Vincent Lapointe, Project Manager - Agriculture, Mushrooms and Northern Plants at FaunENord, moved to Chibougamau in 2020 and quickly realized how lucky he was to be in a region with such abundant resources. “This is paradise for people curious about plants and mushrooms,” he says. He notes two trees that are very characteristic of Nord-du-Québec: black spruce and balsam fir. “The young shoots of these conifers are useful and can be incorporated into beer. Dune pepper can be found on the roadside, and we also have a lot of Labrador tea, which has a woodsy flavour.”
Maître Renard plays an important role in promoting these delicacies from our forests. The flowers, plants and mushrooms used in the beers are clearly identified on the menu, so visitors can see where the flavours come from. “Microbreweries do a great job of showcasing these products to the general public,” says Vincent. “So there's a keen interest in forest products, all across the province. They're becoming much better known.”
Chibougamau may seem far away on a map to some visitors, but thanks to its proximity to Québec's largest natural lake, Mistassini, and the beautiful Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute in Oujé-Bougoumou, the town now also shines through its tourism businesses, which highlight this region of Québec and its resources, making it even more attractive and welcoming.