British Columbia

Alexis Creek First Nation creates energy drink with local ingredients

Alexis Creek First Nation have created Crazy Horse, which contains rose hips and Saskatoon Berries. It was developed to create jobs and boost revenue in the community.

'Crazy Horse' contains rose hips and Saskatoon berries

Nolan Guichon is promoting Crazy Horse, an energy drink developed, owned and operated by the Alexis Creek First Nation. (John Charleyboy)

The Alexis Creek First Nation in B.C.'s central interior has come up with an energetic idea to create economic growth in their community.

Crazy Horse is an energy drink made with ingredients that the First Nations community has used for centuries — rose hips and Saskatoon berries.

Crazy Horse contains Saskatoon berries and rose hips. (John Charleyboy)

Nolan Guichon of Crazy Horse Energy Drinks told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce that these ingredients are one of several reasons why they already have a following of people who enjoy their drink.

"It tastes more like juice, so they'd rather have that than an actual coffee or energy drink that tastes more tangy," he said.

Guichon said Crazy Horse is sweetened with sugar cane, rather than glucose or fructose, and each can has 103 milligrams of caffeine — which is less than the caffeine in a short cup of brewed coffee at Starbucks.

The name and ingredients of Crazy Horse are nods to the band's heritage and environment, said Guichon. The name comes from all the wild horses in the region, and the branches of the Saskatoon Berry bush have historically been used to make arrows.

Crazy Horse is also the name of the Lakota chief who led a war party to victory in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in eastern Montana, in June 1876.

Drink developed to create jobs, revenue

Guichon said the Alexis Creek First Nation had been searching for a creative way to bring in revenue and jobs to its community.

Crazy Horse Energy Drinks, which is entirely owned and operated by the band, took six years to develop.

"We want to be able to put it back into the community by helping out young aboriginal youth with education, sports and activities," Guichon said.

The production of the drink is currently contracted out to a company in Portland, Oregon, since the nation doesn't have a facility in B.C.

But Guichon said the plan is to eventually harvest and produce it locally. 

"It's all natural to the Williams lake area so that's where we want to be able to grow it," he said. "We want to have it so we can harvest it, so we can employ the aboriginal community."

Crazy Horse is currently available in about 50 stores across B.C., as well as at select Save-on-Food stores. 

To hear the full interview click on the audio labelled: Crazy Horse Energy Drink