A visit to Farmgate about 45 minutes north of Ottawa resulted in a nice walk though the orchard and peak into the process of making cider:
Being a part of the OCCA, we were lucky enough to learn about the research that the University of Guelph is doing to more efficiently grow and harvest apples for cider production. So after a weekend of cider (Our event with Duxbury at Cider House in Toronto and the Toronto Cider Festival) we took the trip to Simcoe – along with about 75 others – to learn what research was going on in the area.
There are a handful of researchers working on various parts of the cider process. Simcoe is one of 4 designated areas in Ontario which have special apple growing trees, planted a few years ago, finally starting to bare fruit the last 2 years.
The day started with talks on scientific research regarding apple growing, apple varieties and more. It progressed to talks from Gregory Peck from Cornell University about cider growing and the US cider industry; as well as a talk from Richard Liu – president of the OCCA – on the state of craft cider in Ontario. We even got an introduction on the work being done on yeasts and fermenting processes from the Escarpment Labs in Guelph.
Many cideries, apple growers, agricultural consultants and more were in attendance this day. Its wonderful to see people from all aspects of the cider community come together to learn and chat about how to make cider a better beverage for you to consume.
We ended the session at Bonnieheath Estates down the road from the research station, for some sampling of their 2 flagship, year-round ciders, and to learn about their unique history as a farm.
We are happy to speak directly if anyone has questions about it.
We had a great time traveling through Prince Edward County over a 2 day weekend in May of 2018. We were lucky enough to stop off at 11 locations that make cider, and we know there are more coming on-line in the next year or two. here is our route (Coming in from Ottawa), We made Hardway, Bergeron, Clafeld and Country Cider on the first day before settling in and the bugs came out. Day two saw Fieldbird, Hinterland, The Old Third, Apple Falls, Empire and Kings Mill before we headed back to Ottawa.
We also took Sterling along for the ride!
Cidery Tour: Hard Way Cider, Bath, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Bergeron (Cole Point) Winery, Adolphustown, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Clafeld Cider, Waupoos, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Fieldbird Cider, Wellington, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Hinterland Winery, Prince Edward Country, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: The Old Third, Prince Edward County, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Apple Falls Cider Co. Prince Edward Country, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Empire Cider, Codrington, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
Cidery Tour: Kings Mill Cider, Stirling, ON (May 2018) -Pictures and Podcast
While in Halifax for a work conference in April, Bethany of the Cider Crate decided to visit Chain Yard – an urban cidery located a few minutes from the downtown core of Halifax. Having tried one of Chain Yard’s ciders last June thanks to a visiting friend from the Maritimes, we were already familiar with the type of cider they made but wanted to learn more about the cidery and their other products.
Susan – manager of Marketing – gave Bethany a wonderful tour of their facilities. Explaining that they only opened May of 2017, they were relatively new and only one of two cideries with hospitality features – as most other cideries in Nova Scotia are producers only. Having one of the most experienced cider makers in the province helping to create their drinks, they have been able to make 3 core canned ciders; as well as a variety of limited run unique ciders available through draught only. At the time of visiting, they had a special cider feature called Ginxberry – a cider made with 3 types of apples, wildly fermented cranberry juice and Barreling Tides Gin.
Susan explained that ‘Nova Scotians have a sweeter palate and they gravitate towards smoother, less hoppy beers and ciders’ so they have ciders that appeal to that general taste. However, they also aim to expand people’s horizons and push them towards new tasting experiences, so they blend traditional beloved flavours and new experimental ones in hopes to gain and keep fans interested.
Currently using 100% Nova Scotian apples, they have 3 farm sources from the famous Annapolis Valley where they are abundant.
They also feature the ‘Unchained Kitchen’, which operates independently within the cidery but features foods that pair well with cider; and many are even made using the cider and apples.
You can buy their ciders on site and from their bar, at the Nova Scotian Liquor Store and other licensed stores – including the in Halifax Airport arriving or deporting! As well as on draught at many locations across the city and province and Maritimes.
If you are a Nova Scotia native or are just visiting Halifax like us, Chain Yard Urban Cidery is not to be missed by any cider fan!