Brewing came to the Upper Peninsula in the 1600s, when French fur traders substituted pine needles for hops in batches of spruce beer. Promoted as a health drink, the evergreen suds remained in favor with the British army when it occupied the region. German immigrants drawn in by the mining boom introduced more variety to the area's fermented beverage selection, and the first of many commercial breweries opened in Sault Ste. Marie in 1850. Today, Keweenaw, Blackrocks and Ore Dock Brewing Companies are a few of the local craft breweries canning, bottling and shipping the malty flavor of the Peninsula throughout Michigan, Wisconsin and beyond.