Craft cider has being growing in popularity at an astounding rate and it’s easy to see why. Ontario’s producers have been churning out delicious, creative pours in all manor of flavours and styles. This growth isn’t about to slow down either.
This week, the Ontario Craft Cider Association (OCCA) welcomed the announcement of the Ontario Small Cidery Support Program, made by Ontario Finance Minister the Hon. Charles Sousa and Ontario Agriculture Minister the Hon. Jeff Leal. The program will help independent, small Ontario cider producers increase capacity and hire more staff which in turn will introduce more consumers to Ontario craft cider.
Want to crunch the numbers? Eligible cideries will receive up to 74 cents per litre on eligible sales � to a maximum of $220,000 per year per producer. In 2015-2016, LCBO sales of craft ciders grew 54 percent, over the previous year.
?This is tremendous news, not just for the 27 Ontario craft cider makers who are members of the OCCA; but all 43 cider producing operations in Ontario and the 230 Ontario Apple Growers who supply the fruit used to make Ontario�s new favourite drink?, said Thomas Wilson, Chair OCCA and owner of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery.
Members of the Ontario Craft Cider Association are required to use only 100% Ontario apples for their cider so the program will ultimately result in more apple trees in the ground and increased rural economic activity from farm to glass.
?It is a great day when Ontario craft cider makers join the ranks of beer and wine producers as a provincially recognized industry. With this much needed program our members will be able to invest in equipment, employees, and supplies to continue developing our industry potential here in Ontario,? said Wilson. ?I would like to thank Premier Wynne, the Hon. Charles Sousa and the Hon. Jeff Leal for the new Ontario Small Cidery Support Program. This is a great step to growing our world class cider industry in Ontario and we look forward to continued co-operation and partnership in the years to come?.
Look for more local cider made with more local apples on more local shelves soon.