Shawinigan Handshake — Le Trou du Diable

Probably the best label in the beer world, Shawinigan Handshake pays homage to the choke-slamming PM from PQ.  The last in my mini-series on hopfenweisse beers, following Miami Weisse by Great Lakes and Hopfenweisse by Les Trois Mousquetaires, Shawinigan Handshake is a beer I’ve enjoyed numerous times, both on cask at Cask Days, as well as in the recent bottle release at the LCBO this summer.  Le Trou du Diable is another brewery that is quite able to mix old-school styles and new-school brews in exciting and very skilled ways.

Shawinigan Handshake — Le Trou du Diable

Shawinigan Handshake — Le Trou du Diable

From a 600ml bottle with, as noted, the best label ever, Shawinigan Handshake purs a hazy yellow/orange with over 2″ of big loosely-form head that left lazy bits of lace on the glass.  Aroma is peaches, evergreen hoppiness, and big florals.  Some yeasty notes and a touch of sweet grains are present as well.  The taste is slightly sharp on the tongue, with heaps of the yeast spices.  There’s more peaches, weisse yeast, white pepper, and sticky piney hops.  The finish is quite bitter, bitingly dry, with florals, pine, and spices lingering on and on.  Medium-light bodied, the carbonation looks fairly gentle, but produces a very pleasing champagne fizziness on the palate.  Another amazing example of the growing style (currently listed as a “weizenbock” on and, which is accurate, if not broad); it does make me realize that I haven’t tried a poor example of one.  This is not a bad thing.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Right Honourable Jean digs the beer too!

Jean Chretien with a bottle of Shawinigan Handshake.

Apparently he thinks it’s quite a funny label.

Sante, Le Trou du Diable!

Buy Shawinigan Handshake

Available at the LCBO #322552 until the shipment is gone, it’s also at better beer bars around Toronto.

Drink It With

Well, I would have said a moderately spicy Thai red curry, but as that’s what I recommended for Hopfenweisse, I better come up with something else.  So here you go: Haka-style Shrimp Pakorahs.  Spicy, salty, and with an earthy quality from the spice mix in the fritter, these would be great on their own.  Dipped in a hot sauce, and you’ll kick up the spice/hop interplay.  Dipped in a green chutney, like cilantro, and the tartness of the sauce will bring out some of the florals and fruitiness in the beer.  Follow the same cheese recommendations as for the past hopfenweisses, something hard, funky, and a little fruity.

About The Brewery

La brasserie artisanale Le trou du Diable est un lieu de découverte gustative. Ici, vous aurez la chance de d’apprécier des bières uniques qui satisferont vos papilles, tout autant que votre appétit sera comblé par les mérites de ses plats cuisinés. Vous pourrez peut-être même observer le brasseur en pleine action, et soutirer quelques réponses à vos questions sur le milieu brassicole…

Nous sommes situés à Shawinigan, sur la rue Willow à quelques pas de la magnifique rivière St-Maurice. Les chutes où vous pourrez observer le « véritable » Trou du Diable sont un peu plus loin sur la rivière juste de l’autre côté du pont. Nous vous déconseillons vivement de vous y baigner…

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