Local Press from Collective Arts Brewing’s Cider offshoot in Hamilton is produced with a blend of Northern Spy, Ida Red and Spartan Apples grown here in Ontario. It has a light, ever so slightly hazy golden tone that brings a Chardonnay to mind. Plenty of fine carbonation contributes to an uncommonly persistent collar and vibrant smell. Spartan seems to be the dominant variety here, giving off aromas of sweet cider and unbaked pie filling, along with a punchy vinous note.
The flavour of Local Press is in the semi-dry range, with it’s honey-like sweetness at the fore and transitioning quickly to tart on the palate and I tend to get a hint of vinegar in the finish that, while not overpowering unpleasant, creates a somewhat sour finish. There is an overall vinous quality to this light and crisp-textured cider, though I’m left with a bit of a funky tingle on my tongue that keeps it from feeling too thin.
Local Press is found in a white can with green print and trim and a prominent black rabbit head that has a bit of a Ralph Steadman vibe to it. The art was produced by Montreal’s Simon Mallette St-Pierre. Collective Arts was known for having hundreds of labels when they first appeared (including this art in series 3), but have adopted a singular image for their flagship cider brand. You will find a suggestion to drink the this one ice cold and a declaration of sulfites on the can and a packaging date stamped underneath.
I wasn’t particularly impressed when I first tried Local Press in the fall of 2016, in part because the cherry version was so outstanding to me at the time that this one fell flat. It’s grown on me since then and has become a staple buy, even at a slightly above average price point. The product recently switched to printed cans, suggesting it’ll be around for a while and it definitely seems more refined when tasting alongside an older batch.
I enjoy Local Press a lot with creamy cheeses like Havarti or Gouda (especially smoked). I also find it works well with heavy crackers like Triscuit or roasted nuts. This cider is available at select licensees and grocery stores throughout Ontario, listed at well over 100 LCBO outlets and available through the latter’s online ordering service.
Type: Dry Cider
Region: Ontario, Hamilton
Brewery: Collective Arts Brewing
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 5.6%