The maple leaf is an iconic symbol that comes to mind whenever “Canada” is mentioned. But, aside from being on our national flag, the maple leaf also makes its way to our breakfast tables—in the form of maple syrup. Typically used to pair with pancakes or French toast, this sugary, delicious condiment can always be found in souvenir shops across Canada. Whether you are in Charlottetown, Niagara Falls, Winnipeg or Vancouver, you will find Canadian maple syrup somewhere.
Even here, in the cold Yukon, you can find Canadian maple syrup. I’m not talking about the generic syrup found in grocery stores. Typically, those syrups are made with corn starch and sugar and are not 100 per cent maple syrup.
To find authentic maple syrup, made from Canadian maple trees, you go to Richard Beaudoin. This Yukoner has taken up the task of introducing Yukoners to authentic Canadian maple syrup. But how? There are no maple trees in sight, anywhere near the Yukon.
Beaudoin gets his maple product shipped from a maple farm in Quebec. When it arrives in the Yukon, he begins to work his magic to create not only an authentic syrup that is made from 100 per cent pure maple, but also another product called Whiskey Maple Butter. Whiskey and maple? At first you may think that is an unusual pairing, but, after tasting Beaudoin’s product, you will think it is the most fantastic-tasting maple product in the Yukon.
Beaudoin takes great pride in crafting things together. He started his brand of maple products, in 2015, under the name The Maple Rush. After making pure maple syrup, Beaudoin started to think about other products he could make that no one else has made in the Yukon. One day he thought about letting pure maple syrup sit in an empty whiskey barrel, to age. He pitched the idea to the Yukon Brewery and, in exchange, was able to use their empty whiskey barrels. After some trial and error, he figured five months was the perfect aging time. The finished product is a beautiful Yukon Whiskey Maple Butter.
Sales to tourists has been good, but not all Yukoners are keen on the idea of a pure maple product that is available up north. According to Beaudoin, people do not always understand what he is trying to create. He gets questioned all the time about the authenticity of his products because there are no maple trees in the Yukon.
Also, he admits to having some challenges when it comes to marketing his products. Beaudoin’s objective is to create high-quality artisan maple products. Unfortunately, some people are so used to the “fake” commercial maple syrups that they don’t quite get the angle Beaudoin is coming from. However, Beaudoin does offer tasting/table samples and explains the process involved to prospective consumers, as well as explaining how to pair his maple creations with other products. In the winter, Beaudoin also offers maple taffy, made on the snow.
The most-recent launch is a maple butter made with brandy, wild berries and maple syrup. Maple Rush products are sold on the Carcross Commons, in Carcross and also at the following retailers in Whitehorse: Midnight Sun, Yukon Brewery and Riverside Grocery.
You can follow The Maple Rush on Facebook to get more information about upcoming market/festival events where the products will be featured.