Brews and Views: The Best of Both Worlds at Mount St. Louis Moonstone

Published on : 10/12/23
  • Quayle's Brewery's award-winning production happens just eight minutes from Mount St. Louis Moonstone, one of Ontario's largest family-owned ski resorts and Sodexo Live! partner since 2022. For the 2023-2024 Moonstone ski season, Sodexo Live! General Manager Ray Urban approached the Brewery with the idea of expanding their existing partnership. After carefully analyzing sales and guest preferences, they decided to brand the Brewery's two-gold medal-winning lager as the resort's signature beer. This new beer, called Moonstone Lager, will be available on opening day and gives guests a chance to taste a local favorite while enjoying the mountain.

    Ray Urban and brewery owners Catherine Pearson and Graydon Lau shared more about the partnership and what makes Quayle's Brewery so unique.

    Pearson: When we acquired the property, it was a hay field. There were no utilities here, no structures, nothing. We started to brew in January 2020, with plans to open in March. Obviously, we had to shift gears. We opened for curbside pickup in May and then opened our patio in July. Now, we have a large outdoor patio, tasting room, acoustic lounge, and indoor/outdoor event space. Our seasonal food menus and rotating taps of farm-fresh beers are perfect for warm summer weather or after a long day on the slopes in the winter.

    Lau: We've got 12 acres of hop yards with six varieties, and we've always mandated that our hops are in every single one of our beers. On average, we get about 500 pounds of dried hops per acre. Every beer that comes out of our front door uses our own spring water and hops to create an authentic farm-to-glass experience. 

    Pearson: For us, it was building an experience. We've found there's a real thirst for learning. Like Niagara or Prince Edward County, where you have vineyards and wineries, we have hops and beer. We offer tours so guests can walk through the hop yards, feel and smell the hops, understand how they grow, and then go through the brewing process.

    The community helped us as we opened during COVID-19, and we want to be strong partners. We're always looking for local, seasonal ingredients to incorporate and build right into our beer. We have a sour beer that is made with fruit. During cranberry season, we'll use cranberries. In late summer, we have fresh peaches and blueberries. During maple season, we use maple syrup and sap. 

    We give our spent grains, a byproduct from making beer, to a neighbor who feeds it to his cattle. It's a full cycle of working with the community.

    Lau: Speaking of sustainability, we do a lot here at the Brewery. We side-stream all our beer waste from the brewing process into a giant holding tank. When it gets full, we call an environmental company that takes it to a farm field and spreads it as fertilizer. We've invested in an ozone system to purify our water instead of using chemicals. When we "crash" the beer during the brewing process, we take boiling beer from the last brewing kettle down to 65 degrees Celsius. To do that, you put it through a heat exchanger like the radiator in a car. You put cold water in one way, and you put the hot beer in the other way. A lot of breweries let the leftover warm water go down the drain. But we take that water, and we redirect it back into the hot water holding tank to start our boil the next day.

    Urban: Quayle’s Brewery leads by example. It’s a beautiful Garden of Eden that also happens to brew beer. You can go to another ski hill and have the same beer everyone else sells. But when you come to Mount St. Louis Moonstone, you can get this great local beer made by a brewery just miles from here. It’s just part of the incredible experience we offer here.

    Pearson: Mount St. Louis Moonstone has been a great partner. It's about more than just providing Sodexo Live! and the resort with a product. It's about working together to create a memorable experience for guests. The team there does a great job in terms of understanding what's going to make their visit unique.