I don’t know about you, but when the mercury rises and the sun has you cooking in minutes — I reach for a locally made cider.
Ciders are gaining in popularity partly because they’re gluten-free, versatile and refreshing, but mostly because they’re delicious. There’s so many styles and profiles in the cider-sphere these days that there is sure to be one that appeals to your palette. If you’re anything like me though, they all do!
Here are my favorite summer ciders equally good for lazy summer Sundays by the pool as they are for high-energy Friday night blow-outs.
1 | Blood Orange Cider
County Cider Company, Waupoos, Prince Edward County
Made with locally grown apples pressed and fermented on the north-eastern shores of Prince Edward County, this refreshing pink cider is mixed with a hint of tangy blood orange juice. The result is complex cider that hits the beautiful, delicious balance between bitter, tart and sweet.
Available at the cider house.
2 | Flagship Cider
Beaver Valley Cider Company, Kimberely, Grey County
John Mott’s flagship cider is distinctly dry, unpasteurized and unfiltered. It drinks like a complex glass of a wine with nuances of vanilla and spice yet stays crisp and refreshing. Made from Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Tolman Sweet, Snow and Wealthy, this cider shows all of the characteristics you would expect from a blend of heritage fruit grown right next to the press.
Available for online order here.
3 | In Your Face, Folkin’ Hard Cider
Bonnieheath Lavender Farm, Waterford, Norfolk County
This farm made cider packs a serious punch. It’s got big bubbles, leads with a tart burst of flavour and finishes with a pleasant sweetness. The Cherry Pickin’ variety is delicious, but we’re partial to the classic fresh apple made with apple grown right on the property at Bonnieheath Lavender Farm.
Available at the farm.
4 | Pommies Perry
Pommies Dry Cider, Caledon, York Region
Alright, so technically this is a perry… but we couldn’t resist telling you about it. Perry tends to be produced sweet or medium sweet — so this is definitely a venture for sugar lovers.
Made with 100% Ontario Bartlett and Bosc pears, this easy drinking number has a floral nose and spicey undertones — making it barbeque perfection.
Available at most LCBO stores.
5 | Cherry Beach
West Avenue Cider, Toronto
The name alone should sell you on this being the ideal summer sipper. This tart cider will definitely sneak up on you. It’s barrel fermented with Niagara Montmorency cherry and hits a heavy 7.5%. The fermentation happens in a pinot noir barrel with juice, skins & pits. This is the summer version of a fire side port of the cider world… if that makes any sense!
Available at select restaurants across Southern Ontario.
About Ontario Craft Cider Association
The Ontario Craft Cider Association�s (OCCA) mission is to support and promote the interests of Ontario Cider Producers and foster a sustainable cider industry within the province. OCCA acts as a vehicle to develop and promote the Craft Cider industry in Ontario and as an educational forum for the consumer as well as industry members. The association upholds the values of traditional cider making and draws from this heritage to create high quality and pure ciders.