St. Ambroise vs. St. Urbain

Peter McAuslan, of McAuslan Brewing, isn’t happy with a new beer from Canadian brewing giant Labatt – or the way the company is advertising it.

The Toronto Star suggested it is a “battle of the saints.”

McAuslan called a press conference last week during Mondial de la Bière in Montreal to lodge his complaint. Labatt’s new beer is called St. Urbain, and its logo features a Montreal street sign. McAuslan’s flagship beer is its St. Ambroise Pale Ale, and the brewery has long played up its Montreal roots, using a street sign in its marketing campaigns.

“Labatt is trying to confuse the consumer. That hurts us,” said McAuslan, unveiling a T-shirt and poster campaign with the slogan “Beware of False Saints.”

3 Replies to “St. Ambroise vs. St. Urbain”

  1. I really can’t pick a side in this fight.

    One the one hand, Labatt’s Paul Wilson comes off as a double-talking dolt who contradicts himself. He first insinuates Labatt is not targeting any McAuslan brand or other microbrew. He then goes on to whine about fair play – “He (Peter McAuslan) can dabble in our backyard, but we can’t dabble in his?”

    Which is it, Mr Wilson? Are you going after the craft brew crowd (the same crowd McAuslan & others shoot for) or not?

    Then again, he has a point. If McAuslan can brew and profit from Moosehead, why shouldn’t Labatt be able to create a new brand for a new market (for them)? If Peter McAuslan is worried about a pale lager from a macrobrewer stealing away his customers, lovers of a craft brewed Pale Ale, one of two things is happening.

    Either Mr. McAuslan isn’t that confident in the flavor of his beer winning over those customers. Or he feels that the average beer customer is an idiot who can’t research (or care about) who brews their beer and chooses solely on price and image alone. While the latter is probably true, it wouldn’t be smart for a brewery owner to state that plainly and publicly.

    Also, if anyone can point me towards the St. Urbain label art and how it compares to the St. Ambroise Pale Ale ad campaigns (seemingly missing from McAuslan’s website), I’d appreciate a looksie.

  2. Pingback:
  3. I would like to take a moment to thank the people who have started this thread and continue it. I am a territory sales manager for McAuslan Breweies in the Toronto area. Having worked for what is now INBEV and now McAuslan, I can see it from both sides of the fence – I am glad I am on the side of a wholly Canadian owned brewery that doesn’t try to confuse the consumer with made-up breweries and middle of the road liquids. Please continue to support the local beers that offer you choice and quality! Please feel free to contact me through the McAuslan website or directly at if I can help point you in the direction of some local establishments in your area that serve ours and other fine craft beers.


Comments are closed.