Maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels

Jean-Philippe Briere developed his passion for maple syrup production and business as a teenager. I had about 20 cuts around my parents house. I was boiling, I was making a drink. The first year was in my parents’ kitchen. I cleaned the kitchen cupboards. I sold my small production. The production was minimal, we are talking about twenty trees. I was selling this to my high school in Séminaire Sainte-Marie.

Out-of-the-ordinary products

Today, in his mid-30s, a maple producer wants to update the art of maple products. Yes, you should respect tradition, but it can also be the starting point for something new.

The maple orchard, L’Érabrière de Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, is distinguished by its unusual products: poutine with sausage ears and homemade sausage, maple butter pizza, syrup infused with different flavors, etc.

Unique and popular maple syrup

One of the most popular products is aged syrup in bourbon barrels.

He himself buys barrels in Kentucky. The precious liquid remains for six to seven months before it is packaged. Demand is such that it has gone from producing 45 liters in 2018 to 500 liters this year.

It will be called to grow further. At our Christmas store last year we were asked about forty times a day and we had none. Basically, I receive a 55-gallon barrel. They must have emptied their alcohol content, it must be fresh if we want to be able to find the aroma of bourbon in our drink. »

Quote from Jean-Philippe Brière, owner of L’Érabrière

Jean-Philippe Briere has been producing maple syrup since he was a teenager.

Photo: Radio Canada

Convert constraint into opportunity

It has also reinvented the traditional meal you can eat. His hut adopts the snacks formula, to take it away. Traditional dishes like baked beans and crunchy ears are on the menu, but it’s poutine, sausage or chicken wings with a hint of sweetness that grabs the attention. This way of doing things was set in motion due to the pandemic. He decided to keep it.

We had to explain our concept to a lot of people because to a lot of people, a sugar hut could just be a thing, it couldn’t be a thing. It may just be the traditional table we know. As time passes, not only is the response good, the demand is more difficult to meet. »

Quote from Jean-Philippe Brière, owner of L’Érabrière

The maple syrup producer does not intend to stop here, he still has a lot of other ideas to develop his project. He wishes to continue reinventing this tradition, firmly rooted in our region, the maple grove.

With information from Raphael Brouillette

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