The Cider Crate


By in Best of, Comparisons, News 0

Top Dry Hopped Cider Picks for a Hoppy Easter 2021

While hops are mainly associated with beer, dry-hopped ciders are increasingly growing in popularity. When infused into cider, they typically add fruity-like notes, such as lemon, citrus, lychee and more – but can also be bitter, floral and more. Dry hopping works well for both sweet and dry ciders, and everything in between.

As Easter is right around the corner, and the Easter Bunny may be hopping into your backyard with goodies, its a great time to hop to a hopped cider for a refreshing experience!

The Cider Crate’s Top Hopped Ciders:

Duxbury – Tilted Barn

Duxbury Cider always delivers a refreshing cider experience, and their dry-hopped cider Titled Barn is no different. Made with locally grown hops, this cider runs on the dry side and is rustic, tannic and gripping for the senses. The hops are a bit gritty and bitter, but overall this cider is very smooth and easy to drink. Our strongest recommendation for a beer fan interested in trying a hopped cider.

Tasting notes:

Buy it:

Peele Island – Hopping Apple Cider

Pelee Island Winery’s focus is first and foremost wine of course, but they make a very stellar cider as part of their regular lineup! The Hopping Apple is a sweeter offering, that is effervescent and bright. With a lot of unique notes presumably from the hops including bubble gum and lychee, it stands out in the field of hopped cider offerings in Ontario. Light and breezy, this has a wide appeal, especially to those who may not like hops as it doesn’t really taste like its hopped at all, but more so tropical and fun!

Tasting notes:

Buy it:

Loch Mór – Hopped

Loch Mór is known for making very traditionally-based, earth-oriented ciders, and this hopped offering does deviate a bit from their other offerings – coming across as more modern influenced – but it still has familiar elements, like a tannic heritage apple base. We found this Hopped Cider to be more on the floral side of things, with a hint of citrus notes. Very crisp, it has a lighter mouthfeel, meaning its easy to knock a few of these back!

Tasting notes:

Buy it:

Kings Mill – Hopped (Still)

Want something a bit stronger? Kings Mill has a 9% still offering that can make holiday gatherings with families a bit easier if needed! With floral notes, its a very apple forward offering that allows you to get a full flavoured experience without having the carbonation to distract (but you can also get a carbonated version of this!). Very smooth, we see this being paired well with food so consider it for your Easter Ham or Turkey!

Tasting notes:

Buy it:


Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped

Who said that dry-hopped ciders couldn’t be flavoured with other fun stuff as well? Considering certain types of hops give off fruit notes, it pairs very well with added fruit juices. Coffin Ridge created a wonderful cider here, bursting with tropical fruit flavours, including orange, pineapple, mango and more. This cider does contain a decent amount of hops, so it is more bitter than the standard offerings, but it balances so well with the sweetness of the fruits inside. A full flavoured, fresh fruit-punch experience, it will make you think of the sunny Spring days ahead!

Tasting notes:

Buy it:

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NW Cider Symposium March 16-18th

As we move into the 2nd full year of COVID-19 restrictions, many groups have reorganized to online learning.  The NW Cider Symposium for 2021 has done the same.

March 16-18, 2021

The Symposium is a virtual event to learn, grow, connect and celebrate our vibrant industry and will feature:

  • Educational workshops for orchardists, marketers, cidermakers, and executives covering the hottest topics for our region.
  • A trade show specifically for cidermakers with products, services, and partners to help grow your business.
  • Networking opportunities with the strong Pacific Northwest cider sector including British Columbia, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.
  • Affordable registration prices and a virtual location so your entire team can attend.
Learn more and register at


All times are Pacific!

March 16
9:00 AM – 9:20 AM Welcome & Opening Session
9:20 AM – 9:40 AM Round Table Discussion Groups
9:45 AM – 10:30 AM Workshop Sessions A
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Trade show
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Workshop Sessions B
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM Trade show
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM NW Cider Club Virtual Tasting

March 17
9:00 AM – 10:15 AM Keynote: Tom Oliver
10:15 AM – 10:30 AM Networking
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Trade show
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM Workshop Sessions C
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM Trade show
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Cider Cocktails & Happy Hour

March 18
9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Collective Power and Progress: NWCA in 2021
9:45 AM – 10:30 AM Workshop Sessions D
10:30 AM – 12:00 AM Trade show
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Tours
12:00 PM – 12:15 PM Symposium Closing

Tickets are $250 and available via registration

By in Best of, News 0

The Cider Crate – Best of 2020

Fortunately there were still some bests’ in 2020!  Here are our favs.

