McAuslan Brewing began operations in January of 1989. Located at 4850 St-Ambroise Street in Montreal’s St-Henri district where it has established itself as Quebec’s foremost micro-brewery.
It is the result of founder Peter McAuslan’s belief that he could brew a better beer and that Quebec consumers would provide a loyal following for it. Although he had been brewing his own beer for more than 25 years, it was only during the early ’80s that he began seriously considering going into commercial brewing.
Alongside brewmasters, Alan Pugsley, Ellen Bounsall, and a team of people with the skills and temperament to make the venture a success, Peter 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. The brewery’s beers have now won over 12 medals in international competitions.
The brewery launched its first beer in February 1989, St-Ambroise Pale Ale which was an immediate success with its distinctive hoppy-ness and clear reddish hue that set it apart and gained it an instant following. Since that time McAuslan has steadily expanded both its brewing capacity and its place in the market introducing other beers like St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout; the Griffon brands, Griffon Extra Pale Ale and Griffon Brown Ale, Frontenac and a family of seasonal beers : Apricot Wheat Ale, Raspberry Ale, Spiced Pumpkin Ale and Strong Ale.
In 2013, after a successful venture, Peter planning his retirement sold the remaining shares to his partner of 5 years, Brasseur RJ, a consolidation of microbreweries, whom he knew would give the brewery a fresh approach while conserving the McAuslan brewing traditions.
Following Peter’s idea for community involvement and the development of the SouthWest sector of Montreal, Roger Jaar, an international entrepreneur and owner of Brasseur RJ, didn’t just see an opportunity with McAuslan but the potential to create a movement behind the brand. With many years of experience in the beverage industry he knew the importance of making the brand known and involving the consumers so that they would become a part of the success that McAuslan is today.
The redevelopment of the Terrasse St-Ambroise, which has already benefited for years from the many cyclists and walkers who frequent the Lachine Canal, and the inauguration of the Annexe St-Ambroise, a pub, have proved successful at giving our customers a memorable experience. While the St-Ambroise interpretation center and mini brew house that allows us to experiment, complement these new infrastructures by creating new trends, educating and pushing the art of brewing even further.
Today Philippe Jaar, vice-president and director general is the face of McAuslan Brewery. With the help of his team, he has found ways to integrate a modern urban approach to McAuslan adding still new flavors, new packaging and new products to the line, like McAdam Urban Cider or McAuslan Honey Ale which are the result of the brewery’s new onsite orchard and beehives.
He is proud to meet new challenges while faithfully protecting what has been McAuslan’s strength for so many years — the outstanding quality of its beers.