Auberge Sutton Brouërie: The Secret Lies in the Brett
For more than two years now, the Auberge Sutton Brouërie has livened up Sutton’s Main Street. Although the dining area is always very animated and its eight rooms are always occupied, it’s for their excellent beer, concocted by Patrick Roy, the friendly master brewer, that locals and tourists alike, come to the brewery in such great numbers.
After having spent five years learning his trade at Brasserie Dunham, Patrick took quite a gamble, however, when he started brewing his beers in Sutton: he decided to only use Brettanomyces wild yeast—a.k.a. Bretts. His brewing friends thought he was crazy and didn’t believe he would pull it off at first, but he actually managed to succeed and turn a profit.
“You won’t find any other breweries in Quebec—and perhaps even in Canada—who produce beers that are 100% Brett,” Pat explains with enthusiasm. “Brett yeast is believed to be less stable than the saccharomyces used by most brewers. I wanted to prove the opposite and I think I’ve managed to develop my own signature: dry, ‘clean’ beers that will please a very diversified clientele such as ours. I brew recipes that resemble well-known styles, but my yeast comes in at the end to give our brew its character. For instance, my Saison beer is very much a Saison, yet it gives off a slightly fruitier and acidic taste compared to other beers in the same category.”
Patrick, took on the challenge and seems to have succeeded. In fact, today, he’s even unable to meet the growing demands of beer enthusiasts avid for his creations.
“If you want to taste all our products, you’ll have to come to Sutton, since our beers are not all bottled,” says the man who considers himself a true intuitive brewer. “There are only 25 outlets throughout Quebec, that sell our bottled beer and I can’t meet all their demands! I’ve got 30 more on a waiting list!”
For all these reasons, the Auberge Sutton Brouërie will soon expand their brewing space and add three more double tanks, allowing them to double their brewing capacity.
Bottling the Region
Although the products used to prepare the Auberge’s 90-seat restaurant mainly come from the area, Patrick hopes to add even more local colours and flavours to those he already uses to brew his beers.
“I’m currently using lab-made Bretts, but I’d love to eventually find some in the area, in many surrounding orchards, for instance. I’m sure if I placed a few Petri dishes in fields here and there, I’d find wild Bretts,” notes Pat. “I’m also working on a new beer made with yarrow, a bitter-tasting plant that grows around here.”
The Grisette de la Marmite, the Session Abénaki, the Brune Alpine: the names of the beers brewed at the Auberge Sutton Brouërie all possess a meaning that is tied to the region’s history. It’s a decision that goes far beyond a marketing strategy.
“Village Microbreweries have sort of become our new church steps,” Pat reflects. “It’s where people living in the surrounding area come together to chat and we’d like our products to be representative of the region and to tell its stories.”
It is a nice philosophy that Patrick Roy shares with his two partners Élise Bourduas and Martin Surprenant.