~Bethany and Barry

Top 5 Overall

  1. Cold Creek – Cuvée Madeline
  2. FieldBird – 2018 Perry Sur Lie
  3. Banjo – Rouge
  4. East Street – Harvest Botanical
  5. Farmgate – Mulled

Top 5 – Apple

  1. Cold Creek – Cuvée Madeline
  2. Banjo – Dueling Banjos
  3. Twin Pines – Hammer Bent Organic Cider
  4. Front Road – Lakeside Cider
  5. Steel Town – Salvaje

Top 5 – Fruit Flavoured / Perry

  1. FieldBird – 2018 Perry Sur Lie
  2. Banjo – Rouge
  3. Revel – Pom Lam (Perry)
  4. Kings Mill – Strawberry Rhubarb
  5. Hard Way – Catawampus

Top 5 – Herbed/Spiced/Hopped

  1. East Street – Harvest Botanical
  2. Farmgate – Mulled
  3. Shale Ridge – Cranberry Spice Cider
  4. Slabtown – Watermelon Thyme
  5. Loch Mór  – Hopped

Top Fortified Ciders

  1. Loch Mór – Pommeau
  2. West Avenue – North by West Ice Cider
  3. Georgian Hills – Frozen to the Core Bartlett (2014)
  4. County Cider – Prince Edward County Ice Cider

Top Wines

  1. Hinterland – Ancestral 
  2. Pelee Island – Mousseux de Pomme
  3. Garland Sugar Shack – Maple Wine

Top 5 – Beers (Bethany)

  1. Bellwoods – Battenberg Cake Stout
  2. Short Finger – Fargo
  3. Fair Weather – Fonso
  4. Blood Brothers – Razzle Dazzle
  5. Dominion City – Small Imperial Stout w/ Pistachios

Top 5 – Beers (Barry – No order)

  • Bellwoods – Battenberg Cake Stout
  • Blood Brothers vs. Collective Arts – Feed Your Gods
  • Fairweather – Beki
  • Blood Brothers – Angelo Della Morte
  • Farmery – Pink Lemonade

Cidery of the Year

  • Banjo Cider

Runners Up 

  • Bulwark Cider
  • East Street Cider Co.
  • Slabtown Cider 

Top Ciders Outside of Ontario

  1. Bulwark (NS) – Winter
  2. Fleuri Cidres Biologiques (QC) – Hyslop 
  3. Cidrerie Milton (QC) – Première Station No. 1

Top LCBO Releases

  1. KW Craft Mixpack 
  2. Pommies – Mimosa
  3. Brickworks – The Purple Road
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Ways to Help Cideries during the COVID-19 Crisis

Obviously these are uneasy times with the COVID-19 pandemic that will see every person and industry affected in varying ways, and our thoughts are with everyone during these challenging and unpredictable times.

One of the main economic victims so far has been and will continue to be small businesses – many of which include your favourite small craft cideries – through the loss of sales, canceling various planned events, amongst other factors.

While not everyone may be able to support these cideries at this time because of economy worry and strain, we wanted to provide a list of ways you can help support your cidery during these weeks and months to ensure their continued longevity if you are able:

  1. Don’t visit them if you are sick! As they are local hubs, they can see many people during a day, so they could be a source of spread.
  2. If you plan to visit in person, call/check online to see if your cidery is even open. Many are not open for the season yet and some have restricted hours in response for social distancing
  3. Order online if they have a virtual store. Check out our cidery services listing at to see who will ship directly to you!
  4. Don’t expect free samples at this time if you do visit. Many cideries and businesses have temporarily suspended sampling programs to avoid cross-contamination
  5. Wash/sterilize your hands before you make a purchase from them at their retail store or farmers market – and if you just go to a local bar for a pint.
  6. Some cideries offer growler pours of their product from their retail store. As the use of reusable containers/bags are being suspended at many businesses at this time, don’t bring in your own growler. Rent a new container for the time being if they are still offering these services.
  7. If applicable, buy gift cards! You may not want product now, but maybe after the dust settles for this pandemic, you can use the cards while the business gets the money now.
  8. Promote your favourite ciders on social media! Keep the chatter going about these brands and provide reviews.
  9. Don’t hoard! It may be tempting to buy cases of products from retail and grocery stores and the LCBO but you aren’t the only cider fan and maybe we all need a cold cider to get through these long, challenging days at home!
  10. If you’re stuck inside, it might be a good time to review your cider collections. Consider drinking canned ciders that may have a ‘best drank by’ date coming up soon (or even if they are past, still totally safe to drink!) and maybe if you’re like us, drink some vintages that are a few years old (we have too many years-old ice ciders ourselves!)
  11. Email/comment to your favourite cideries how much you appreciate their product! Cidermakers and their staff are not immune to the emotional strain of these uneasy times, so your comments could make their day
  12. Plan a trip to visit many of these cideries when the crisis has settled regardless. And plan your trip using!

Always follow the latest advice from local, provincial and national health care agencies, and visit for the latest news.

Stay safe fellow cider lovers! We want to continue our discussions and love of cider for many years to come with you all!


