Thursday, November 20, 2008

regional soda pops: spruce beer & cheerwine

When a friend of ours was heading to Montreal a few weeks ago, my husband asked him to pick up some spruce beer. Cornelius had a hankering for it from when he worked as a bike courier in Montreal. He'd stop by the local casse-croute and pick up a steamie and a spruce beer as an after-work treat.

I had heard so much about spruce beer so I was eager to try some. Our friend brought back 3 different brands for us to try. The only one we tried was 2 litre bottle, a no-name supermarket brand, that we split with friends on Halloween. It was way too sweet but it had potential...if you like the strong taste of pine. Crazy as it sounds, we still haven't tried the other two artisinal brands, although Cornelius (and most of Montreal) swears by the Bertrand brand (now available only at Paul's Patates). When we do crack open those 2 bottles, I think I'll make a whole meal out of it with some poutine and steamies.

As for the Cheerwine, it's a pretty fantastic cherry soda from North Carolina. Luckily, you can purchase it at Pine State Biscuits in Portland, OR (which is much closer to home than NC). As I can attest to, it makes the best ice cream floats. My best friend moved to Durham so she could attend library school, so I think I've got to make a NC visit within the next year and a half. She says you can get Cheerwine floats everywhere there. Dreamsville!

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Blogger Kirsten said...

Mmm... regional soda pop is one of the loves of my life. When the man-friend and I went on our Canadian wedding tour we made a point of finding the most regional beer and most regional soda we could. We missed out on spruce beer in Montreal though, I so want to try it now. I only assume it's regional because I haven't seen it anywhere, but have you tried Propellor soda pop (and beer) from Halifax? I still think about it, and this was 2.5 years ago.


2:57 PM  
Blogger Primero Guill√≥n said...

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3:25 PM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

I'm not a beer drinker. But I have tried sips of various beers from the standard (Molsons and Heineken) to the exotic (pear or chocolate)but never has it left me with a longing to drink more. The funny thing is that I live with a man that LOVES his beer!
Likewise, as much I love sugary-sweet foods, I refrain from drinking sugary drinks because it's the easiest way for me to pack on the pounds. When I do crave a sweet drink, what I do is pour half a glass of fruit juice (orange, pomegranate, mango) and top it up with bubbly water. Instant homemade seltzer a la Bijoux. Sweet and gassy :)

3:54 PM  
Blogger kickpleat said...

I've heard of propellor beer, but not their soda! One day I hope to move to the maritimes, so I'll keep it in mind!

Thanks, Primero.

Bijoux, spruce beer isn't beer, it's pop that tastes like pine needles. I don't drink a lot of pop, but when I travel I like to find regional sodas since they're local and usually have a lot of history with the area. I too add club soda to juice...I can't drink straight juice as it's too strong!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

Duh! Shows you how clueless I am.
Ha ha what a dumb dumb ;P
So it's like Jamaican ginger beer but a spruce version of it...ahhhhh! History with soda making. I never would have guessed.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous bellcurves said...

cheerwine! i remember it from growing up. one of my friends was originally from north carolina, and she introduced me to its dark red, cherry like goodness. we used to pop popcorn at her house and have that with cheerwine. there are actually a couple of places around here that sell it, though it's been years since i have actually had it.

6:47 PM  
Blogger koala said...

I'm a big fan of regional sodas but we have only one here. There are some interesting sodas in rest of Europe. Like Almdudler from Tirol. My favourite.

2:13 PM  
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8:57 AM  

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