East Street Cider Co x Craft – The Juice Experiment Dry Hopped Cider @ Craft Beer Market [Ottawa, ON]

We love collaboration ciders and we regret there are not more of them. Collaborations can be between cideries, with restaurants or bars, or really any entity that would have a logical connection to adding an influence to the drink.  Craft Beer Market is a chain of high quality restaurants across Canada that boaster having 100+ taps available at each spot; however, with each location featuring different, local beers and drinks. Craft themselves have done various collabs with breweries, but finally, they have collaborated with a cidery – Goderich’s East Street Cider Co.

This collaboration, available as a seasonal rotating handle currently at the Ottawa and Toronto locations, is a hopped offering unlike we’ve ever had before in a cider. Heavily hopped using varieties that are harsher – and what we suspect a higher IBU (International Bitterness Unit) than most Ontario Craft Hopped Ciders – we think this cider is aiming to be IPA-inspired; which of course, would make sense when collaborating with a beer bar. With a slightly hazy appearance, there is some foam, but it has your standard golden cider hue. Medium bubble-gum and smooth hops aromas dominate, with some juicy red apple notes as well.

When you first sip this drink, there is a sharp bite from the hops and acidity with some bitterness instantly appearing. Earthy, tangy hopped notes appear, with heavy pine and resin taste and characteristics – as you would find in an IPA. It is not until the aftertaste do you really get a sense of the apples in the drink, with a juicy red apple base flavour appearing among the heavy, pungent hops flavours that linger a while.

Make no mistake, this is a very hops driven cider, so maybe stay away if you don’t like your ciders – and beers – heavy and bitter. This could be a great introduction cider to those folks who do always grab hoppy pale ales and have been leery of ciders because of their potential sweetness it delivers than that bitter punch they crave. While maybe not a cider for everyone, we commend East Street Cider Co for delivering another unique and well crafted/imagined cider – in their ever-growing portfolio of ciders that stand out in the ever-growing Ontario Craft Cider market.