Category Archives: Cider

Insider on Cider

I spent most of last week in the business of research and espionage – finding out the incider secrets to producing, kegging, and partying with cider.  The friendly, but unsuspecting victims of my espionage?  Sulker’s Cider [now brewing cider at a secret location in Guelph] – more specifically  Matt and his partner N. I blogged about them last year in Cider: The Final Frontier.  I infiltrated the world of cider through friendly connections – my daughter, M, who has played the role of “best friend” to these people for years – heh.

What i found was dry  cider flavoured with hops, kombucha , passionfruit, rose-hips and hibiscus, and several other ciders that i do not pretend to understand [actually i pretended to understand everything while i helped Matt and N keg and sample the cider].  Later this weekend I partied with them at a launch party at Her Fathers Cider Bar in Toronto [a good city to stay anonymous in – important in the espionage business].

When any of these get on tap at a bar near you demand one from your server. Or ask politely.

These were my my favourites from the launch party.

  1. Sulker’s Dry-hopped Kombucha blended cider. 6.0% – blended dry-hopped cider and kombucha. It appealed to my sour loving palette
  2. Sulker’s Super Dry. 6.3% – clean with minimal sweetness- hints of tannin
  3. Tie – Sulker’s Super-Dry with Rose-Hips and Hibiscus because they remind me of collecting rose-hips for gramma, and the Super-Dry with Pasisonfruit because who doesn’t love passionfruit – the most alien looking of all fruits.

This is what the party looked like …

Kombucha and Rose-Hip / Hibiscus

Pretty Sulker’s Cider bottles

While at the party i snooped the basement and found this source of nectar

This is what the research looked like …

Me pretending to sample while i took note of the wall of hardware behind me

I don’t pretend to know what this is – but i pretended while espionaging

I actually did know what these were – but i pretended not to

Oh, i didn’t bother to change anyone’s name to protect anyone in this article.  All the characters are NOT fictitious.

Cider, The Final Frontier

Gene Roddenberry – you were a clever man.   “Space.  The final frontier” indeed.  Matt Sulker – you’re an equally clever man.

In a wine blog that covers everything from home-made gin, to craft beer, to even occasionally writing about wine, i think i may have found my final frontier. It’s either Sours or Cider – but for today it’s cider.  Craft cider has taken a meteoric rise [see what i did there trekkies?] in popularity.  The Only, one of my favourite pubs on the Danforth, recently devoted about one-fifth of their taps to ciders. Cider flavoured with cherries, dry ciders, and even a sour cider [cleverly combining my two final frontiers].

Here’s where my man Matt comes into the picture.  A clever home brewer who spends his commuting time coming up with combinations such as a coconut, lemongrass Kölsch, has devoted a significant portion of his spare time creating ciders. Sulker Ciders will almost certainly have a tap in a bar near you soon if my ability to predict the future is as good as i think it is.

This Super-Dry cider that i sampled was made with 100 % Ontario apples [mathematically the most possible] and London Ale yeast. Unlike the big commercial ciders there is no sugar added post-fermentation.  It was dry and crisp with nice subtle yeast flavours.  He served them to me in his “made for cider” glasses, which are made for drinking at warp speed.  Not really, they’re made to enhance the bouquet and stuff … and junk. Delicious.