Spruce beer at Paul Patates, Montreal


Some people like trying new wines, beer or other alcoholic beverages when they travel. I though enjoy trying regional sodas wherever I go. 



I found my new favorite soda, spruce beer, after a trip to Montreal. The drink is a favorite of many French Canadians. It is supposed to be an acquired taste, but I loved it on the first sip. It tastes a little like 7Up, but with a pine flavor.  

First Nations and early settlers of Quebec brewed  spruce  beer prior to the 1700s to combat kidney illnesses, stomach upset  and scurvy. For years, many  people in Quebec made the beverage at home in their bathtubs.


IMG_20170211_135810Paul Patates, a diner in Montreal,  is the only place you can still try spruce beer that's made the old fashioned way. It’s brewed in the diner after hours using a  recipe of water, sugar, yeast and spruce oil. The drink has to be refrigerated. The recipe comes from the now closed restaurant, Émile Bertrand. Paul Patate's poutine is also famous.


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Now that's a local travel gem worth looking up the next time I'm in Montreal.  The poutine is among the best looking I've ever seen.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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