BONUS: See some of the ciders that offer shipping!

By in Best of, News 0

The Cider Crate – Best of 2019

As we come to the end of the decade (and half of it, us doing cider stuff), we have a chance to share some of our favourite moments of the past 365 days!

~Bethany and Barry

Cider Crate Combined: Top 5 Bottles/Cans

  1. Cider 101 – Dr Peppercorn With Cherry
  2. Niagara Cider Company – No. 1 Dry Apple Cider
  3. County Cider – Blackberry Peach
  4. Burst Cider – Atoca (Cranberry)
  5. Archibald’s – Hard Ginger


Bethany’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. Coffin Ridge – Tropical Hopped
  2. Farmgate – Founders Reserve
  3. Duntroon – Raindance
  4. Niagara Cider – Dry No. 1

Barry’s personal preferences (In no order)

  1. Revel – Coral
  2. Thornbury – Blueberry Elder flower
  3. East Street – Harvest Botanical
  4. Sulkers – Equinox

Cidery of the Year-

Niagara Cider Company
Runner Up –
Hardway Cider Co.


Favourite Non-Ontario

Rootstock Cider Co – Belgian (Rochester, NY)


Bethany (In no order)

  1. Fairweather – Drift
  2. Bench – Henry On Cherries
  3. Blood Brothers – Presto Change-O

Favourite Brewery – Fairweather

Barry (In no order)

  1. Bellwood – Jellyking Blackbery Raspberry
  2. Whitewater – Pineapple Pomegranate
  3. Whitewater – Dawn Partrole
  4. Founders – Green Zibra

Favourite Brewery – Whitewater / Les Brasseurs du Temps (Tie)

Favourite Bar

Elgin Beer Project
Runner Up: Her Fathers Cider Bar


So that was 2019.  We also have our Map of Ontario!  Check it out and where/how you can sample our favourites!

Toronto Cider Festival 2019 Recap

The 5th edition of the Toronto Cider Festival brought with it a few lovely days to sample over 30 cideries from across Ontario, Canada and France!  We were lucky enough to start the weekend off early at Her Fathers Cider Bar, joined by Niagara, Duntroon and returning, Duxbury Cider for a meet the maker and sample night.  

Barry’s Review:

Friday, a busy day personally so we were unable to make the event.  However, Saturday, here is our reviews.

In comparison to previous years, the venue filled up and a was pretty cider-drinker focused during the day-drinking session.  A lot of people were interested in chatting with the makers and learning more about their craft. We were able to chat with a few new participants and hope to have the interviews on our website shortly.  We also were lucky enough to spend time chatting with a most of the Ontario based cidery staff to see how the event was going and what is new. I’m excited that the optimism of the sector is upbeat, though still very tough to make a living at.

Barry’s Selections (In no order)

Duntroon – Black Cherry
East Street – Nature Study
Calvados – 5year Special
County – Root Beer
Ironwood – Strawberry Ciderita

Tan’s Review:

This was my second year attending the Toronto Cider Festival. The Day Drinking session of Day 2 was warm and sunny, perfect weather for cider tasting.

Tan’s Selections

If you are going to day drink, why not dive right into the barrel? I started the day at Hard Way Cider Co, with the just-launched Catawampus. Aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels, with a hint of black cherry juice, at 9%abv., followed by the slightly more agreeable Ramboozle, a blend of 5 different local apples, 100% Ontario raspberries and amazing tasting notes from Caribbean Rum barrels. We circled back later in the day to discover Loco Blanco, aged in tequila barrels, was available, which was also quite nice. 

Next I took in 2 of the offerings from Ironwood: Prince Zero, a super dry cider which was nice and light in the middle of my flavour parade; and the Strawberry Ciderita, which was exactly opposite. If you’ve ever tried a can of Tempt’s No 9 cider, it’s along the same vein, though a smidge drier.

On to East Street, who really brought their flavour game. I’ve had the Watermelon Mint a few times, so I opted for the new-to-me Nature Study and Harvest Botanical. I love how East Street layers in several flavour adjuncts to give you a complex but well-balanced cider. 

Having missed the Meet the Maker event Thursday prior, I had to stop by Duxbury’s tent to try the Scumpy from their Back 50 Acres project. It’s a nice example of the style and I look forward to what comes up next.

On to Thornbury to try the Let’s Get Tropical. What a delight – juicy without being over-sweet. I really wish I’d gotten my hands on some sooner because this is a Summer cider if there ever was one, and would be killer in a sangria. 

Brickworks had a lot on offer at the festival with the new cocktail bar, but I chose just the Sour-brate.  With a base of fresh-pressed ontario apples with local blackberries, peaches and a touch of earl grey, it was a nicely balanced, medium sour cider. Hoping to find it at their Ciderhouse soon.

