endroit délaissé d’amour dans les dernières années. Pourtant le Kampai arrive là en force, dans un espace de 10 000 pieds carrés, dont 200 places assises et une capacité de 650 personnes (!). « En été, on aura aussi une terrasse sur Ste-Catherine de 100 places et derrière on possède une terrasse jardin d’une capacité de 300 personnes, » raconte PJ. Wow. « Le Shauhgnessy Village est le quartier de Montréal le plus dense en population, en fait le troisième au Canada. Et il n’y a pas grand-chose dans ce coin, ça commence tout juste à reprendre vie. C’était pour nous une section de Montréal sous-exploitée. Si tu y penses, tu es à côté de Westmount, de l’université Concordia, du Collège LaSalle, de Dawson, de la station Guy-Concordia qui est la troisième avec le plus de visiteurs…! » C’est effectivement un grand village de locaux, d’étudiants, de gens d’affaires des alentours et de touristes. Le local du Kampai s’installe dans le Faubourg Sainte-Catherine, dans les anciens locaux d’un club vidéo et d’un salon de coiffure. « On a découvert que ces locaux avaient un permis d’alcool, on a alors complètement repensé l’espace. » C’est effectivement intéressant de voir comment le groupe a réinventé les lieux avec la jeune talentueuse Amlyne Phillips (responsable entre autres de l’Apt.200, du Jatoba et du Mayfair). On trouve au Kampai des zones distinctes, toutes ouvertes, et sur trois demi-étages. Il y a d’abord une grande salle à l’avant de style moderne et coloré, puis une cuisine ouverte sur une salle à manger aux comptoirs de marbre et carrelages noirs et blancs, et le clou du spectacle est l’espace de bar arrière qui a été transformé en réel jardin fantaisiste — grand bar à cocktail en marbre, sofas, tables de billard et plantes partout. « En fait on a plus de 400 plantes en total au Kampai. » (rires) Rien ici n’est fait à la légère. Au niveau du menu, A5 a souhaité offrir une cuisine de bar santé et abordable aux influences asiatiques et s’est donc associé avec le chef Antonio Park pour la conception des recettes. C’est cependant le chef Jimmy James Baran (ex Garde-Manger, Bremner et Raymonds restaurant dans l’Est du Canada) qui s’occupe de l’équipe de cuisiniers qui travaille dans l’aire ouverte au centre de l’établissement. On y vient principalement pour les plats santés — poke et salades (de papaye et de nouilles de patates douces) —, les hot-dogs à la saucisse de Gaspor (régulier ou Michigan) et les tacos (de bœuf braisé ou crevettes tempura). Le menu est abordable; la plupart des items sont entre 9 et 18 $, et pour un endroit si immense, la cuisine est très bonne. On y allait à un peu à reculons, mais on voit définitivement un effort impressionnant à essayer d’offrir quelque chose de qualité aux clients du Kampai. Il y a quelques petits ajustements à faire, mais on nous assure que l’équipe travaille assidument à les améliorer. On va donc au Kampai pour manger une petite bouchée et prendre un verre (plutôt un pichet). Pichets puisque le Kampai ne vous offre pas de « cocktails simples », ceux-ci se consomment au pichet — de 32, 40 et 60 onces. C’est Lawrence Picard qui a pensé les recettes qui sont 20, 25 et 30 $ respectivement. Coup de cœur pour le pichet « baby girl what’s your name » (rires). Pour ceux qui voudraient un verre de vin, l’endroit offre quelques vins au verre, mais la carte est encore à finaliser. Si le service des 60 employés (!) est encore en train de s’ajuster, on trouve pourtant au Kampai un service sympathique et souriant. « C’est vraiment très excitant de voir autant de gens parler de notre projet et sembler si enthousiastes. On a tellement mis d’effort et d’investissements dedans, c’est vraiment motivant. » Nous on est très fiers d’être amis de longue date avec PJ, qui avec le groupe A5, investit autant dans Montréal et lance des projets importants qui redonnent de la vitalité à la ville. On est pour l’entrepreneuriat, le travail assidu, le courage, les gens qui ont du cran et de la vision, alors on ne peut que donner notre appui pour dans ce projet. Le Kampai est selon nous l’endroit idéal pour les gourmands avides de fêtes des environs. De plus, l’établissement étant si grand, il sera probablement un lieu de nombreuses rencontres amusantes. Le Kampai est ouvert du mardi au samedi de 15 h à 3 h et la cuisine ferme à 23 h. © photos Jade W Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy villageKampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village kampai-garden-downtown-montreal-bar-resto-5Kampai garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy village DÉTAILS 1616 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest 514-379-6161 Kampai Garden Kampai Garden : nouveau chic beer garden dans le Shauhgnessy Village
  7. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette. Article by SUSAN SEMENAK)
