Good news for cider lovers – you will soon be able to enjoy locally sourced, freshly pressed, and most importantly delicious apple cider (of the alcohol variety) courtesy of Annapolis Cider Company. The cider company, opening its doors at the end of this month, is located on Main Street and will offer tastings, cider for purchase, as well as a tours of the facility to learn about the cider-making process.
I met with three of the four individuals behind the business last Wednesday, to learn more about the exciting new venture. The 4000 square foot building, painted bright red, decorated with apple-orchard paraphernalia features a tasting bar and a balcony that overlooks a fermentation tank and a peek of the on-site processing facility.
Husband and wife Sean Myles and Gina Haverstock combined their passion for local enterprise and individual expertise to get the business up and running. Working alongside the couple are manager Katie Barbour and cider-maker Melanie Fledman. Myles, a Dalhousie University apple-researcher, and Haverstock, a sommelier and wine-maker at Gaspereau vineyards, said that they drew their inspiration from local wineries and microbreweries in designing their venture.
Myles emphasized their passion and commitment to supporting local. The cider is locally-sourced, made from 100% Annapolis Valley apples, pressed down the street at Stirling Fruit Farms, and fermented in house. Fresh is an understatement, as the first time the cider hits air is when it comes out of the tap at the tasting bar.
There are two types of ciders that will be available year-round: “Juicy and Sweet” (5.6% alc.) is made from dry fermented cider and combined with sweet apple juice, and “Crisp and Dry” (7.7% alc.) that contains only a hint of the sweet apple juice. Alongside these two staple products, there will be a third batch, “Something Different,” that will vary from batch to batch, presenting a unique and exciting flavour with each batch.
Myles described the design of the cider company as “taste-buy-leave… and refill”. For 5$, you get to sample each of the ciders at the tasting bar. The product will be available for purchase primarily in 750 ml refillable glass bottles. Similar to other microbreweries (think Growlers at Paddy’s), there is a 6$ initial fee for the reusable glass bottle, but after that it is yours to keep and refill as you wish. There will later be a bottling service that will sell pre-filled recyclable 650 ml (non-refillable!).
Although construction officially began in November, when asked how long the plan has been in the works, Myles replied “it’s been planned since birth.” It is clear that these first-time business owners and entrepreneurs are passionate about their product and the community they plan to serve. The two live in Wolfville, and want to focus on keeping things in the town they know and love. There is talk of outsourcing product to NSLC in the future, as well as hopeful plans to partner with existing local restaurants to serve the cider on tap.
The Annapolis Cider Company’s opening is already highly anticipated by students and community members alike. Wolfville is a town conducive to supporting and keeping it local, and also, who doesn’t love trying a new (alcoholic) treat? Although no official opening date has been released, I was told to keep my eyes peeled on social media as the official opening dates will be released there first.