There’s a tap dedicated to cider at most pubs in Newfoundland, but the beverage doesn’t have the same popularity that it has in areas like the United Kingdom, where it’s widely available in multiple varieties and styles, from dry to sweet.
Chris Adams and Marc Poirier are hoping to raise the stature of cider with their venture, the Newfoundland Cider Company. The co-owners of the artisan cider company are dedicated to making cider in the traditional way, inspired by Adams’ time in Ireland.
“On moving back to Newfoundland seven years ago, he was disappointed to see what was being passed off as cider…” says Poirier. Though he gives the nod to ciders from YellowBelly, and No Boats on Sunday (usually available at the NLC and several local restaurants), he felt that NL was lacking in decent ciders.
“At the same time, Chris noticed all the wild and neglected apple trees in his hometown, so he decided to start making cider…” says Poirier. “Both of us have been making cider as a hobby for years, so we decided to explore the possibility of turning this hobby into an exciting business venture.”
Adams is a horticulturist by trade, and acts as cider maker, while Poirier has a forestry background and is an arborist by trade, so he’s been spending most of his time in the orchard, caring for the trees.
“Most of the apples that we use are wild apple varieties foraged from the sea front and forest,” says Poirier. “We also aim to develop Newfoundland’s very first commercial apple orchard. Our goal is to create a cider that is 100% local made entirely from local ingredients.”
“It’s our aim to have three different ciders available this fall: year barrel aged, botanical, and regular semi-sweet,” says Poirier, who is crafting the ciders to taste more like traditional European ciders. “Our ciders will range from sweet to dry, still to sparkling, and we will use botanical flavours from locally foraged ingredients.”
According to Poirier, the consumption of cider in Newfoundland has increased almost fourfold since 2010. He goes on to say that much of it is coming from breweries that rely on imported ingredients, then injected with artificial flavours.
“Small micro-breweries are appearing throughout the province in response to the increasing trend towards locally produced food and drink,” says Poirier. “Although we have a challenging climate, certain varieties of apples can grow here and do quite well.”
As a small batch cider company, their first goal is to produce a few thousand liters of cider in 2017, have their cidery open to the public this fall, then expand. The Cidery is based out of Milton, at the gateway to the Bonavista peninsula. Along with selling cider from the cidery, they plan to sell semi-sweet regular cider in NLC stores.
Follow the Newfoundland Cider Company’s first year on Instagram @newfoundlandcidercompany.