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:
Name: Spirit Tree – Sparkling Pear Cider
Sampled November 2018
|Brand: Spirit Tree
Location of Brewing: Caledon, ON
Website Link: spirittreecider.com
Ingredients: Carbonated Pear Juice, malic acid, ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate.
Gluten Free: yes
Sugar Content: UnknownSize(s) available: 750ml, 355ml Glass Bottle
Availability: Spirit Tree Estate, various country stores
Colour: light-translucent yellow
Carbonation: Lots of big bubbles on the side of the glass.
Smell: Medium, extra sweet ripe Bartlett pear, some elements of spices
Initial Taste: light bite from carbonation, followed by sweet juicy Bartlett pear. Clear and crisp with a bit of tanginess.
After Taste: becomes almost sweeter in the aftertaste with a light film of pear. Quite long-lingering, with some smokey elements.
On ice: Carbonation is cut, little less sweet pear.
Additional Notes: A very pear forward sweet offering, the non-alcoholic version from Spirit Tree is crisp and clean with a bit of smokiness. Easy to drink but a bit sugary with some tanginess. Stays with you for quite a while. Sweeter then their alcoholic Perry.
Rated on a scale of 1-5
Sweet – 4
Sour – 1.5
Crisp – 3.5
Dry – 2.5
Fruity – 4.5
More Sweet –TBA
More Sour – TBA
More Dry – TBA
More Crisp – TBA
Links to Other Stories
Links to Pairings
Links to Cocktails
Links to Comparisons
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 an amazing time over two days at this year’s Toronto Cider Festival. You can catch the photos and the Podcast here. Below are a few highlights as we head off to Spain and Portugal for a bit of cider out that way. Thanks once again to Shalini, Chris, The Event Professor, and all the people (including cideries who always make us feel at home talking and sampling) who were involved with this years festival. It’s such a positive community
~Barry and Bethany
In no particular order….
Breakout Cidery – East Street Cider Co
Best Returning Cidery – County Cider Co.
Cidery to Watch for Next Year – Duntroon Cyder
Best Moment – The Incredible Flair Bartending
Most kick-ass Moment – People dancing in the torrential rain during the Saturday Day Session
Worst Moment – The hangovers The Cider Crate had on Day 2
Best Entertainment – DJ D-Smooth
Special Cider Fan Shout-Out – Meeting the awesome Toronto Cider Girls
With the festival just a few hours away, here is our top 5 remember to do, and top 5 please do not do this list for the 2018 festival.
You can find out more from our official preview!
Oh, and don’t forget Thursday is our special pre-event at Cider House. Come talk with Duxbury and meet us for a guided flight and food pairing!
Already Year 4 of the Toronto Cider Fest and once again they raising the stakes and upping the game – going even bigger and better than last year, expanding to 3 sessions over 2 days. We are thrilled to be heading down to cover all three sessions and and see the second night on a Friday! This year you are asked to strap on your boots and throw on your cowboy hat, as its all gone country – with a western/country theme and musical lineup, especially on the inaugural Friday Night session! We can’t even begin to describe how much fun we had the last two years here, and we cannot wait for the festival to happen again!
This year we see 31 (3 more than in 2017!) cideries participating – with a handful of past favourites and many new ones joining in, from across the province and country. There will be many first time cideries attending – including many we haven’t even tried yet – such as East Street Cider and Overlander! Here is the list that will yield over 100 ciders to try (but please don’t take on that challenge!)
Year 1 and 2 of the festival was located downtown at Yonge/Dundas – which provided a nice bustling, metropolitan backdrop; however, the space was just too small for new and exciting expansions to be made. The move to the Sherbourne Commons last year was brilliant, and it offers a nice view of the Waterfront, with a lot more space for cideries and attendees alike.
Along with a whole ton of cider, there are many other activities to keep you busy during your session:
Friday – Country Night
Live Dancing and Music, Mechanical Bull and Line Dancing
Saturday – Afternoon Party
Waterfront Day Drinking, Outfit and Live Art Showdowns, and Cover Band
Saturday – VIP Session
Intimate experience with dedicated fans and cideries, food pairing session with Brickworks Cider
Saturday – Night Party
Live Music, DJ’s (REALLY GOOD DJS BTW) and a Flair Bartending contest
Life size games, photo booth, passport challenge, contests, shopping, People’s Choice Awards, FUN, CIDER GALORE!
Plus thousands of fellow cider fans who will all become your best friends after a few 🙂
Ticket Prices – $35/ $49 / $70 plus the price of drink tokens. Travel packages also available.
Looking for more? Check out our pre-event on the 23rd!
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!