Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Le Trou du Diable

  [link to Le Trou du Diable podcast page]

On June 24 at The Festival in Worchester, Mass., we spoke to Isaac Tremblay of Le Trou du Diable, a Shawinigan, QC based brewpub/brewery.

In the main podcast, we talk about the general details about the brewery, which is located about halfway between Montréal and Quebec City. But in the supplemental podcast, we speak specifically about the "Shawinigan Handshake" story. That short but entertaining podcast is linked directly below.

[link to Shawinigan Handshake podcast page]

Brewer Isaac, second from the left.
The origin of the term comes from an incident in 1996 when Prime Minister Jean Chretien was confronted by a protester. Chretien, who lives in Shawinigan, was likely a bit on edge, his home having been broken into around the same time (his wife chased away the would-be burglar with a piece of Inuit art!), and when the protester got up in Jean's face, Chretrien throttled him and pushed him away. A reporter joked that Chretien simply greeted the protester with a "Shawinigan Handshake", and the legend was born!
Prime Minister Jean Chretien gives Don Cherry a "Shawinigan Handshake"
In 2012 Canada's Junior Hockey championship, the Memorial Cup (the Stanley Cup of for the best 20-and-younger players playing in Canada)m was hosted by the Shawinigan Cataracts , so the brewery did a re-design on the original artwork of the Shawinigan Handshake beer, replacing the devil with Don Cherry. Cherry, an outspoken hockey commentator on the CBC, was the first public figure to support Chretien for standing up for and defending himself when he was confronted. Apparently, Cherry was happy to be depicted in the illustration, which shows, if nothing more, that the guy has a sense of humor. By the way, the hometown Cataracts ended up winning the championship!
Clearly Canadian... ou Canadien!
The Shawinigan Handshake is a 7% top-fermenting wheat beer, inspired by the Brooklyner-Schneider Weisse. They use a German yeast strain and Chinook hops. 

The brewery lists over 60 beers in their repertoire, many with amusing names, such as the La Schieve Tabarnak! Well... amusing if you understand Quebecois!

At The Festival.

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