B.C. cideries think pink with new rosé drinks

The craft-cider industry in B.C. is booming

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      If springtime in Vancouver is pretty in pink, then a couple of local ciders are coming onto the market just in time.

      Billed as Vancouver’s urban cidery, Windfall Cider is a project of hospitality maven Nathaly Nairn and her husband, Jeff. Having launched last year (with a classic dry cider called Jackpot), Windfall is now releasing its Hail Mary, a modern rosé cider.

      Besides sourcing B.C. McIntosh, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Spartan apples, the couple used eight other varietals for the dry cider, as well as tart Saskatoon berries.

      “It’s a French-style rosé, like a Provence rosé,” says Nathaly Nairn, whose CV includes roles at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Thierry Chocolates, and, more recently, Caffe La Tana. “Rosé is hitting its stride, and with summer coming, it’s perfect for brunch and afternoons on the patio.”

      The cider industry in B.C. is booming, with more cideries opening up and cidermakers incorporating everything from lavender to rhubarb in their drinks. The upcoming BC Cider Festival, which is taking place in North Vancouver on May 5 and will feature dozens of ciders, is already sold out. It’s one event of the fourth annual BC Cider Week, on from April 27 to May 5.

      “Cider is growing,” Nairn tells the Straight. “Restaurants that had no cider before now have three cider taps. The craft-beer world really helped push not only craft beverage but also helped make different flavour profiles of cider be more acceptable.

      “Cider is gluten-free, it tends to be lower in sugar than some wines, and it’s closer to wine than beer,” she adds. “It pairs really well with food.”

      The Windfall Hail Mary (7 percent alc./vol) pairs well with grilled meats, roasted chicken, and Mediterranean fare. Several Vancouver restaurants carry it (including Savio Volpe, La Mezcaleria, Corduroy Pie, the Cascade Room, and Autostrada) and so do about 60 private liquor stores throughout B.C. (such as JAKS, Darby’s, and Marquis Wines).

      BC Tree Fruits Cider Co.'s Rosé has hints of hibiscus and cherry.
      BC Tree Fruits Cider Co.

      The Kelowna-based BC Tree Fruits Cider Co., meanwhile, has announced the latest addition to its line of premium craft cider: Broken Ladder Rosé.

      It’s made with apples and cherries that are hand-picked by the hundreds of grower families that are part of the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative. Deep pink in colour and free of preservatives with no added water or sugar, it has flavours of sour cherries and hibiscus flowers (and is 5 percent alc./vol).  

      The BC Tree Fruits Cider Co. launched its first cider in 2015, Broken Ladder Apples; other varieties are Pears, Apples & Hops, and Pears & Peaches. Along with those, the Broken Ladder Rosé can be found at BC government liquor stores, select private liquor stores, and certain grocery locations throughout the province.