In 1987, Peter McAuslan, a Secretary General of Quebec’s Dawson College, made the decision that it was time for a significant change in careers, and he founded the McAuslan Brewing Company the very next year. Peter had been homebrewing his own beer for over 25 years, but it wasn’t until the early 1980s that he began seriously considering going into commercial production. Inspired by the idea that he could bring the beer consumers of Quebec a better beer, and that they would offer it a loyal following, he resigned from his position in the academic world, and turned his attention toward making his dream into a reality. (And he sure has succeeded! Over the years, Peter has served as director of the Brewers Association of Canada and the Association of Brewers in the United States, as well as President of the Quebec Microbrewery Association.)
Peter hired British brewmaster Alan Pugsley in 1988 to help get the brewery set up and to develop the recipes for the first beers. The next year was spent acquiring equipment and expertise, consolidating funding, and building a team of people with the abilities to make the new brewery a success. Along with Ellen Bounsall, a biologist trained as a brewmaster (and who also happens to be Peter’s wife), the team began the vital job of developing the brewery’s reputation for producing distinctive, high-quality beers that have since been recognized as being some of the world’s best by beer critics across the globe.
It was in January 1989 that McAuslan Brewing Company began their official operations. Located at 4850 St. Ambroise Street (which lends its name to their beers), situated along the Lachine Canal in the St. Henri district of Montreal, McAuslan has established itself as one of the leading microbreweries is Quebec. Today, Ellen holds the positions of Brewmaster and Vice President of Production, while Peter is CEO and President. Ellen is one of only a few female brewers to be a member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, and she also is a member of the Product Integrity Committee of the Brewers Association of Canada. We think she and Peter make a fantastic husband and wife team, and when you taste their beer we think you’ll agree!
The McAuslan Brewing Company released a new family of seasonal beers in June of 1997, including: Apricot Wheat Ale, brewed for the spring; Raspberry Ale, brewed for the summer; Spiced Pumpkin Ale available in autumn; and Strong Ale for the winter. In 1998, the brewery joined with Verger du Minot to begin distributing cider on draught. That same year, Mystic Cider was launched in bottles. Over the years, McAuslan has added to their lineup, and currently produces at least ten regular releases.
For more info, news, history, and directions to the brewery, call (514) 939-3060, or visit them at www.mcauslan.com.