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Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet App

Spruce Beer

A refreshing and traditional drink

Spruce Beer

Origin: Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site
Region: Atlantic (New Brunswick)
Period: Traditional
Course: Beverages and Other

Photo of French cider mug Photo of French cider mug
© Parks Canada

The brewing of spruce and other types of beer has a long history in Canada. It was a common beverage in both British and French forts across the country as early as the 18th century, and was certainly enjoyed by the Acadians who settled near Fort Beausejour – Fort Cumberland National Historic Site. Acadians used rye, wheat, fir tree shoots, dandelions and hops as a base for their beer, and added water, yeast and sugar. The mixture was set aside to ferment for several days. Similar to a root or ginger beer, the amount of sugar or molasses used in the recipe will help to determine the drink’s alcohol content.

Spruce Beer

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz | 200 g cleaned and washed spruce tree shoots
  • 2 quarts | 2 litres water
  • 1.5 oz | 40 g yeast
  • 1.5 oz | 40 g sugar

Directions:

  • Acadians used rye, wheat, fir tree shoots, dandelions and hops as a base for beer. Water, yeast and sugar was added and the mixture was set aside to ferment for several days.

Credits:

Recipe tested by Chef David Fairbanks, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

Recipe adapted from : Marielle Boudreau and Melvin Gallant, Le guide de la cuisine traditionnelle acadienne, Montréal/Moncton, Les Éditions Stanké et Les Éditions d’Acadie, 1980.