I have included 2 recipes here. The first is a true woodsman’s brew with the authentic ingredients that was said to have helped stay off scurvy in the Northwoods logging camps. The second is something that you will have a better chance of finding ingredients for. Check a local shop that caters to home brewers to find the essence of spruce.
#1 – Traditional Logger’s Spruce Beer
In a large kettle put spruce tips, checkerberry leaves, dandelion root, yellow dock root, black cherry bark, and spruce bark; cover with water and steep for 6 hours over a slow fire. Drain and mix with 2 pails of water, putting 1/2 of the brew in each pail. Add 1 1/2 pints of molasses to each pail of water. Dissolve 2 yeast cakes in lukewarm water and add 1/2 of the yeast mixture to each pail. Mix thoroughly, cover with cheesecloth and let stand overnight. In the morning strain the mixture through the cheesecloth and put in jugs in a warm place till the scum works off, then cork tightly. Should be ready to drink in 5 days. Tis a powerful brew, my friends!
#2 – Spruce beer
3 gallons of lukewarm water
1 1/2 pints of molasses
2 yeast cakes
1 tbsp. essence of spruce
1 tbsp. ginger
Mix and leave standing overnight and bottle in the morning. It will be fit to drink in 24 hours.