  8. SaveOnBrew 2011 NHL Stadium Beer Price Review SaveOnBrew.Com has released their 2011 beer price findings for all 30 NHL stadiums. Not surprisingly, prices edged upward from 2010 but the good news is the average increase is less than two percent. Of course, when prices start at five dollars for a 12 ounce serving, every little penny tacked on hurts. Five dollar beer can still be had while watching a Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, or Tampa Bay Lightning home game. The lowest price to grab a cup of suds was at a Sabres Game where $5.00 will get you a generous sixteen ounce cup. The most expensive brew belongs to CentreBell, home of the Montreal Canadians, winners of 24 Stanley Cups. A 16 ounce cup will set you back $9.94 – that’s 62 cents per ounce (adjusted to U.S. dollars). To put that in perspective, a six pack would put a hockey fan back almost 45 dollars. Two stadiums actually sell suds for less this year. United Center, home of the Chicago Blackhawks, went from a 16 ounce serving to a 20 ounce serving, but only raised the price for those four additional ounces by 25 cents. The Winnipeg Jets, recently relocated to the MTS Center, sell their for about 30 cents less this year. The good news is that you can always find great deals on beer outside the stadium by checking our beer price search engine - go ahead and give it a whirl now!
  9. Why having Montreal fun in Toronto is, well, work Publié par Alexandra Molotkow le 2011-06-10 12:50 I just got back from Montreal. Returning to Toronto from Montreal is a learning experience. For example, I learned that my apartment does not strictly count as indoors. Also, that work and fun are actually two different things. I have lived in Toronto my whole life and I don’t know Montreal very well. I only have basic impressions of it. Here they are: Montreal is a trading post where you exchange your hopes and dreams for a mansion that costs 25 cents a month. When you get there, angels gently unburden you of your ambitions and hand you a beer. If you want more beer, you can get it at the convenience store, which has a more festive name than “convenience store.” You can drink anywhere and any time you want, because you will never again have to be sober for anything. Montreal actually has by-laws against working, so if you move there you have to hang out forever. And the people you’ll be hanging out with are friendly and enthusiastic because they live in mansions and never have to work. They’re also very good looking, and they have sex all the time. They would like to have sex with you, too. In Toronto, everyone works hard and still doesn’t think they’re working hard enough. Those who do not work hard, and instead throw DJ nights from time to time, are known as bums, and they live in flophouses because in Toronto a tarpaulin over a tree stump costs 850 dollars a month. Because rent is high, and because the pressure to not be a bum is so great, people in Toronto are ornery and they want you to get out of their face with your foolishness. Toronto has by-laws against eye contact, so if you want to have sex you have to baldly proposition someone. Toronto has some fruity things, like Pedestrian Sundays, but they only exist because of the bum lobby. Every once in a while, Torontonians start talking about how Toronto is too uptight and everyone here needs to have more fun. So they form fun militias to enforce policies like always dancing at shows. Whether you like the music is not an issue, because, if you believe in fun, any music a Torontonian makes is automatically good. The Toronto version of fun is derived from an idea of fun that Torontonians spend a lot of time seriously considering, and it involves playing the glockenspiel and making up kooky portmanteaus like “Torontopia.” Torontonians have a lot of anxiety about fun because, in Toronto, fun is just another pressure on top of not being a bum and figuring out who’s going to have sex with you. Having fun is an accomplishment, and it’s wasted if no one else knows you’re having it. So the experience of fun is work, in a way, because you have to tweet about it while it’s happening. In Toronto, having fun kind of sucks. You can stay out until 6 am, but how are you going to function tomorrow? So Torontonians cheat by reading fun into everything. Getting a slice of pizza after midnight is fun. Drinking beer beyond a legal drinking zone is fun. Seeing a friend on the street is fun. You have to take fun where you can find it, because fun abides a schedule just like everything else. Even if you do manage to schedule fun, there’s no guarantee that others will fit your fun into their schedules. Deep down, Torontonians know that to really have a good time, we need to get on a bus and go to Montreal for the weekend. Coming back sucks, but, at the end of the day, there’s a reason we live in Toronto and not Montreal. We are the authors of our own misery.
