Queen Street 501: Long Branch Loopy Juice

Queen Street 501 from The Brickworks Ciderhouse in Toronto, Ontario has a deep golden colour that more closely resembles a typical American lager than it does a commercially produced cider and retains a small collar of bubbles longer than most. This semi-sweet blend of Ontario heritage apples smells McIntosh-heavy, with a soft and warm baked character and background sweetness that reminds me of Cortland or Gala.

Queen Street 501
Eight Types of Apple are Used in this Semi-Sweet Cider

That sweetness translates through to the taste of Queen Street 501, which is similar to a higher quality, not from concentrate juice that you might find at your local mom and pop grocery. Though this moderately effervescent cider is a bit sweet for my palate, there are some mildly funky yeast notes that open things up and the finish has a nice tartness Granny Smith fans will enjoy as well as a vague sourness that might even make you pucker a bit. The body has a mild viscosity and I was typically left with a soft fuzziness on my tongue.

Growers Pear: Don’t Judge on Appearance

Owned by Constellation Brands, Inc., Growers Cider Co. has produced a number of flavoured ciders of varying potability over the years. Growers Pear is the latest beverage to appear on shelves and is presented as a clear, almost colourless liquid that bears the faintest of chartreuse tones and sets free a torrent of fine bubbles when poured into a glass.

Growers Pear
A Pair of these Sweet Cider Cans at a Time Will Be Enough for Most People

Growers Pear has a big, natural-smelling fruit aroma that really pops from the can or glass, along with a thick, syrupy quality that brings to mind a fruit cup you might pack in a child’s lunch. There are also hints of stonefruit and citrus in there, but the pear aroma is dominant and surprisingly convincing.

Batch 1904: Ahead By A Century

This UK style dry cider from Brickworks Ciderhouse in Toronto, Ontario is a bright golden colour and quite effervescent when poured. Batch 1904 is made with 100% Ontario apples from the Georgian Bay and Niagara regions and has an inviting baked apple smell that’s accented by notes of earth, pepper and basil, along with a hint of farmhouse funk.

Batch 1904
Try this well-crafted Cider with Old Cheddar

The taste of Batch 1904 strikes a wonderful balance, with flavours of sweet dessert apples that  reminded me of Fuji or Cortland giving way to a tart and dry finish that’s pronounced, but not puckering, despite a vague sourness that lingers in the aftertaste along with a mild note of yeast and a touch of light wood like cedar or birch. The mouthfeel is mainly crisp, with a dainty viscosity.