During their first winter in America, Jacques Cartier and his sailors were saved in extremis of scurvy by Domagaya, the son of the chief of Stadacona: the village located where Quebec City stands today. Domagaya gave them an infusion of branches from a coniferous tree called annedda, which put them back on their feet within a few days. Unfortunately, no one to this day knows exactly what tree it was.
One thing we know for sure is that, since the beginning, French colonists made a spruce-based tonic drink to boost their health. Historians mention an apothecary, Louis Hébert, who made spruce beer in Quebec City as far back as 1617! At that time, Europeans still believed that the bubbles in tonic and beer healed disease and scurvy. Could spruce beer be born from a blend of Native American and European remedies?
Spruce beer is part of our heritage. That is why, for our line of products, we decided to revisit old recipes and use the same, simple ingredients that were used hundreds of years ago!