My last post on Ontario craftbrews made me think of Boréale beer, which I haven't been able to procure in Toronto. I've only tried the blanche and the rousse, but the cuivrée and noire really caught my eye. Founded in 1987, the brewers of Boréale, Les Brasseurs du Nord, were part of the microbrew renaissance in Québec, challenging the dominance of the mass-market brewers, Molson and Labatt. BeerAdvocate reviewers are less impressed that I was, so I'm curious what my take will be when I visit Montréal next month.
Speaking of Québec breweries, I came across the 2007 branding story of microbrewer McAuslan battling Labatt, as the former accused the latter of marketing its St. Urbain in ways that were aimed at destroying the St. Ambroise brand. This David vs. Goliath story reminded me of the Scotch Whiskey Association trying to disallow a Canadian single-malt scotch distiller in Nova Scotia from using the term "glen" in their trademark "Glen Breton." The Canadian Federal Court of Appeals allowed Glenora distillery to use the Glen Breton trademark, citing that "glen" was not in widespread enough use to be equated with whiskeys distilled in Scotland. McAuslan countered with a "beware of false saints" campaign, while Labatt contended they were merely giving consumers more choice with their positioning of St. Urbain. Fussy drinkers on the BeerAdvocate weren't impressed with St. Urbain and the discussion is adacemic, as Labatt discontinued the brand.