The 5th edition of the Toronto Cider Festival brought with it a few lovely days to sample over 30 cideries from across Ontario, Canada and France! We were lucky enough to start the weekend off early at Her Fathers Cider Bar, joined by Niagara, Duntroon and returning, Duxbury Cider for a meet the maker and sample night.
Friday, a busy day personally so we were unable to make the event. However, Saturday, here is our reviews.
In comparison to previous years, the venue filled up and a was pretty cider-drinker focused during the day-drinking session. A lot of people were interested in chatting with the makers and learning more about their craft. We were able to chat with a few new participants and hope to have the interviews on our website shortly. We also were lucky enough to spend time chatting with a most of the Ontario based cidery staff to see how the event was going and what is new. I’m excited that the optimism of the sector is upbeat, though still very tough to make a living at.
Barry’s Selections (In no order)
Duntroon – Black Cherry
East Street – Nature Study
Calvados – 5year Special
County – Root Beer
Ironwood – Strawberry Ciderita
This was my second year attending the Toronto Cider Festival. The Day Drinking session of Day 2 was warm and sunny, perfect weather for cider tasting.
If you are going to day drink, why not dive right into the barrel? I started the day at Hard Way Cider Co, with the just-launched Catawampus. Aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels, with a hint of black cherry juice, at 9%abv., followed by the slightly more agreeable Ramboozle, a blend of 5 different local apples, 100% Ontario raspberries and amazing tasting notes from Caribbean Rum barrels. We circled back later in the day to discover Loco Blanco, aged in tequila barrels, was available, which was also quite nice.
Next I took in 2 of the offerings from Ironwood: Prince Zero, a super dry cider which was nice and light in the middle of my flavour parade; and the Strawberry Ciderita, which was exactly opposite. If you’ve ever tried a can of Tempt’s No 9 cider, it’s along the same vein, though a smidge drier.
On to East Street, who really brought their flavour game. I’ve had the Watermelon Mint a few times, so I opted for the new-to-me Nature Study and Harvest Botanical. I love how East Street layers in several flavour adjuncts to give you a complex but well-balanced cider.
Having missed the Meet the Maker event Thursday prior, I had to stop by Duxbury’s tent to try the Scumpy from their Back 50 Acres project. It’s a nice example of the style and I look forward to what comes up next.
On to Thornbury to try the Let’s Get Tropical. What a delight – juicy without being over-sweet. I really wish I’d gotten my hands on some sooner because this is a Summer cider if there ever was one, and would be killer in a sangria.
Brickworks had a lot on offer at the festival with the new cocktail bar, but I chose just the Sour-brate. With a base of fresh-pressed ontario apples with local blackberries, peaches and a touch of earl grey, it was a nicely balanced, medium sour cider. Hoping to find it at their Ciderhouse soon.
Finally, after picking up a sample of the rather enjoyable Berry Mint on an earlier pass, I ended the day at Forbbiden Cider, lovingly exchanging my last token for their Hopped Cider. Sour and Tart (just like me) and oh so good, it was the perfect way to end the day.
Event wise, the community based painting was really neat and homage to the Toronto Raptors. The Flairtending, as always was spot on as was the music all weekend.
The only non Cider pouring at the Toronto Cider Fest 2019, Calvados Boulard Rep Stan Zelek chats with us about the unique apple product offered to the attendees.
Malus cider, one of the new cideries on the block, sat down with Barry at the Toronto Cider Fest, 2019 to chat about how they came to be and what challenges they have faced,so far.
Hard Way Cider
Chatting with Hard Way Cider, at their first Toronto Cider Festival. Defiantly one of cideries of the weekend at the 2019 edition.
We talked with Magnotta briefly as the Saturday opened up at the 2019 edition of the Toronto Cider Festival.
Next years tickets are already available, happening August 28th and 29th, 2020.