Our Founders

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Peter McAuslan, Founder

Peter McAuslan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sir George Williams University in 1972 and worked for the Montreal Y.M.C.A. and Dawson College.

Peter McAuslan credits his eclectic interests, his inquisitiveness and his broad-based experience in recreation, education, business, gardening and lately in farming for his success and the growth of McAuslan Brewing from a micro-brewery startup to one of the largest regional breweries in the country.

Peter was born in Lachine, Quebec, and educated at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1972.
Prior to founding McAuslan Brewing in 1988, Peter first worked for the YMCA as a community organizer and then for Dawson College where he occupied a number of management positions, rising to Secretary General in the years prior to his departure from the college.

Since it was founded in 1988, McAuslan Brewing has grown from a small microbrewery with a single product (St. Ambroise Pale Ale) and a staff of four, to a multi-million dollar enterprise that employs 53 people. The company brews three major beer brands as well as other specialty products that are distributed in six Canadian provinces. Later this year the brewery will move into a new $10 million 46,000-sq-ft facility just west of the brewery’s original location on St. Ambroise St. in Montreal.

Peter has 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.

Community involvement has always been a key value of McAuslan Brewing, with the brewery taking an active role in community and charitable events as well as the sponsorship of festivals and other cultural offerings. The Montreal Film Festival, The Montreal Fringe theatre festival and the Montreal Celtic Festival are among the many events supported by the brewery. The brewery has a policy of considering all requests for charitable causes, the majority of which are supported.

Peter, himself, espouses these community values and is personally involved on a number of levels. He was the President of the Concordia Alumni Association, a position he held from 2000 to 2002 . He sits on the board of the Empress Cultural Centre, and the Centre d’intervention pour la revitalization des Quartiers (CIRQ). Peter is particularly interested in the development of the South West sector of Montreal; he has led a program for the redevelopment of Notre Dame Street in St. Henri, and is currently participating as a member of a committee that will encourage the development of the neighbourhoods bordering the Lachine Canal, which opened to pleasure boat traffic in May of 2002.

Most weekends, Peter can be found tending his multiple varieties of apple trees on his 125-acre orchard, Verger Long-Val, located not far from Frelighsburg, Quebec. His other interests include swimming, reading, cooking, gardening, growing hops and collecting Quebec brewing memorabilia.

Peter has two grown children, Taylor and Todd. He is married to Ellen Bounsall, his business partner in McAuslan Brewing and the company’s master brewer.

Ellen Bounsall, Founder

Ellen Bounsall is the Master Brewer and Vice President, Production at McAuslan Brewing.

Born and educated in Ottawa, Ontario, Ellen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Ottawa in 1973.

She subsequently went to work at Dawson College in Montreal, first as an Academic Advisor to science students and subsequently as Director of Records, Director of Admissions and finally, as Registrar.

Ellen left Dawson in 1989, to turn her scientific rigor and well honed management skills to the art of brewing. She has been responsible for the development, quality and reliability of the brewery’s products in the years subsequent, expanding the brewing capacity and building the team of brewers, quality control technicians and other staff she now oversees.

Ellen developed her brewing skills through hands on experience and by attending courses in brewing, brewing microbiology and quality control at the Siebel Institute of Brewing in Chicago.
The products for which Ellen is responsible have won dozens of national and international awards, including a platinum medal for St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout at the World Beer Championships in Chicago and a gold medal for Griffon Extra Pale Ale at the World Beer Cup.

Ellen was a founding member of The Tree Within, a group dedicated to helping battered immigrant women. She was also part of a committee that implemented an art rehabilitation project for women recovering from abuse. Ellen has also been a member of the board of directors of the Montreal Chamber Orchestra.

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.

Ellen’s interests include music, the arts and a variety of sports. In the city, she can most often be seen walking her dogs through the streets of Westmount. Most weekends are spent at her country home and orchard, Verger Long-Val, located near Frelighsburg, Quebec.

Ellen is married to Peter McAuslan, President of McAuslan Brewing.

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