Microbrasserie Les Trois Mousquetaires (The Three Musketeers Microbrewery) was founded just less than five years ago, and while they focus on creating traditional German-style beers, they definitely have applied their own North American treatment. As you'll find in the Doppelbock we've sent you, they're not afraid to mix tradition with creative interpretation. Part of their flexibility in this regard lies in their approach to brewing; as head brewer Jonathan Lafortune states himself, "I don't come from the microbiology branch of brewing, I'm more like a chef in a kitchen. The recipes come from my senses, my heart and my passions. I'm an Epicurean."
It’s been Jonathan's good senses that have helped him develop some first-rate beers. We featured a pair of their beers in our International Beer of the Month Club a couple years ago, as part of their first foray into the U.S. market. The beer we’ve selected for you in the Collectors Beer Club is also a beer never before available outside of Canada.
So, who are the three musketeers? Actually, that's a bit complicated. Like the heroes of Alexandre Dumas, there are four of them. Jonathan we've already mentioned, though he wasn't actually onboard at the start—he joined the brewery about seven months after it was founded. While not technically one of the founding musketeers, his coming on board so early permitted him to develop all the beer recipes they currently brew. In addition to Jonathan, there's Sylvain Plourde and Daniel Pion who were part of the original three "musketeers" who founded the brewery in June of 2004 (the third musketeer, their original brewer and the fellow who introduced Jonathan into the mix, ended up leaving the company). The original three were coworkers at the famous Imperial Tobacco Montreal. However, when the company closed its Montreal branch in June of 2003, the three were out of work. Right around the same time, they got word of a brewery for sale and decided to take the plunge into the brewing industry. These days, Sylvain handles the accounting and Daniel helps with the production and brewing process. From what Jonathan tells us, these two also appear to be mechanical geniuses—they built their own bottling line!?! Anyone who's in the brewing field or has seen these complex machine-beasts in action will realize what a feat of technical mastery this is. The fourth musketeer is a fellow named Patrice (we didn't get a last name), who is actually the brewery's first "employee," serving in the sales capacity along with Jonathan and Daniel.
Like many brewers, Jonathan Lafortune got his start in brewing as a beer connoisseur. He wanted to improve his skills in tasting the nuances of beer, so he took to homebrewing to expand his knowledge of ingredients and flavors. His entry into professional brewing happened when his friend, one of the "original" three musketeers who bought the brewery (the original brewer), asked him if he wanted to brew professionally—he said yes, and got in on the gig. And we have to say, having gone from homebrewer to professional brewer in such a short span of time, this guy's got a real gift for his new trade. In the past two years, he's created more than two dozen beers, from a weizenbock, a Sticke ("secret") Alt, and a smoked Scotch ale. Most have been made available only on draft at area bars, but all have met with high demand. We're pleased to have the opportunity to feature beers by this up-and-coming Canadian microbrewery.
If you'd like more information about Les Trois Mousquetaires Microbrasserie, check out their website (currently under construction and in French only last time it was up): www.lestroismousquetaires.ca.