Comprising of more than 50 members, The Brewers Association of Canada presented an elegant pavilion at Expo 67, located on Île-Sainte-Hélène between the pavilions of China and Vermont.
Constructed of concrete, wood and glass, the complex was made up of 3 circular buildings, recalling the curves of a beer barrel. In them were housed the 3 main sections of the pavilion: the 'La Brasserie' restaurant and terraced beer garden in the first, a historical exhibit and miniature theater in the second, kitchen and service installations in the third.
Beer was the drink of choice in the air-conditioned, 400-seat restaurant, and there were 67 kinds to choose from. The menu featured an imaginative cross-Canada selection of dishes based on recipes using beer instead of wine: Saskatchewan beef (boeuf bourguignon, but made with beer), Quebec tourtière with an aromatic touch of beer, Yukon salmon trout in beer sauce, beer-infused Manitoba pork chops, Acadian ham, Alberta steaks, etc...
In the historical section, beer drinkers from prehistoric times to modern day were discussed, including ancient beer-drinking cultures such as Greeks and Romans, Gauls and Teutons. Visitors were explained the art of beer-brewing: how barley could be blended with wheat, how ale could be flavored with ginger or hops, etc. The exhibits all sought to show the good life in Canada, relating the story of Canadian beer to that of Expo 67's overall theme 'Man and his World'.
For children, a circular, 200-seat puppet theatre featured daily performances by the world-famous Canadian Puppet Theatre. Some 50 puppets presented a story called 'Fun Fantasy', a humorous tour of Canada. The 15-minute bilingual show was performed continuously from 10am to 9:30pm.
Every visitor to the pavilion was offered a free souvenir book in English or French, featuring unusual entertainment ideas and food recipes using beer.
Am I the only one to find the inclusion of children's activities in a pavilion that was essentially a large Brasserie a bit... awkward?
The official Expo 67 guide book promised that a visit to the Brewers pavilion would provide "relaxation and enjoyment for the whole family". This evidently meant keeping children occupied while parents were at the bar.
'The Children's Theatre', 1968
It gets even better in 1968.
The following year for Man and His World, the pavilion was altogether re-baptized 'The Children's Theatre'. Upon reading the mindful description (above), one would hardly know that the pavilion's original vocation was that of a beer garden...!
According to the guide, children could "cultivate [their] personality and self confidence" through live theatre. All while Mummy and Daddy cultivated theirs, *ahem*, through, er... the natural wonders of beer...!
(2) personal collection (The Expo 67 Memorial Album)
(3 and 4) personal collection (Man and His World 1968 guide)