loader image

Wild fermented ciders you need to try this summer

You don’t have to wait till fall to crack open a bottle of delicious Ontario cider. Crisp and refreshing, it makes for a great warm-weather sipper. From modern to heritage, still to sparkling, cider comes in a number of different styles which vary based on the type of apples used, how it’s fermented and how long it’s aged.

Wild Fermented Cider

While some ciders are fermented using commercially developed yeasts, wild fermented cider is fermented naturally. That means the fermentation process which turns sugars in the apples to alcohol happens naturally through wild yeast strains that’s in the air or on the skins of the apples. The result: a cider that’s got a balanced sweetness and acidity, a pleasing funk, and a unique flavour that reflects the terroir.

There are several cideries in Ontario that produce exceptional wild fermented ciders. Here are four of our favourites to try this summer.


Wilding

Revel Cider
Guelph, ON

revelcider.ca

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Revel Cider (@revelcider)

Revel Cider started in 2014 as a solo passion project. And in 2020, Rate Beer ranked them third best cidery in the world. Founder Tariq, who calls himself a ‘fermentation nerd’, and his team of passionate cidermakers aim to bring out the best of each ingredient that goes into their cider. Every bottle of Revel cider is spontaneously fermented with the organisms indigenous to the fruit and their cidery, making each vintage unique.

From classic to funky and fruited to botanical, Revel’s got a cider to suit every palette. But we’re especially fond of their Pét Nat cider, Wilding, which is made from wild foraged apples. With an aroma that’s reminiscent of wild apple groves forgotten by time, delightful sweet notes, mouth-watering tannins and a whisper of funk, Wilding drinks like the best French cidre. Revel also offers their most crushable ciders in a sampler pack of 12 cans.


Lost Orchard Series

Windswept Cider
Meaford, ON

windsweptcider.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Windswept Cider (@windsweptcider)

This picturesque farm situated in a 100-acre parcel at the gateway to the Bruce Peninsula in South Georgian Bay produces delicious small-batch ciders. Their ciders vary from one vintage to the next, depending on the varied conditions of each growing season, the climate and location of the orchards where they harvest their apples.

South Georgian Bay has a long history of apple production dating back to the late 1800’s. Thousands of unique apple varieties were grown back then. Many of these old growth orchards have rare and heirloom varieties which are perfectly suited to cider making. Windswept’s Lost Orchard ciders are a tribute to these orchards. Crafted with wild foraged and heirloom apples from abandoned local orchards, this golden hued, heritage dry cider is smooth and balanced, with a crisp acidity, subtle barnyard funk, and lots of nose-tickling natural bubbles. It’s a true reflection of the Georgian Bay terroir.


Rubee

Ernest Cider
Bradford, ON

ernestcider.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ernest cider (@ernestcider)

Ernest Cider is artfully handcrafted using locally farmed and pressed Ontario apples, pure local honey and organic cane sugar. They carefully select a blend of seven Ontario apples to achieve the right balance of acidity and sweetness. The freshly pressed apple juice is fermented slowly, in small batches. The process of making cider from crop-to-can takes about 3 months or longer.

For a pretty pink summer sipper that’s not rosé, try Ernest’s Rubee cider. It’s a blend of Ontario apples, local cranberries from Bala and Montmorency cherries from Niagara, sweetened with local wildflower honey. The combination of cranberry and cherry juice gives the cider a beautiful blush hue and a tartness that’s perfectly balanced by the sweetness from the honey.


Dry Hopped Cider

Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Caledon, ON

spirittreecider.com

This beautiful cidery is set amidst a sprawling apple orchard in Caledon. The owners of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery are fourth generation farmers who had a lifelong dream of creating a modern cidery that honoured old-world traditions. The cidery, which opened in 2005, includes an onsite Feast On certified French bistro serving a seasonal local menu, a farm shop, and a bakery churning out wood-fired stone oven breads, pies and pastries.

Spirit Tree’s award-winning, handcrafted cider is slowly matured onsite from 100% freshly pressed apple juice (they also produce a delicious sparkling perry made from sun-ripened Ontario pears sourced from local orchards). Their Dry Hopped cider is crafted from cider produced from their own apples and paired with locally grown Ontario hops. It’s dry hopped for the perfect amount of time to extract the unique characteristics of the hops, resulting in a harmonious balance of hops and cider. It’s perfect for sipping all summer long!


Want to learn more about local craft cider? Check:

Ontario Craft Cider