  10. Source, TheStar 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 of them 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. "I think Quebec people love and enjoy tasting and discovering beer because it's in our roots to share good moments with friends around a good beer." 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 as many as 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."' For those seeking a more low-key brew experience any time of the year, Montreal has more than a dozen pubs featuring a variety of home brews. Among the most revered for its innovation is Dieu du Ciel in the city's trendy Plateau-Mont-Royal area. The 10-year-old pub doesn't look like much with its hand-scribbled chalkboard signs and run-of-the-mill finger foods but that's just because at Dieu du Ciel, it's all about the beer. "The goal here is always to brew the best beer possible and to also brew a lot of different beers," says co-owner Stephane Ostiguy. "We like to play with spices and stuff like this. We always like to bring something new to the beer scene." The pub, which has nine on-site fermenters, has experimented with some 60 recipes over the years and offers a large rotation of beers. Ostiguy said there are between 14 and 17 beers available on tap at any given time including favourites like the popular Imperial coffee stout. All are made with quality ingredients, be it coffee, peppercorns or hibiscus flowers and, as such, prices may be higher than they are for the average pint. Students and young professionals between 25 and 35 make up the bulk of its clientele but American beer enthusiasts have been known to stop by for a pint. Another popular brew pub is Brutopia – a three-floor downtown hangout where regulars mingle with tourists and live music and tapas are always on special. In business since March 1997, the pub offers a variety of seasonal beers as well as tried and true staples that are all brewed on site by its brewmaster. While the bar has some 50 different recipes, its staples include a traditional, hoppy pale ale, a light blond, a honey ale, a nutty brown malt and a raspberry beer. It also has such seasonal beers as a maple cream, a chocolate stout and a Scotch ale. "We try to stay faithful to a lot and then we keep a certain amount of production space for seasonal recipes," said manager Jeffery Picard, who describes Brutopia's beer as "delicious" and ``affordable." While he once knew every single competitor personally, he admits there's been a proliferation of brew pubs in the city and believes it could have something to do with Quebec culture. "Maybe it's part of the slightly anti-establishment culture, the alternative culture," he said. Acclaimed beer writer Stephen Beaumont, who has penned a half-dozen books and countless articles about the bubbly elixir, said Quebec has shown more innovation in brewing than any other province. He calls Quebecers "artisanally inclined when it comes to food and drink," and that it was a major market for niche Belgian and French beers long before craft brewing really took off. Blanche de Chambly, he said, was the first Belgian white brewed in North America, while Les Brasseurs du Nord invented the ``rousse." Still, he said, many Quebec microbreweries remain unknown outside of the province and he encourages beer lovers visiting the province's most populous city to get acquainted with them. "I would strongly recommend a Montreal brew pub crawl to anyone with an interest in beer," he said. "Begin the evening with a Czech-style Pilsner on the terrace at L'amere a boire, then head around the corner to Cheval Blanc for their seasonal specialties before finishing the night at Dieu du Ciel trying almost everything they have on tap. "That would be a night well spent."
  11. How the heart of America thinks For those of you who slept through World History 101 here is a condensed version. Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter. The two most important events in all of history were: 1. The invention of beer, and 2. The invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer, and the beer to the man. These facts formed the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: 1. Liberals 2. Conservatives. Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed. Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement. Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs, the evolution of the Hollywood actor, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide all the meat and beer that conservatives provided. Over the years, Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass. Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, firemen, lumberjacks, construction workers, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, golfers, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living. Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing. Here ends today's lesson in world history. It should be noted that a liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above. A conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be passed along immediately to othertrue believers..