Craft beer isn’t the only boutique industry in full swing. Dedicated producers are turning out delicious ciders, too
By David Lawrason
Click to view the best Ontario ciders
Ontario is outstanding apple country, and Canadian cider is one of the fastest-growing categories at the LCBO (sales have jumped almost 300 per cent in five years). Craft cideries are popping up from Niagara to Collingwood to Prince Edward County, and now there’s even an 18-member-strong association. I often order cider at the pub, and enjoy it at home with a cheese plate, roast pork or even sushi (times that I might normally drink riesling or chenin blanc). Here are my favourites.
278875 <strong>THE BRICKWORKS CIDERHOUSE BATCH<br />1904 | $3.10 per 473-mL can | Toronto | 87 points</strong><br /><br />
This light-bodied, gently effervescent dry cider, sourced from Niagara and Georgian Bay McIntoshes and idareds, has fresh apple and clover honey aromas. It’s currently pressed and fermented in industrial quarters in Downsview, but the makers plan to move operations to the Evergreen Brick Works next year. At the LCBO in late June. Along came a cider Along came a cider https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-01-e1403023208340-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-01.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-01.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/best-ontario-ciders/slide/best-ontario-ciders-01/ best-ontario-ciders-01 0 0
278876 <strong>COUNTY CIDER <br />
COMPANY WAUPOOS PREMIUM CIDER<br /> $13.35 per four-pack | Prince Edward County <br />
88 points</strong><br /><br />
Grant Howes makes his cider from an old mixed-variety orchard in the Waupoos orchard belt. At 6.5 per cent, it’s in <br />
the higher alcohol range, but it’s also taut and balanced with complex fruit, herbs and spice. It’s firm, mouth-watering and a bit bitter. <a href="http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=612804&ITEM_NUMBER=612804&language=EN" target="_blank">LCBO 612804</a> Along came a cider Along came a cider https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-02-e1403023227183-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-02.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-02.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/best-ontario-ciders/slide/best-ontario-ciders-02/ best-ontario-ciders-02 0 0
278877 <strong>SPIRIT TREE DRAUGHT CIDER<br /> $14.15 per four-pack | Caledon | 85 points</strong><br />Made from tree-picked fruit (no over-ripened and bruised grounders), this pale, dry cider has pure green-apple aromas and core pithiness. It’s quite light on the palate despite its 6 per cent alcohol, but notably bitter on the finish. <a href="http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=338160&ITEM_NUMBER=338160&language=EN" target="_blank">LCBO 338160</a> Along came a cider Along came a cider https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-03-e1403023246755-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-03.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-03.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/best-ontario-ciders/slide/best-ontario-ciders-03/ best-ontario-ciders-03 0 0
278878 <strong>THE OLD THIRD GOLDEN RUSSET CIDER<br />$19.95 per 750-mL bottle | Prince Edward County | 90 points</strong><br />Bruno François is the grandson of a cider- maker from Yquelon, the fountainhead of fine cider and calvados production in France. His naturally fermented, unfiltered debut (clocking in at 9.5 per cent alcohol) is firm and dry, with creamy mousse and pithy bitterness. Order it from <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com.</a> Along came a cider Along came a cider https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-04-e1403023284770-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-04.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-04.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/best-ontario-ciders/slide/best-ontario-ciders-04/ best-ontario-ciders-04 0 0
278879 <strong>THORNBURY PREMIUM APPLE CIDER<br />$2.95 per 473-mL can | <br />
Thornbury | 89 points</strong><br />Thornbury, on the shores of Georgian Bay, is the gateway to the Beaver Valley, a source of fine apples and, more recently, hybrid and vinifera wine grapes. This pale, snappy cider has a lovely granny smith quality. It’s 5.3 per cent alcohol with a hint of sweetness, but the finish is dry and crisp. <a href="http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=333583&ITEM_NUMBER=333583&language=EN" target="_blank">LCBO 333583</a> Along came a cider Along came a cider https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-05-e1403023309999-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-05.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-05.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/best-ontario-ciders/slide/best-ontario-ciders-05/ best-ontario-ciders-05 0 0
278880 <strong>SEAGRAM APPLE CIDER<br />$2.95 per 473-mL can | Waterloo | 86 points</strong><br />Sourced from Canadian fruit, this pale yellow-gold cider is just off-dry and captures some complexity with good browning apple fruit, subtle spice and orchard windfall earthiness. It’s well balanced with a slightly nutty finish. Chill well. <br />
<a href="http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/product/searchResults.do?ITEM_NAME=279539&ITEM_NUMBER=279539&language=EN" target="_blank">LCBO 279539</a> Along came a cider Along came a cider https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-06-e1403023332246-96x96.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-06.jpg https://torontolife.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/best-ontario-ciders-06.jpg 667 1000  https://torontolife.com/food/best-ontario-ciders/slide/best-ontario-ciders-06/ best-ontario-ciders-06 0 0
6 thoughts on “Along came a cider”
Spirit Tree is amazing. A visit to their location in Caledon is a must… they have so much more on offer there to try.
Can I ask, in the UK, you will never find a proper cider in a can. Good ciders are always in bottles, you’ll only get cans of industrial cider like Blackthorn or Strongbow. Is this not the necessarily case in Canada?
no if it’s in a can it’s crap, however in large plastic bottles you sometimes find them
Ah, ok, so I should ignore half the ciders in this article then?
waupoos is good, definitely worth trying, I haven’t tried all of them, but in general this entire article is a total waste of time, the LCBO promotes very sweet ciders. Waupoos is owned by “County Ciders” their namebrand is also worth trying
Thanks for the tips, hopefully emigrating to Canada soon, so I’ll take note!
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