Hard cider is having a moment. New producers are blossoming from coast to coast, turning each autumn’s crop into thoroughly quaffable beverages. And, if your memories of cider are sickly sweet, you’re in for a surprise—the new offerings are diverse, sophisticated and designed for the modern palate. Here’s where to go for a taste.
At a festival in British Columbia
B.C. Cider Week, Oct. 15 to 22, is a weeklong celebration of all things cider. Opening weekend highlights include a party at Vancouver Island’s Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse on Oct. 16, followed by a plethora of events: tastings, cidermaker dinners, food pairings and more. Bonus: Watch for the Vancouver Cider Festival on Nov. 26.
At a cider-focused bar in Toronto
In Toronto, a new cider-focused bar gives urbanites a taste of the orchard. Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen carries more than 100 ciders from Ontario and around the world, including 12 on tap; order flights to compare and contrast varieties.
In Ontario’s countryside
Does country air make the cider taste better? Find out at one of these Ontario spots.
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, Caledon: Located about an hour northwest of Toronto, come here for the ciders, both alcoholic and non-; stay for the slow-fermented bread and pizza cooked in the wood-fired oven.
County Cider, Prince Edward County: Train your palate with a “tutored tasting” of up to six of County Cider’s offerings, an explanation of Prince Edward County history included.
Beaver Valley Orchard & Cidery, near Collingwood: Located just 30 minutes from Collingwood, drop in for a free weekly cider tour, then stay to pair a glass of cider with a tray of artisanal cheese and pistachio pâté.
At a cidery in Saskatchewan
While the more than 1,500 Saskatchewan-hardy apple trees won’t bear fruit for two more years at this new cidery, the team at Crossmount Cider Company near Saskatoon isn’t sitting idle: they’re pressing cider from Okanagan apples and inviting visitors to taste their creations. Drop in for Fall Fest on Oct. 23 to tour the cidery and take part in family-friendly, fall-themed activities.
On the East Coast
In Fredericton, drop in at Red Rover’s Ciderhouse to taste its own craft ciders, plus imports from other producers. Check the events calendar for open-mic nights and other goings-on. Across the bay in Wolfville, N.S., the Annapolis Cider Company runs tours and a tasting bar featuring ciders made from the valley’s famous apples.
Family Roots Run Deep at Montreal’s Chocolats Andrée
Owner Stéphanie Saint-Denis inherited Chocolats Andrée from her late grandmother who started the chocolatier in the 1940s in the city's Mile End neighbourhood. Today, it's still thriving, selling deliciously sweet, handmade treats made from generations-old recipes and techniques.