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 1988 British brewmaster Alan Pugsley was hired to help set up the brewery and formulate their first beers. 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 is 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 one of Quebec's foremost microbreweries. Today, Ellen is the company's Master Brewer and Vice President of Production, while Peter McAuslan is President and CEO. Ellen is one of the few female brewers to be a member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, and is a member of the Product Integrity Committee of the Brewers Association of Canada. Together, this dynamic husband and wife team have blended their skill sets to give us some truly fantastic beer. Ain't marriage grand?
In June 1997, the brewery gave birth to a new family of seasonal beers. The four are brewed exclusively 'in-season' and include: Apricot Wheat Ale, brewed in the spring; Raspberry Ale, available during the summer months; Spiced Pumpkin Ale for the fall; and Strong Ale for the winter. In 1998, McAuslan, in conjunction with Verger du Minot, began distributing cider on draft. Mystique Cider in bottles was launched the same year. They've added to this solid line up over the years, and today produce at least nine regular releases.
For more information about the brewery, check out their website at www.mcauslan.com or call them at (514) 939-3060.