Grow a Pear: Pare! Pair! Perry!

This perry from Double Trouble Brewing Co. is made from Ontario-grown Bosc and Bartlett apples in Stony Creek and has a faint golden yellow hue reminiscent of a light white wine as well as some wavy chill haze. Grow a Pear also smells rather vinous, with strong aromas of green and white grape that suggest a wine yeast was used to kickstart fermentation. The combination of pears creates a familiar, juicy base, though it smells more acidic than sweet and carries a light barnyard quality.

Grow a Pear
Not-From-Concentrate Juice can Vary in Colour

The taste of Grow a Pear shifts towards a sticky, honey-sweetened pear flesh taste that even feels a bit fuzzy like biting into fruit. There is a nibble of sourness that preludes the dry and slightly acidic finish. There are a tartness and earthiness that linger on the tongue, as well as a vague citric flavour. Despite the perry’s sweetness, it’s only mildly viscose on the tongue and has a fine carbonation that helps maintain a medium-light mouthfeel.

Spirit Tree Draught Cider: See the Orchard for the Trees

This dry cider from Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, Ontario is a pale, brassy yellow and has no shortage of large bubbles streaming from the bottom of your glass when poured. The smell of Spirit Tree Draught Cider is green apple-forward, with notes of crabapple, baked dessert apples, white grape and wild yeast, which creates a mild funk.

Spirit Tree Draught Cider
This Cider Inspired Me to Learn About the Craft

Tart and crisp are the two words that best describe the taste of Spirit Tree Draught Cider to me. Green apple and white grape flavours are balanced with a warm and mellow honey sweetness that gives way to a dry finish and a punchy hint of sourness. The cider has a full body and plenty of life on the tongue, along with a mild syrupy feel and an air of creaminess you just won’t find in a typical mass-market product. A funky yeast note lingers in the aftertaste, along with a dry spiciness that brings cinnamon and black pepper to mind.

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.

Stutz Premium Craft Cider: Harbouring the Funk

It takes seven varietals of local apples and two separate presses for ShipBuilders Cider in Halifax, Nova Scotia to make Stutz Premium Craft Cider. This dry cider is a pale lemon yellow colour and pours with an ample amount of carbonation. It carries aromas of baked apple, brown sugar and white raisin, with hints of vinegar and vegetable oil in the background.

Stutz Premium Craft Cider
Try this Cider with Fish Tacos

Stutz Premium Craft Cider has a temperate sweetness and warm baked apple taste at first. A sharp and crisp blend of green and crab apple flavours follow, accented by a dill pickle brine note. The finish is quite dry before taking on a lactic sourness and the aftertaste provides a lingering wild yeast funk. The mouthfeel is fairly heavy and earthy for a cider and there is a lively, prickly yeast sensation long after the carbonation burns off.