Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA)

Industry Body of Craft Cider Producers in Ontario

We Like Them Apples!

The Grid TO reviews Sir Isaac’s, Applewood, Hoity Toity, County Cider Co. and Spirit Tree as part of their Victoria Day Two-Four Drinks Selection. 

They liked them all it seems–and we couldn’t be prouder.  Read the article below, and be sure to visit their website for more Toronto Food & Drink developments.

The GridTO – Wed May 15 2013 – Food & Drink Section

How do you like them apples?

BY: Crystal Luxmore

A growing number of Ontario farmers are “sweating” their apples and pears (leaving ripe fruit to sit for two weeks to concentrate its flavours) in order to craft artisanal ciders. It’s good news for anyone who wants to move beyond sickly-sweet six-packs of Growers and enjoy more depth of flavour. Poured over ice on hot days, these craft ciders are a great summer alternative to beer. They’re also gluten-free and just as boozy as big brews. Here are five to try.

County Cider

The County Cider Company Estate Winery, Picton, Ont.

Grid rating (out of 5): 3.5

Fruit: A mix of 12 apple varieties, ranging from sweeter, culinary favourites Ida Reds and Northern Spys to bittersweet Bulmer’s Normans.

First batch: 1996.

Flavour: Ripe apple is front and centre in this medium-dry cider with a slightly puckering end.

Drink it here: A handful of LCBOs in Toronto, $7.85/1000-ml bottle. (Or tour and taste at the winery.)

Spirit Tree Pub Style Cider

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, Caledon, Ont.

Grid rating (out of 5): 5

Fruit: An apple blend including Cortland, Golden Delicious, Gala, Chisel Jersey, and Golden Russet.

First batch: 2010.

Flavour: Complex with a big apple taste, notes of nutmeg and hay, hints of woody pine, and a delightfully tart, earthy finish.

Drink it here: $15/4 bottles, LCBO. Available at Cava, Bar Isabel, Corks Beer & Wine Bar, 25 Liberty, Indie Alehouse Brewing Co. (Or tour and taste at the winery.)

Sir Isaac’s Pure Pear Cider

Puddicombe Estate Farms and Winery, Stoney Creek, Ont.

Grid rating (out of 5): 4

Fruit: Bartlett and Bosc pears.

First batch: 2010.

Flavour: Subtle farmhouse earthiness and strong acidity give this sweet pear cider some edge.

Drink it here: $2.75/475-ml can, LCBO. (Or tour and taste at the winery.)

Whipper Snapper Red Cider

Hoity Toity Cellars, Mildmay, Ont.

Grid rating (out of 5): 4

Fruit: Northern Spys, Cortland, and crabapples, along with apple skins.

First batch: 2011.

Flavour: This zingy cider swings nicely between sweet and sour, with notes of apple-cider vinegar and red grapes.

Drink it here: Stout Irish Pub, Tequila Bookworm, or order a case from the winery. $14/750-ml bottle at Hoity Toity Cellars.

Crazy Eight Hard Hard Raspberry Cider

Applewood Farm and Winery, Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ont.

Grid rating (out of 5): 4

Fruit: Apples and raspberries.

First batch: 2002.

Flavour: This bubbly, cherry-red cider is dry with notes of tart raspberry and boozy fruit punch. The acidity and bubbles mask some of the 8.8 per cent heft. Serve over ice to lessen the blow.

Drink it here: Tequila Bookworm, $13/bottle. (Or tour and taste at the farm—they make excellent mead, too.)

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2013 by in Cider Stories, News and tagged , , , , , , , .
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