Finally, after picking up a sample of the rather enjoyable Berry Mint on an earlier pass, I ended the day at Forbbiden Cider, lovingly exchanging my last token for their Hopped Cider. Sour and Tart (just like me) and oh so good, it was the perfect way to end the day.

Event wise, the community based painting was really neat and homage to the Toronto Raptors.  The Flairtending, as always was spot on as was the music all weekend.  


Calvados Boulard

The only non Cider pouring at the Toronto Cider Fest  2019, Calvados Boulard Rep Stan Zelek chats with us about the unique apple product offered to the attendees.

Download episode Play in new window | File size: 19.8MB

Malus Cider

Malus cider, one of the new cideries on the block, sat down with Barry at the Toronto Cider Fest, 2019 to chat about how they came to be and what challenges they have faced,so far.

Download episode Play in new window | File size: 14.5MB

Hard Way Cider

Chatting with Hard Way Cider, at their first Toronto Cider Festival.  Defiantly one of cideries of the weekend at the 2019 edition.

Download episode Play in new window | File size: 11.6MB

Magnotta Cider

We talked with Magnotta briefly as the Saturday opened up at the 2019 edition of the Toronto Cider Festival.

Download episode Play in new window | File size: 4.8MB

Next years tickets are already available, happening August 28th and 29th, 2020.

By in News, Toronto Cider Fest 0

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for the Toronto Cider Festival – 2019

With the festival less than a week away, here is our top 5 remember to dos, and top 5 please do not do’s this list for the 2019 festival.


  1. Charge your phone in advance, and track us down when your there.
  2. Put on sunscreen, lots of it!
  3. Bring your ID! You need it at the door to get in (and your ticket too)
  4. Try to ask one of the cider makers a unique question about their product
  5. Look out for these, which we really have liked in 2019 and/or were last years big ciders:
    1. Thornbury Blueberry Elderflower
    2. Rood Apples from Creekside
    3. Anything from Shiny Cider
    4. Niagara Cider Company (New in town and WOW)
    5. County Cider Co flavoured ciders


  2. Try to drink all the ciders…
  3. Wear fancy shoes, it might get messy/muddy.
  4. Forget a raincoat or umbrella, it might rain
  5. Bring a pet, its not a good space for them (And well, you can’t)

You can find out more from our official preview!

Tickets are available here

Oh, and don’t forget Thursday is our special ‘Meet the cider makers’ second-annual event.  Location TBA, Watch our social media for the info on Tuesday!

By in News, Toronto Cider Fest 1

Official Toronto Cider Festival Preview – 2019

The numbers!

5 Years  —  35 Cideries — 100+ Ciders — 3 Sessions 

We are excited to come back to the Sherbourn Commons for the 5th anniversary of the largest cider festival in Canada, the legendary Toronto Cider Festival.  We will be doing photos, reviews, podcasts and social media updates all weekend long (We already gave out free passes but you can get $5 off by using the code CIDERCRATE at checkout for general admission tickets).  So feel free to track us down and say Hi!

The Lineup:

Its getting even bigger this year, with 35 confirmed cideries, and a few new ones attending for the first time!  They are bringing over 100 ciders to try (Not all in one day…..)

The Venue:

Year 1 and 2 of the festival was located downtown at Yonge/Dundas – which provided a nice bustling, metropolitan backdrop; however, the space was just too small for new and exciting expansions to be made. The move to the Sherbourne Commons two years ago was brilliant, and it offers a nice view of the Waterfront, with a lot more space for cideries and attendees alike. 

The Other Stuff

Along with a whole ton of cider, there are many other activities to keep you busy during your session:

Friday – Country Night
Live Dancing and Music, Mechanical Bull and Line Dancing

Saturday – Afternoon Party
Waterfront Day Drinking, Outfit and Live Art Showdowns, and Cover Band

Saturday – VIP Session
Intimate experience with dedicated fans and cideries, food pairing session with Lonetree Cider and El Bosco Catering delivering delicious Latin eats! 

Saturday – Night Party
Live Music, DJ’s (REALLY GOOD DJS BTW) and a Flair Bartending contest (this alone is worth going to the Sat night!)

Life size games, photo exhibit, passport challenge, contests, shopping, People’s Choice Awards, FUN, CIDER GALORE and THE CIDER CRATE!

Toronto Cider Festival is founded on principles of community support; promoting local farmers, local artists, and small businesses, all while remaining true to its values of sustainability and social responsibility. While growing as a business, the organization has equally grown as a contributor to the community, founding the Toronto Cider Festival Event Management Scholarship Foundation at George Brown College, developing a Student Internship program, and is an official member of the Ontario Craft Cider Association. The organization also works with companies like the TenFed Project; providing meals to hungry children around the world and encourages responsible drinking and festival attendance

Last year over 4300 people attended.



