Client Spotlight - Escarpment Laboratories

by crystal wilson


You might know that we are a Guelph based company.  You might also know that Guelph was just named one of the top three beer towns in Canada.   We do have a lot of fantastic breweries in town - but we’ve got another beer-related business that you might not be as aware of.  You might not know it, but if you are lounging on a patio sipping a local beer, or likely even if you are enjoying any Canadian craft beer, you are benefitting from the hard work and innovation of Escarpment Laboratories.

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Based right here in Guelph, Escarpment Labs provides one of the most integral and volatile components of the brewer’s arsenal - yeast.


Science lesson - Yeast are single-celled organisms that are classified as a fungus. There are 1500 species of yeast that have been identified to date, and they exist around us all the time.  Yeast have the ability to convert sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. You’ve likely swirled together yeast, honey and water when baking, and watched your creation rise to perfection as a result of these little guys.  


Yeast plays a similarly important role in the brewing process, and the specific type of yeast used in a brew can make it or break it.


Luckily, Escarpment Laboratories exists to provide exactly the right type of yeast for the incredibly creative brews that the Canadian Craft Brewery industry is developing.


Fueled by a love for the science and subjectivity found in the craft brewing industry, Escarpment Labs was created with some yeast samples saved for homebrewing and a grant from the University of Guelph.  The business has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years and is the only full service yeast lab in Canada. This fact is of great value for an industry intent on creating “local” brews.


Escarpment’s product range has increased significantly and continues to grow - they have grown their collection through buying and trading samples, but they also go out and collect items on which to cultivate yeast strains - designer yeast!  Because of the wide variety of options at their fingertips, they have a unique ability to provide brewers with yeast to match specific characteristics of their brew.


So, how can you support the growth of this homegrown phenomenon?

  • If you are a home brewer, ask your local homebrew shop if they carry Escarpment Labs products!  If they don’t head over to KJ, Shortfinger, Toronto Brewing, or Brew North.
  • If you just love craft beer, next time you belly up to your favourite brewer’s bar make sure to ask if they use Escarpment Labs products in their brewing! If not, let them know that they're an awesome Canadian option for yeast that will take their brews up a notch!
  • Share this post with your friends who love craft beer or home brewing so that they know the important role this  local business plays in the Canadian Craft Brewery landscape!