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Nov 6, 2009 01:12 PM

where to buy birch beer in calgary?

They sell individual cans at Alberta King of Subs, but they're like $2 or something ridiculous like that. Does anyone know if birch beer is available anywhere else in calgary? in 6- or 12-packs?

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  1. ugh, why would you want that stuff anyways... it's like carbonated pinesol :P

    11 Replies
    1. re: marcopolo

      i know, and i love it! the first time i tried it, i thought it was weird, but it really grows on you after a few sips.

      1. re: nonlinear

        You might want to call Planet Organic or Community, I seem to recall seeing it there... and iirc Superstore either in the "Natural Food" aisle or by the near-beer maybe?

        1. re: nonlinear

          Huh. Do you like Retsina as well then?

          1. re: Leibowitz

            So what's wrong with Retsina?

            People have been drinking/loving Retsina for at least 2,000 years now it must have something going for it.


            1. re: Sam Salmon

              Sure, agreed. They have. Sounds like you enjoy it. But, please, you must agree, most people who try it, dislike it immensely. An acquired taste (2000 years), shall we say? I kid.

              I'm not opposed to sap flavoured anything (tho, I don't enjoy Retsina). I like Alba Pine Ale, for instance. (Which nonlinear may be interested in, can be had on special order, or old stock at several liquor stores in Calgary - the agent is Vinalta.)

              Seriously Sam, I meant no slur against the Greek. Just, don't like that wine.

              1. re: Leibowitz

                I am another retsina fan but only when served, as it was intended, with good Greek food as it cuts through the olive oil and garlic.

                I chuckle whenever this type of discussion arises at it brings me back to university house party days which were always notorious for ones drink of choice being "poached" by someone else. Never the case with retsina [smile].

                The Cambas label in particular with its dark colour and definite resin flavour was a favourite.

                That and a couple of garlic laden donairs while stumbling back down Spring Garden Rd. in wonder I could never get a date [grin].....

                Growing up in Montreal, spruce beer or biere d'epinette was a favourite. The real thing sold in small local depaneurs in green bottles with those ceramic stoppers like Grolsch beer. Banned for awhile because of exploding bottles.

                I'll have to keep my eyes open for the birch and pine ales.

                Spring Garden Restaurant
                4488 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3R3, CA

                1. re: Bob Mac

                  whoops, just realized I was thinking of spruce beer, not birch beer, for the carbonated pinesol taste. I remember trying it as a kid when a neighbour had some in the green bottles Bob Mac mentions. It was weird, but it did kind of grow on ya. So feeling nostalgic, i tried a can up at Alberta King of Subs, and it had this weird synthetic taste reminiscent of, well... pinesol. Not quite like I remember.

                  Anyways, I've seen birch beer in several places around town. Boylan's makes it as well, so it can't be too hard to find...

                  1. re: marcopolo

                    hahahah, OH WAIT - I meant Spruce beer too - NOT BIRCH BEER!

                    dang it! i'm looking for SPRUCE BEER hahah

                    1. re: nonlinear

                      lol, nonlinear...

                      huh, apparently a taste of quebec at the CFM sells my namesake brand...


                      maybe you can plead with some of the superstores here in town to stock their PC brand of spruce beer...(see picture halfway down

                      edit to add: found a better picture

                      1. re: nonlinear

                        Since you are switching trees ...
                        How about Alba Scots Pine Ale?
                        "Introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular in the Scottish Highlands until the end of the 19th century. Many early explorers, including Captain Cook, used spruce ale during long sea voyages since it prevented scurvy and ill health. Shetland spruce ale was said to "stimulate animal instincts" and give you twins. Alba is a triple style ale brewed to a traditional Highland recipe from Scots pine and spruce shoots pickled during early spring. Pure malted barley, is boiled with the young sprigs of pine for several hours then the fresh shoots of the spruce are added for a short infusion before fermentation."


                        1. re: cancowboy

                          i just want to clarify that the SPRUCE beer i'm talking about is a soda. you know, kinda like root beer.

        2. Grizzly Paw Brewery in Canmore might do a birch beer.

          On a different note, does anyone know if Clear Creek Distillery's Douglas fir eau-de-vie is available in Calgary?

          1. I tried it for the first time at Tazza's..