  • Session 1 Country Night (Friday, August 24th 6PM – 11PM)
  • Session 1 VIP Ticket (VIP experience 5:30PM+ Friday Night Country Party 6-11PM)
  • Session 2 Waterfront Day Drinking (Saturday, August 25th 11AM – 4PM)
  • Session 3 VIP Experience (Saturday, August 25th 5-6PM + Saturday Night Party 6-11PM)
  • Session 3 Saturday Night Party (Saturday, August 25th 6PM – 11PM)

Ticket Prices – $40/ $75 (VIP) +HST & the price of drink tokens. Travel packages also available both via

It great to be one of their supporting partners for this event and we hope you can find us there. You can also read our event reviews from 2016 and 2017 and 2018 to get excited! See you all there!

We are thrilled to announce we will be working with Her Fathers Cider Bar for a meet the makers event. Details to come shortly!  Happening Thursday, August 22nd in the evening. 




By in Best of, Knowledge, News 0

The Best Ciders to Keep You Warm this Winter [2019]

Now that Christmas and the holidays are over, the allure of winter can dwindle. It becomes less of the magical winter wonderland with lights and powdery snow it was in November and December, and more of a grey, slush-fest of snow squalls and un-sholved sidewalks until hopefully only March (sometimes April though!).

We at The Cider Crate want to help keep you warm and cozy. Here are our recommendations for the best ciders you can get to drink for those frosty months you may not want to leave the house at all.


1) Heartwood Wassail [Erin, Ontario]

This is a beauty of a mulled cider that features a wide-selection of warming spices and even a bit of pepper. You can buy it at their woodsy retail store or at the Guelph Farmers Market. It is recommended you try it heated, cooked with a cinnamon stick and maple syrup (two things they even sell with the cider sometimes).

Heartwood – Wassail


2) 401 Cider Co – Apple Pie Cider [Colbourne, Ontario)

Want dessert in a glass? This cider does not disappoint with creamy dessert apples, a delicate vanilla and just enough cinnamon to remind you of the pie your grandma always makes.

401 Cider Company – Apple Pie Cider

3) Thornbury Spiced Cider [Thornbury, Ontario]

Enjoyable both cold and warm, this cider is well-balanced with cinnamon, cloves and more – amongst a medley of apple flavours. A very approachable cider for most cider fans.

Thornbury – Spiced Apple



4) Ernest Winter’s Blush Cider [Newmarket, Ontario]

Looking for an offering that is spiced but also has some warming fruits? Winter’s Blush is calling your name with a nice combination of cranberry and orange – with a perfect mix of mulled spiced mixed in there too. You may get flashbacks to that Holiday Party punch you may have had too many cups of though.

Ernest – Winter’s Blush


5) Bootleg Whisky Barrel Aged Cider [Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario]

If sweet treats warm you up, then look for this sweeter offering that features vanilla, light spices and a smooth whisky and apple base. If you like the taste of whiskies and smooth bourbons but don’t like the astringency of the straight spirits, this could tickle your fancy.

Bootleg Whisky Barrel Aged Cider


6) Kings Mill – Ice Cider

You can’t discuss winter drinking without some of the finest creations made during these cold months – Ice Ciders. Made similarly to ice wine, where the apples are picked after it is below zero, these tend to be slow sippers – with Kings Mill’s offering being no different. This version may be less thick and less astringent than other versions on the market, but is still has the depth of others; while also in our opinion, being more apple-forward in taste than most. Enjoy before or after a meal, or on its own. Great both on and off ice.

Kings Mill – Ice Cider

By in Best of, News 0

The Cider Crate – Best of 2018

So as we come to the end of 2018 and are third full year in operation, we are happy to look back on some of the best ciders we had the past year and our favourite locales to enjoy them!  Have a look and we hope you tried a few yourself!  We sampled over 200 ciders all year, posting reviews of close to 70 of them which resulted in over 59,000 hits on the website!

~Bethany and Barry

Cider Crate Combined: Top 5 Bottles/Cans

  1. 401 Cider – Apple Pie
  2. Hard Way Cider Co – Rogue Apples
  3. Great Cider – Ice Cider
  4. Collective Arts – Honey and Lavender
  5. Bonnieheath Estate – Folkin’ Hard Cherry Bomb

Bethany’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. 401 Cider – Apple Pie
  2. Hard Way Cider Co – Rogue Apples
  3. Duxbury Heritage – 1650

Barry’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. 401 Cider – Apple Pie
  2. Shiny Cider – Bootleg
  3. Hard Way Cider Co – Rogue Apples

Cider Crate Combined: Top 5 Ciders Enjoyed at Bars/Events

  1. Revel – Mithras [@ Tooth and Nail Brewing, Ottawa, ON]
  2. County Cider – Lychee Pear [@ Elgin Beer Project, Ottawa, ON & Toronto Cider Festival 2018]
  3. Heritage Estate – Heirloom Cider [@ Toronto Cider Festival 2018]
  4. Sulkers Cider – Rose-hip Hibiscus [@ Arabella Park, Kitchener, ON]
  5. Duxbury – Barrel-aged Haskap [@ Ciderhouse for the Duxbury & Cider Crate Event, Toronto, ON]

