Launched in 2019 to celebrate the unprecedented growth in Ontario’s craft cider industry, every June we celebrate Ontario Craft Cider Month. It’s a way of tipping our hats – and raising our pints – to the growers and makers that make this dynamic and delicious industry possible.
According to the OCCA, between 2012 and 2017, sales of Ontario craft ciders soared from 1 million to 11 million dollars. During the same period, the number of craft cideries selling product through the LCBO increased from just under five to over 30. Today, those numbers are even higher.
Cider is a unique – and quintessentially local – local beverage. There are five Ontario grown apples in every pint of Ontario craft cider. The industry supports countless jobs in farming, production and distribution. Besides all that, it’s also down right delicious.
There are currently 36 Ontario Craft Cideries scattered in communities across southern Ontario from Sarnia to Ottawa – all worthwhile reasons for a road trip! Here are 7 cideries we’re keen to visit this summer.
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
1137 Boston Mills Rd, Terra Cotta, ON spirittreecider.com
This Feast On Certified cidery in Headwaters offers tours, tastings, a bakery and plenty of delicious events throughout the year. Family-owned and operated, Spirit Tree has been a leading the way through sustainable business practices, a community-first approach to tourism and thoughtful food experiences for over a decade. Cider lovers take note: they’ll be back at the popular Get Spirited Festival on June 18th!
Duntroon Cyder House
3079 Simcoe County Rd 124, Duntroon, ON duntrooncyderhouse.com
Officially opened in 2015, Duntroon Cyder House is the brain child of owners Tim & Kimberly Schneider who longed for the taste of the traditional English cyder they had come to know and love. Duntroon works with exclusively Ontario-grown heritage variety apples as a way of preserving varietals. Their Net Zero is a cyder on a mission: to become fully self-sustainable and carbon neutral.
West Avenue Cider
84 Concession Rd 8 E, Freelton, ON westavenue.ca
Like Duntroon, West Avenue works with (and grows!) heritage apples. They’re known for their creative, barrel-aged and cask-conditioned ciders including our current obsession: Firecracker. This “fire cider” is condensed by maple syrup evaporator prior to fermentation. Enjoy it on their orchard patio!
SPY Cider & Distillery
808108, Side Rd 24, Clarksburg, ON spydistillery.com
SPY is a relatively new player in the Ontario cider landscape. They’re located in Ontario’s most prolific apple growing region: The Blue Mountains – also home to the Apple Pie Trail. They produce a variety of sessionable ciders, as well as apple spirits. Try the Mata Hari Beyond Brandy – it’s a double distilled apple brandy, lightly aged in French oak cognac barrels, making it smooth and spicy, with a fruity, complex finish.
4559 Concession Rd 6, Uxbridge, ON slabtowncider.com
Probably the youngest cidery on our list of must-trys, this Durham Region gem makes cider the old fashioned way. They’re also quite creative with their additions and flavourings. We love the Honey Habanero Cider made with honey from 3 Boyz Bees and Habanero peppers from Grattons Greatest.
Thornbury Craft Co. Cider
90 King St E, Thornbury, ON thornburycraft.com
How we love Thornbury Cider, let us count the ways! From the fun and quirky tours, to the sprawling patio (complete with DOMES once the snow falls) – this craft cidery offers it all. We love the limited edition ciders available in their taproom like newly released tart cherry or the seasonal dry-hopped cranberry.
62 Dawson Rd, Guelph, ON revelcider.ca
Founded in 2014 by Tariq Ahmed – a fermentation obsessed organic farmer with a passion for craft- Revel Cider is known for eclectic, delicate and fruit forward ciders. They also ferment a lot of cider/wine blends. Try Posey, their ode to nectarines. It’s a blend of nectarine cider paired with orange, skin fermented Gewürtzraminer, Sauvignon Blanc and a splash of perry.
Twin Pines Cider
8169 Kennedy Line, Thedford, ON twinpinesorchards.com
Twin Pines has been making British-style cider since 1968 from apples they grow in their estate orchard. Their flagship, the Hammer Bent, is made with Northern Spy, Ida Red, Golden Russett and Jona Gold apples. It took home Bronze at the 2018 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition!
75 Quabbin Rd, Mallorytown, ON buslcider.com
BUSL is a family-owned craft cidery located in Mallorytown, Ontario. Their 280-acre property is home to a 10-acre Apple orchard, 2-acres of Lavender, 2-acres of Haskap and various other crops that all help to enhance their unique and wonderful line of ciders. We’re VERY intrigued by their Haskap Cider – made with their very own haskap berries.