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Nov 26, 2008 09:00 AM

3 of my favorite Canadian sodas

My Mom who is 83, and I were having a discussion about her growing up on Cadliac St. in Montreal. I remember going to Montreal for visits in the summer when i was younger. I have lost touch with most of my cousins. So, furthering my investigation regarding my problem leads me here.
However, the one thing I remember to this day... Canadian BBQ potato chips, and 3 favorite sodas we can't get in the States. Nectar, Cream Soda (Canadian cream soda... there is a differance) and above all SPRUCE BEER soda. Ever time I mention these to friends of mine, unless they have been to Montreal or there abouts, they think I'm dreaming this stuff up.
WHERE can I find these sodas???
Being originally from Boston, now residing in Pelham, NH (Southern NH )
It is next to impossible to get. Is there a website I can purchase and have shipped to my home. Anyone on this....

Thanks I have been trying to find an answer to this question for a while now, without having to drive over the boarder to purchase it in person.

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  1. Marco, probably the leading local producer of spruce and birch beer, has a website that lists Canadian retailers that carry its products. None shown for the USA, but you could always try contacting the company and asking.

    Other than that, you could check out some of the online retailers listed on Anthony's Root Beer Barrel -- -- and be sure to poke around their Availability pages, where you'll find things like this:

    1. You can get "Canadian" cream soda virtually everywhere. Every supermarket will have a house brand of it. Of course, none are as sickly sweet and delicious as Snow White brand...
      Nectar is a bit more difficult. That used to be the soft drink of choice in my house when I was a kid, and Ice Castle was the only game in town, as far as we were concerned. I haven't seen nectar in a long time, but I have some strange memory of actually stumbling over some a few years ago. Maybe in Ontario? I forget.
      Spruce beer, Marco or any other kind, is always available from countryside apple/jam/cheese stores, and isn't hard to find outside of Montreal. I'm sure it won't be hard to track down in town either. But it won't be in the mini-bar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bomobob

        Actually, nectar is found in most grocery stores. President's Choice makes it, Métro and IGA as well. Haven't seen Crush in a while but Denis still makes it too.

      2. The new lunch restaurant Provisions on St. Laurent serves spruce beer. I tried it there yesterday. It wasn't to my liking, but it was distinctive.

        1 Reply
        1. I agree with bomobob -
          there's plenty of cream sodas in the US: Stewarts, Sioux City, Dr. Brown's, Dad's, Boylans, and my favorite, IBC (plus a load of others like Willie's Hemp Butterscotch cream, or Kutztown, or Waialia Vanilla Cream).

          Nectar? I dunno, but there are some Latin soft drinks called Cola Champagne. Kind of a cross between cream soda and nectar tasting. You can find these in either Mexican or south american shops. (but maybe not exactly what you're looking for).

          Spruce? Good luck.
          A few big chains have it made for their stores in Canada, like Merit, Multichoice, and Maxi. Not necessarily bad tasting, but I think they use artificial flavoring. When reminiscing with your mother, you're probably thinking of the mom and pop fry joints that made their own. Closest to that, commercially, is the Marco brand as mentioned above.

          There was a casse croute on Notre Dame near Guy who made their own. The guy would ask if you're going straight home - if not, he'd refuse to sell you a bottle, saying the bottle would explode in your car. They moved a few years back, (a few blocks around the corner) but I don't know if they still operate.

          Apparently theres an outfit in Rhode Island called Empire Bottling Works, they make a spruce beer, but I don't know how good.
          (they're small and maybe can help you here

          2 Replies
          1. re: porker

            apparently Paul Patates still serve their own home made spruce beer,

            Restaurant Paul Patates
            760, Charlevoix

            1. re: superbossmom

              Paul Patates' recipe comes from Émile Bertrand, the owner of the defunct snack bar on Notre Dame that porker refers to. See for the background.

          2. I think everyone may have lost sight of the fact that the OP said he is *not* looking to come up to Canada for these sodas, he's trying to get it shipped to the US. :-)

            Wish I had some suggestions...

            1 Reply
            1. re: kpzoo

              I don't think I lost sight exactly - u.s. makers of cream soda, nectar-like cola champagne in US, and Empire Bottling Works in RI for SB.
              My run-on about locally made SB was an attempt to connect with the OP and his converstaions with 83 year old Mom...