Bethany’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. Revel – It’s Character Forming [@ Union 613, Ottawa, ON]
  2. East Street Cider – Watermelon Mint [@ Toronto Cider Festival 2018]
  3. Revel – Mithras [@ Tooth and Nail Brewing, Ottawa, ON]

Barry’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. Revel – Soif [@ C’est What, Toronto, ON]
  2. Revel – Mithras [@ Tooth and Nail Brewing, Ottawa, ON]
  3. Thornbury Cider – Blood Orange [@ Toronto Cider Festival 2018 & Growler Pour from Lansdowne LCBO, Ottawa, ON]

Cidery of the Year-

Fieldbird Cider 
Runner Up –

Break-out Cidery of the Year

Kings Mill Cider Company
Runner Up – Heartwood Farm and Cidery

Bethany PreferenceEast Street Cider Co
Barry Preference Kings Mill Cider Company

Favourite Non-Ontario

Reverend Nat’s Cider (Portland, OR)
Annapolis Cider (Nova Scotia)

Favourite Cider Event

Ottawa’s Craft Cider Celebration
Runner Up – Cider 101 with Duxbury at Cider House on Roncesvalles


Favourite Bar

Bar Lupulus (Ottawa)
Runner Up – Union 613 (Ottawa)


Thats all for 2018.  We also released our Map of Ontario!  Check it out and where/how you can sample our favourites!

Toronto Cider Festival 2018 Recap

We had an amazing time over two days at this year’s Toronto Cider Festival.  You can catch the photos and the Podcast here.  Below are a few highlights as we head off to Spain and Portugal for a bit of cider out that way.  Thanks once again to Shalini, Chris, The Event Professor, and all the people (including cideries who always make us feel at home talking and sampling) who were involved with this years festival.  It’s such a positive community

~Barry and Bethany

The Cider Crate Top 10 Ciders of TO Cider Festival 2018

In no particular order….

  • Sulkers Cider – Sangria
  • Ernest Cider – Pamplemousse
  • East Street Cider – Watermelon Mint
  • Duntroon Cyder – Raindance Rhubarb Infused Cider
  • Shiny Cider – Bootleg Whisky Cider
  • County Cider – Lychee Pear
  • Thornbury – Wild Blueberry Elderflower Cider
  • Heritage Estates – Heirloom
  • Great Cider – Iced Cider
  • Duxbury – Barrel-Aged Haskap Cider

The Cider Crate Top Festival Choices

Breakout CideryEast Street Cider Co

Best Returning CideryCounty Cider Co.

Cidery to Watch for Next YearDuntroon Cyder

Best MomentThe Incredible Flair Bartending

Most kick-ass Moment – People dancing in the torrential rain during the Saturday Day Session

Worst Moment – The hangovers The Cider Crate had on Day 2

Best Entertainment – DJ D-Smooth

Special Cider Fan Shout-Out – Meeting the awesome Toronto Cider Girls


By in News, Toronto Cider Fest 0

5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for the Toronto Cider Festival – 2018

With the festival just a few hours away, here is our top 5 remember to do, and top 5 please do not do this list for the 2018 festival.


  1. Put on sunscreen, lots of it! But also prepare for rain, looks like it could be poor on Saturday (Rain jacket is better then an umbrella)
  2. Take transit, parking is a pain
  3. Charge your phone in advance, you might want to take pictures and share on social media!
  4. Dress up, there are prizes on Friday Night for Country Night
  5. Bring your ID! You need it at the door to get in (and your ticket too)


  1. Spend all your time on your phone
  2. Try to drink all the ciders – we did this last year it was a very bad Sunday  (and Monday and Tuesday). Try the ones you have not had before, or cant get locally
  3. Wear fancy shoes, it might get muddy.
  4. Bring your dog (or cat, rabbit, under-aged niece etc).  We left Sterling with a friend!
  5. Get there too late, some of the best ciders do go early.

You can find out more from our official preview! 

Tickets are available here 

Oh, and don’t forget Thursday is our special pre-event at Cider House. Come talk with Duxbury and meet us for a guided flight and food pairing!

By in News, Toronto Cider Fest 1

Official Toronto Cider Festival Preview – 2018


Already Year 4 of the Toronto Cider Fest and once again they raising the stakes and upping the game – going even bigger and better than last year, expanding to 3 sessions over 2 days.  We are thrilled to be heading down to cover all three sessions and and see the second night on a Friday! This year you are asked to strap on your boots and throw on your cowboy hat, as its all gone country – with a western/country theme and musical lineup, especially on the inaugural Friday Night session! We can’t even begin to describe how much fun we had the last two years here, and we cannot wait for the festival to happen again!

