Surprisingly, 70 percent of the hard cider in Ontario, known for its booming apple growth, is imported. Even though the province is home to 19 craft cideries, a measly 6 percent of cider sales come from Ontario producers.
But that is changing.
In February, the government announced that cider would be sold at farmers markets and in grocery stores — and Ontario is celebrating its inaugural cider festival (move over beer), the AppleSeed Cider Festival during Cider Week, May 27 to June 4.
Even though consumer interest in cider is high, the industry is still in its infancy in the area. The much-needed, one-stop shop cider event is only the beginning of some much-needed change.
"For the industry to continue to grow, we need to have more cider-specific events to educate consumers on the different styles and build a refined taste for expertly crafted ciders using Ontario apples," Thomas Wilson, chair of the Ontario Craft Cider Association and owner of Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, told Now Toronto.
Toronto is also getting its first cider bar. Her Father's Cider Bar + Kitchen owner Joshua Mott, formerly of Beaver Valley Orchard and Cidery, says his passion lies in developing the Ontario cider community through accessibility and education. Opening May 27, guests can meet and sample the specialty ciders of Ontario craft cider makers, such as KW Craft Cider, Shiny Apple Cider, Spirit Tree, Coffin Ridge, Pommies, Tawse Cider, and Thornbury Cider. Read more