March 05

I think I have Survived La Cuvée 2018

An article by Noah Forrest

Have you ever wondered if you could die from a hangover? Well, I had some time on Saturday morning to ponder this, as I hovered over my toilet bowl. The night before I attended the 2018 edition of La Cuvée d’hiver 2018 – and I think had a pretty good time?

It’s now Monday morning (three days later) and as I write this my abdomen feels like I did 9000 sit-ups over the weekend. Did I work out? No, this is from all the violent heaving-induced body spasms that occurred through most of Saturday morning. I’m okay though, I think. But now I remember why I don’t leave the house.

Did I not eat enough? Did I not drink enough water? Maybe, but it was more likely becasue of the obscene amount of Goddamn beer I consumed over the five hours I was there. That said, at least it was really fucking good goddamn beer.

For those unaware, La Cuvée d’hiver is a yearly beer event that takes place on the same weekend as Nuit-Blanche (Montreal’s all-nighter event). It started on Thursday this past week and ran through to Saturday night. It’s an event that feels much more like an actual party, rather than a bunch of beer-geek neck-beards ticking off bottles on untapped. The venue is in the basement of beautiful church in the southwest of Montreal, and there is live music to tantalize the patrons through their beer tasting. I don’t remember any of this though. I remember sounds, but whether or not they formed some kind of melody, I really couldn’t tell you. I’m sure it was great though.

Oddly however, I do remember the most important part of the event – the beers. As I’ve made pretty abundantly clear, I tried A LOT of things on Friday night. I adored re-visiting beers like Saison Espinay and Aronia from Auval, as well as Dunham’s Funk Royal and Riverbend’s sauvignon barrel aged imperial stout. I also loved attacking Péché bourbon on tap and sucking back on Brasserie Haricanna’s new 7205.005 . However these (and many others) are beers that I’ve covered at length on the blog already. So I’m going to concentrate on the stuff I got to try for the first time.

When first arriving I had the chance to chat with the guys behind the new contract brewery Matera Brasseurs Tonneliers. I sampled all their current offerings, but particularly enjoyed their imperial stout, which is brewed with bourbon barrel-aged coffee, a process new to Quebec. Microbrasserie La Memphré is a favourite of mine and for the event they had a full line-up of beers on tap. The amazing Paul and Dan were pouring most of the evening and they certainly were a big part of my inevitable demise. I particularly liked the NEIPA, but honestly everything they do is solid.

As well, Boréale was there showcasing their contemporary offerings. I definitely indulged in both their delicious IPAs (several times), but also tried their new imperial stout and barleywine which were pretty tasty. I’d like to revisit though, you know, when not in the process of having a palate coma.

Overall La Cuvée is a ton of fun. The tight space, live music, and amazing volunteer staff sort of force you into party mode, but at least you get to indulge in beers that are amazing. However, I will say that you might want to take it slower than I did, unless you particularly enjoy spending time in your bathroom.

An article by Noah Forrest