Local apple cider comes in a variety of delicious forms. There’s the thick, smooth cider that does double duty. It tastes great cool on a sunny autumn day, and it can warm away the winter when it’s mulled with cinnamon, allspice and cloves and served hot – preferably by a crackling fire.
And then there’s hard cider. You can enjoy this refreshing, sparkling alcoholic beverage any time during the year, but it somehow seems to taste even better as the days grow shorter and the afternoon shadows grow longer
Our area has its own homegrown hard cider, made just down the road in Thornbury. Thornbury Premium Cider has quickly become both a local favourite and a popular choice throughout the province.
A few years back, in 2007, Andre Corbeil was looking to come out of his early retirement, and he happened upon a group of mainly British investors interested in the market for cider in Ontario. Before long Thornbury Village Cidery had been established as only the second cidery in Ontario. (It has since been followed by other cider startups.) Corbeil decided to craft something different from the traditional British ciders, and he turned to Doug Johnson to create it.
The result was Peeler Premium Light Cider, a refreshingly light, champagne-style apple cider that made for perfect refreshment on a summer’s day. It quickly appeared at local restaurants, bars and ski resorts, followed by other restaurants and LCBO outlets throughout Ontario, putting Thornbury Village Cidery on the map. The success caught the attention of Beer Barons, a Toronto-based craft beer importer looking to get into brewing, and this past summer the company bought the cidery.
Doug Johnson remains on board as cider master (and director of operations), and he has tweaked the original recipe. The new Thornbury Premium Cider is now a more traditional 5.3 percent, dry cider, which the cidery describes as: “Fresh apple aroma and flavour. A light body with a refreshing balance of sweetness and slight acidity. The flavour remains bright and distinct throughout a long sparkling finish.”
Mmmmm, think it’s time to take a refreshment break.
The company has indicated it would like to export our homegrown cider to other countries. “We’re very excited that we’ll be using local apples,” Troy Taylor, Beer Baron’s national director of sales and marketing, told the Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin. “That’s a strong selling point.”