The Lineup:

This year we see 31 (3 more than in 2017!) cideries participating – with a handful of past favourites and many new ones joining in, from across the province and country. There will be many first time cideries attending – including many we haven’t even tried yet – such as East Street Cider and Overlander! Here is the list that will yield over 100 ciders to try (but please don’t take on that challenge!)

The Venue:

Year 1 and 2 of the festival was located downtown at Yonge/Dundas – which provided a nice bustling, metropolitan backdrop; however, the space was just too small for new and exciting expansions to be made. The move to the Sherbourne Commons last year was brilliant, and it offers a nice view of the Waterfront, with a lot more space for cideries and attendees alike. 


The Other Stuff

Along with a whole ton of cider, there are many other activities to keep you busy during your session:

Friday – Country Night
Live Dancing and Music, Mechanical Bull and Line Dancing

Saturday – Afternoon Party
Waterfront Day Drinking, Outfit and Live Art Showdowns, and Cover Band

Saturday – VIP Session
Intimate experience with dedicated fans and cideries, food pairing session with Brickworks Cider 

Saturday – Night Party
Live Music, DJ’s (REALLY GOOD DJS BTW) and a Flair Bartending contest

Life size games, photo booth, passport challenge, contests, shopping, People’s Choice Awards, FUN, CIDER GALORE!


Plus thousands of fellow cider fans who will all become your best friends after a few 🙂



  • Session 1 Country Night (Friday, August 24th 6PM – 11PM)
  • Session 1 VIP Ticket (VIP experience also includes 10 tokens, commemorative mug + 2018 Toronto Key to the City)
  • Session 2 Waterfront Day Drinking (Saturday, August 25th 11AM – 4PM)
  • Session 3 VIP Experience (Saturday, August 25th 5-6PM + Saturday Night Party 6-11PM)
  • Session 3 Saturday Night Party (Saturday, August 25th 6PM – 11PM)

Ticket Prices – $35/ $49 / $70 plus the price of drink tokens. Travel packages also available.

Available from Eventbrite

It great to be one of their supporting partners for this event and we hope you can find us there. You can also read our event reviews from 2016 and 2017 to get excited! See you all there!

Looking for more? Check out our pre-event on the 23rd!



By in Best of, News 0

The Cider Crate – Best of 2017

So as we come to the end of 2017, we are happy to look back on some of the best ciders we had the past year and our favourite locales to enjoy them!  Have a look and we hope you tried a few yourself!  We sampled over 200 ciders all year, posting reviews of close to 70 of them!

~Bethany and Barry

Cider Crate Combined: Top 5 Bottles/Cans

401 Cider Company – The Gatsby
Brickworks – Mint and Basil
Heritage Estates – Dragon’s Gold
Hinterland Cider – Sparkling Cherry
Sea Cider Farm and Cidery – Birds and The Bees

Bethany’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. 401 Cider Company – The Gatsby
  2. Coffin Ridge – Forbidden Hopped Dry Cider
  3. Creekside Estate Winery – Rood Apples

Barry’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. Sea Cider – Birds and The Bees
  2. 401 Cider Company – The Gatsby
  3. Fraser Valley – Elderflower

Cider Crate Combined: Top 5 Ciders Enjoyed at Bars/Events

California Cider Company – Ace Pineapple [Her Fathers]
County Cider Co. – Blackberry Sage [Elgin Beer Project]
Revel – Tepeche [Union 613, Brother Beer Bistro]
Steel Town Cider Co. – Guav as Fuck [Toronto Cider Festival]
Sulkers Cider – Kombucha [Craft Coyote]

Bethany’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. Revel – Emergent Property [Union 613]
  2. Revel – Forks Not Spoons [Brothers Beer Bistro]
  3. Spirit Tree – Hopped [Toronto Cider Festival]

Barry’s personal preferences (In order)

  1. Garage D’or – Hailstorm [The Wolly]
  2. Revel – Tepeche [Union 613, Brother Beer Bistro]
  3. BX Press Cardamom BlackCurrant [Devil’s Elbow Ale and Smokehouse]

Cidery of the Year-

Revel Cider Co.
Runner Up401 Cider Company

Break-out Cidery of the Year

Sulkers Cider
Runner Up – Steel Town Cider Co.

Bethany Preference26 Acre Craft Cider Company
Barry Preference Garage D’or

Favourite Non-Ontario

Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse (Victoria BC)
101 Cider House (California, USA)

Favourite Cider Event

Toronto Cider Festival
Runner Up – County Brewmaster in Ottawa

Favourite Apple Drink

Nickel Brook – Green Apple Beer

Favourite Bar

Brother Beer Bistro (Ottawa)
Runner Up – The Cider House (Toronto)

Toronto Cider Festival 2017 Recap

Full photo gallery here!

