Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Les Trois Mousquetaires Interview with Christian Marcil of Les Trois Mousquetaires Non-Flash podcast

Les Trois Mousquetaires (LTM) was founded in 2004 by three partners who had been co-workers at Canada's Imperial Tobacco company. When that company closed the plant, the three decided to band together and strike out as a team to form a brewery. They started by acquiring a brewhouse from a brewery which had just closed, Express Broue in St-Eustache, QC. They established their operation on the South Shore of the St-Laurent river, in Brossard, just south of Montréal, nearby where they lived.

Bob, Christian, and B.R.
Over time, the brewery expanded their offerings from simple pale ales and red ales to exciting European styles, such as Bocks, Baltic Porters, Hefeweizens, and a host of specialty barrel aged beers. They brew about 12 regular styles year round, and six to seven seasonal offerings. They package their beers in 12oz, 750ml, and 3 liter (Jeroboam) bottles, and in 30 liter PETainers and stainless steel half-barrels.

Brewer Alex.
With their 15hl brewhouse (about 12bbls) they're able to brew four batches per day, and it takes seven brewing sessions to fill their largest fermentor, a 10,000hl vessel! Some brews skip the stainless tanks and go directly into oak barrels for primary fermentation, such as the Saison Brett, which gets a dose of wild yeast following the first fermentation, and ferments and conditions in Chardonnay wine barrels.
The bottling line.
In 2011 the brewery moved into a new facility down the road in Brossard, three times the size of the original building. They needed the space to keep up with their ever expanding production and their growing barrel aging program. They're currently working with about 140 various barrels, mostly oak bourbon barrels, but also brandy barrels and different wine barrels.
B.R. stakes her claim for the USA!
LTM is the largest brewery using 100% Quebec-made malts for their main production beers, sourcing the grain from Frontenac and Maltbroue malteries. Those suppliers are located in Thetford Mines and Temiscouata-sur-le-Lac respectively. Of course, they use some specialty malts from outside of Quebec -- malts that simply aren't available in the provence, such as smoked malt and torrified malt. They'd be interested in using more Quebec hops, too, but the supply just isn't available at this point in time, and the price is also a bit prohibitive. Hopefully that will change, with the demand for hops growing globally, as well as the demand for local grown ingredients possibly making hops a viable crop for QC farmers.

Quebec malted barley.
The brewery had an output of about 4,000hl (about 3,300bbls) in 2015, and looks to grow that in 2016. They currently sell their beer all over Canada, in the USA, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia, and recently began exporting to Brazil. Keep an eye out for their brandy barrel aged Old Bruin, set to hit the States in 2016!

Jack Daniels barrel.
Heaven Hill bourbon barrel from 1978.

In the grain room above the brew house.
Grain room.
Grain room.
The brew house.
Mash tun.
Mash tun.

Bottling line.

End of bottling line.
View of bottling line from above.

Numerous awards.

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