It will soon be summer, with sizzling bbqs, sunny days, and bountiful beverages. One beverage you may want to consider is a BC-made cider. BC Tree Fruits Cider Co in Kelowna produces a line of “Broken Ladder” ciders made from 100% BC tree fruit: Pears, Apples, and Apples & Hops. Well the hops is not a tree fruit, but it does come from the Kamloops area. These ciders have no added water or sugar added to them. I had a chance to try them at Tap & Barrel downtown by the Convention Centre, as well as at home.
What did I think of these 3 ciders?
All three ciders are light and refreshing. They do have some sweetness to them, but it is natural sugar from the fruits.
The Pear cider is a pale pear skin colour. Very aromatic with fresh pears and a hint of apple and sweet spice, maybe ginger. Between off-dry and sweet, this cider has medium acidity and bubble to balance off the sugar. Again, fresh pear fruit with a hint of spice on the palate. Drink on its own or pair with a grilled chicken burger, or maybe a plate of cheese, including blue cheese. Pears and blue cheese are a well-known pairing (Am I saying pear & pair too much?)
Next is the Apple cider. Pale straw coloured. Not as aromatic as the pear cider, but you do get light, crisp apple, and a hint of that same sweet spice. I think this one is slightly drier than the pear cider, and definitely crisp. It does finish dry. More restrained fruit flavours, but you do get the apple and maybe some almond paste. I’m fairly sure I get some Spartan apple flavour on the finish. Pair this apple cider with some grilled pork chops, or a nice slice of medium aged cheddar.
Lastly we have the interesting Apples & Hops cider. Again, pale straw in colour like the apple cider. You get grapefruit rind and hops on the nose. Fuller bodied, the most dry of the 3 ciders. The hoppiness does not overpower the cider, but gives it some nice complexity and bite to the cider. You still get the apple flavour. It is quite creamy in your mouth. Nice texture. Overall my favourite of the 3 ciders. You could pair this cider with anything you would pair a fruit beer, or lambic? Try a fruit-glazed duck breast, or a quiche with ham and cheese?
If you are tired of beer or wine for the summer patio, give a cider a shake from the tree. Enjoy!