Two Islands Weekend handpicks all of our sponsors from products we ourselves use and love. Not too surprisingly, some of our favourite products have some of the best people behind them. McAuslan is no different. We sat down with Barry, our main man at McAuslan to get to know him better and talk beer, camp, crazy cups and patios.
You may know him as the fun guy behind the bar keeping your cups filled and the party going at camp but we just call him "Barry".
Let's start with the basics, tell the people who you are.
Barry Pletch, Regional Sales Manager at McAuslan Brewing. We have the delicious St. Ambroise craft beer brewed in Montreal.
So our campers are well acquainted with McAuslan as their selection of beers are featured every year at TIW but tell us about the history of McAuslan. Where did they start out?
McAuslan Brewing is one of the top microbreweries in Canada. Established in
the Saint-Henri district of Montreal in January 1989, McAuslan Brewing quickly
became one of Quebec's great microbreweries. It was there that the brewery
launched its first beer, St-Ambroise Pale Ale, which was an immediate success.
Its distinctive hoppy-ness and clear reddish hue set it apart and gained it an
instant following. Today, McAuslan Brewing creates great beers of distinction:
the St-Ambroise brands, Griffon brands and now the Barrel Collection. The brewery
has won a dozen international medals, including one platinum medal, four gold,
six silver and one bronze.
Thirsty yet? Photo Courtesy of McAuslan.com
When we contacted you about joining us at camp you were immediately onboard, why did your company want to be part of an summer camp for grown ups?
TIW provides a "fantabulous" positive environment where I get to interact with essentially every TIW camper to spread "the good beer gospel of St. Ambroise." As it turns out, our craft beer pairs well with the fresh air of Camp Timberlane. My fondest memory and what I enjoy most is the electric positive energy pulsating through the Mess Hall when we gather every time as a group.
What would people be surprised to know about McAuslan?
We have a gorgeous Terrasse at the brewery in the summertime. If visiting Montreal, I encourage you to bike or rollerblade your way along the Lachine Canal and right on to the patio!
The Terrasse at McAuslan Photo Courtesy of McAuslan.com
What types of things are McAuslan doing that make you especially proud?
McAuslan Brewing has always had a close relationship with the arts and culture community. We also strive to make eco-friendly decisions in every aspect of our business. Hence, combining these two initiatives for the TIW Exclusive "St. Ambroise Crazy Cup Contest" where we encourage campers to bring a decorative mug (with a story!) to refill it all weekend long.
What are you most looking forward to at TIW 2017?
I am absolutely blown away by the awesome food the chefs prepare for hundreds of people. Some of the best meals I have ever had have been at TIW. I am amazed how they can venture into the middle of nowhere and plan and prepare menus that are extremely delicious and divine.
Any other big events coming up this year we should know about?
This year is Montreal's 375th birthday -- if you are going -- you definitely want to check out the brewery for a tour, try a "one off" at the Annexe brewpub or soak up some Vitamin D in the sunshine while sipping on an Apricot Wheat Ale on the Terrasse!
The Chefs at TIW are pretty serious about their dishes.
Where can we find McAuslan beers when we're not at camp?
You can find our beer on draught at some great craft beer bars throughout Ontario. In Toronto, I recommend going to Barque Butcher Bar in Roncesvalles (I was there last night) and a place called No One Writes to the Colonel - they have pretty much all our beer on tap at those two locations. We will also have the Apricot Wheat Ale flowing at Canada's Wonderland again and we brew their two house beers - the Behemoth Blonde and Leviathan Amber Ale.
You can pick up the single cans and bottles at the LCBO, Beer Store and select grocery stores now too. We're also found in nearly every Canadian province, in many American states, in Europe and even as far away as Australia.
Freshly poured St. Ambroise at TIW.
And where can people find McAuslan online? More specifically, who should I tag when I'm Instagraming a picture of me drinking St.Ambroise on the patio this summer?
Online you can check us out at www.mcauslan.com or through social media @bierestambroise. We're on Facebook, Twitter and just got Instagram!
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any tips for first time campers?
Just when I think I have TIW figured out, the staff create some fun events and wild ideas that bring brand new amazing experiences for all those involved. A Beyoncé Dance Class?! The Talent Show was tremendous! And the Hoser HoeDown and photo booth were hilarious last year!!
Also - please finish all the kegs -- it is a LOT easier to carry empty kegs than full ones.
C'mon Barry, have our campers ever let you down? ;)
"Partner Up" is an opportunity for our campers to get to know some of the amazing people behind the brands who partner with Two Islands Weekend. We try to find the best Canadian companies (big and small) to be part of our weekend to enhance the experience for all our campers. These features are not paid for or requested by our sponsors, we just really like them! Please consider supporting these great Canadian businesses outside of camp.