Did you know there are more than 7,000 varieties of apples in the world? About 2,500 of those varieties are grown in North America and with them, Canada is producing some world-class craft cider. The number of cideries is growing significantly across the country and most are small family businesses.
June is Craft Cider month in Ontario and cider makers are set to present their new summer releases. Just like wine, craft cider ranges from uncarbonated to bubbly & from fruity sweet to bone dry.
Among these are new ciders from Ugly Apple in the Lanark Highlands. This family cidery is owned by Bret and Amy Hogue, who are the full-time employees along with their oldest son Ethan, though other family members provide plenty of sampling support! Bret says the name ‘Ugly Apple’ refers to the wild fruit on their property that’s used to make their cider. “Wild apples are usually pretty ugly, but they make some pretty delicious cider in the way cider used to be made when Johnny Appleseed was growing apples,” Bret says.
To make Ugly Apple Ciders, Bret’s fruit is crushed and the juice is fermented with wild yeast. The resulting ciders are non-carbonated, unfiltered, and organic, resembling traditional English-style ciders & Spanish-style sidras. “If people want cider that tastes like a sweet apple, they may not enjoy our products,” says Bret. “But everybody’s tastes are different. It’s a lot of fun when people come to our tasting room to sample, and you see different reactions to different ciders. People argue over which one is best.”
Savvy Sommeliers love to discover new ciders for our Care Packages and those we include in Savvy In-Cider Picks. This unique ‘cider-of-the-month’ club features variety packs of hard-to-find craft ciders that often sell out quickly and aren’t available at the LCBO or grocery stores. Each delivery contains small-batch artisan ciders – like the ones from Ugly Apple! – sometimes in glass bottles & sometimes in cans.
If you or someone you know like to discover new & exciting craft ciders, check out www.SavvyCider.ca