Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass, Pilsner Glass or Stein
St-Ambroise Pale Ale is the brewery’s flagship beer. Introduced in February 1989, it’s a hoppy, reddish-amber, full-flavored ale. In 1994 & 1996 it earned the brewery Silver Medals at the World Beer Championship, and in 2004 it took the Gold Medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards. Expect bread-like caramel malts and a floral, citrus hop spiciness on the nose. Look for a distinct caramel maltiness that pairs well against the heavy-handed use of hops. The finish is bitter, with some lightly peppery hops and fresh grains in the aftertaste. Quite nice with a grilled chicken Caesar salad or spicy Jack cheese quesadillas.
The McAuslan Brewing Company was established in 1988 after a Secretary General of Dawson College in Quebec, Canada decided that a major career change was in order. Peter McAuslan had been brewing his own beer for more than 25 years, but didn’t seriously consider getting into commercial brewing until the early 80s. Driven by the belief that he could brew a better beer and that Quebec consumers would provide a loyal following for it, in August of 1987, he left his position in academic administration and dedicated himself to turning his vision into reality (and turn it into reality he has! He’s since served as the President of the Quebec Microbrewery Association, and as a director of the Brewers Association of Canada and the Association of Brewers in the U.S.)
In August 1998 British brewmaster Alan Pugsley was hired to help set up the brewery and formulate their first beers (those readers who are members of our Domestic and International Beer of the Month Club will recall that Alan Pugsley also had a key role in founding the Wild Goose Brewing Company). The next year was spent consolidating funding, acquiring expertise and equipment, and gathering a team of people with the skills and temperament to make the venture a success. Along with Ellen Bounsall, a biologist who trained as a brewmaster (and also Peter McAuslan’s wife), the bunch set about the important task of establishing the brewery’s reputation for distinctive beers that have since been acknowledged by critics internationally as being among the world’s best.
In January of 1989, along the banks of the Lachine Canal in Montreal’s St. Henri district, the McAuslan Brewing Company officially began operations. Located at 4850 St. Ambroise Street (hence the beer names below), it has established itself as Quebec’s foremost microbrewery. Today, Ellen is the company’s Master Brewer and Vice President of Production, while Peter McAuslan is President and CEO. Together, this dynamic husband and wife team have blended their skill sets to give us some truly fantastic beer. Ain’t marriage grand?
For more information about the brewery, check out their website at www.mcauslan.com or call them at (514) 939-3060.
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