You guys might have seen a bunch of hype online over the past year or so about various countries and their respective beer independence seals - the US, Australia, and others have proudly planted their indie flag in the fertile soil of the craft beer industry. So the question, obvi, is what's up with Canada, eh?
Well, I'm glad you asked. A strong sense of urgency prompted the fellas from local Montreal newcomers Microbrasserie 4 Origines dropped their own independence seal, and it gathered a TON of interaction on the interwebz. Like it got a little out of control. So much so that the fellas from 4 Origines reached out to me to give them a platform to explain their side of the story in more detail, which I was super happy to do. Mike and Keegan, and the whole 4 Origines team, are great folks and I want to support them any way I can. Check out what they had to say.
During the promo of this new segment (thanks for that, boys!), Fred Tremblay, Co-Founder of Quebec OGs Microbrasserie Charlevoix and ex-President of the l'AMBQ, Quebec's provincial brewer's association, commented on the post and tagged in old mate Steve Beauchesne, another legend in the game. Fred and I chatted a bit in the comments, and I was trying to ascertain where he was coming from so we moved the convo to DM. Before I knew it, both Fred and Steve were locked in to travel all the way from Charlevoix and Vankleek Hill respectively to Montreal during Mondial de la Bière, the city's largest beer festival, just to chat with me about beer independence in Canada.
If I'm honest, I didn't know who Fred was at the time and it took a few other industry homies to let me know how much of a big deal it was that these two gentleman were travelling so far just to give me the time of day and use our platform for their message. I was, and still am, honoured. Check out what they had to say.
It was a fascinating chat. I really loved that both sides were super respectful of each other, as there was a lot of passion and frustration involved, and this my friends is what craft beer is all about. The best part was Fred sent me a selfie with him, Mike and Keegan the day before the interview, which was such a cool thing to see. Everyone just chatting and figuring out how to make it work. Mike, Keegan and their Head Brewer Braden even came down to Mondial during the interview with Fred and Steve to say g'day, so it was truly a family affair.
The TL;DR here is that Mike and Keegan of 4 Origines felt a seal of craft beer independence was needed on all products in Quebec, and since the l'AMBQ wasn't moving fast enough, they took things into their own hands and created their own seal. This wasn't received so well by the Quebec beer scene (mostly drinkers via a very popular Facebook group, to be honest), so we chatted about it in more detail on BAOS. OGs like Fred and Steve had already been working on an independence seal on a national level following the recent Canadian Brewing Awards, hence their frustration with 4 Origines' need to pull the trigger on their own seal so abruptly. Either way, it seems the move by 4 Origines pushed things through a little faster and the end result will hopefully be a national Canadian seal before May 2019.
Let us know what you guys think - this is quite the controversial topic in Quebec, so we wanna know what craft beer drinkers across this great land are feeling. Cheers!