The leadup to the 2017 Toronto Cider Festival was huge – 12 more cideries promised, a new venue, new entertainment and even new awards… and to top it off, it was a celebration for Canada’s 150th Birthday! The organizers for the Festival not only lived up to the hype, they exceeded all expectations with an absolutely stellar day from start to finish. With thousands of happy fans and over 2 dozen friendly cideries sampling wonderful drinks, it won’t be a day to forget anytime soon.


We started our day by talking to a handful of cideries who were ready to chat – we started a bit later than expected as we were out late sipping on ciders at the wonderful Cider House on Roncesvalles Avenue. We saw that even before the gates opened for Session 1 at 11:30, there was already a lineup of eager fans who could not wait to get in the doors to start sampling the lovely brews.  With a beautiful new open concept venue at Sherbrooke Common by the waterfront, the location was stunning beautiful and the weather cooperated all day with sunny, warm weather as well. While we loved the Festival at Yonge and Dundas square in 2016, we felt this venue to be more relaxed and welcoming without the traffic and commercial buildings surrounding the grounds.

It did not take long after the doors opened at 11:30am of the Day Session, for the place to get very, very busy. With 28 different cideries, a serious selection of delicious food vendors and tons of larger-than-life games and entertainment acts, the only problem was deciding where to start!

One new event at the 2017 edition was the first annual Toronto International Cider Awards. Bethany from The Cider Crate was honoured to be asked to be a judge on the panel, as fitting the ‘Cider Blogger’ category; amongst the other categories of ‘Cider Connoisseur”, ‘Bartender/Restaurateur’’, ‘Chef’ and ‘Sommelier’, under the guidance and leadership of a professional wine and cider judge (who has judged many other competitions across Canada and the US). While the judging took longer than expected – over 80 ciders across 5 main categories – it was a really unique experience for Bethany to be apart of this panel.

The Festival hit capacity quite early, but thankfully due to well-executed organization, the lineups for ciders, food and washrooms were never longer than a couple of minutes. With lively music blaring all day – from live bands, singers and DJs – it also helped to make any wait more enjoyable. One of the major events that took place during the Day Session was the Live Art Showdown – a timed competition amongst a dozen or so participants to paint a picture on a canvas as quick as they could, and have the Festival attendees judge the best one. All of the participating artworks however were up for bid, with the proceeds going to charity.

Back again this year, was the People’s Choice Awards – a way people can show appreciation for their favourite ciders and cideries by texting in their choices. The winners for the Day Session were a mixture of new and returning favourites: 3rd place going to the crowdfunded favourite, Sulkers Cider; 2nd place went to another new cidery, Steel Town Cider; and the coveted first place went to Lone Tree Cider – who came all the way from British Columbia, hoping to soon join their Ontario counterparts on the shelves at the LCBO in the near future. While announcing these results always means the near closing of any session at the Toronto Cider Fest, it seemed everyone had a lovely Day Session at Sherbrooke Common; and for us, the day was only half over!

With an hour break, we were able to interview more cideries. Unfortunately due to logistics, timing and the sheer amount of cideries there – twenty-freaking-eight! – we were not able to interview everyone at the festival. However, we were able to interview 19 attending cideries, which can be found here. Also during the break, Bethany got to finish her 5 hours of cider judging for the other awards at the festival. After 80 different ciders that were judged totally blind, Bethany needed a break from the golden stuff.

With the VIP session starting promptly at 5, it soon got busy again at the venue. With Brickworks sponsoring the food pairing with E-Fresh Foods, they provided a variety of cider samples to pair with tasty food samples. With a smaller capacity, this allowed the VIP guests a more intimate experience with the cider vendors before the Evening Session began at 6pm.


It did not take long into the start of the Evening Session for it to get busy and quite lively. With the sun going down slowly, the hot day became a bit cooler and more relaxed; as well as more intimate with string lights being illuminated. At 7pm, the flair bartending competition started, with 4 amazingly talented contestants and one equally talented host, who brought so much excitement and energy to the Festival. With 3 male participants and 1 female, woman-wonder Kate Fisher brought the heat and won the crowd’s hearts – and the victor’s title as a result.

With the sun set and the evening sky appearing, the party only got crazier – with more cider being poured and more live music thumping. With the party going until close to 11pm, the mood was electric and magical. And there’s so much more that happened we haven’t even mentioned yet. There were a few fun other events on the side the Festival had this year, specifically the Canada 150 celebrations and decorations – which were highlighted with a beautiful display of photos from around the country; as well other Canadiana decorations throughout the grounds. As well, free food samples, life-size connect-4 and Jenga, and so so much more.

Right before the end of magical Evening Session, came a few big announcements. First was the winners of the inaugural Toronto International Cider Awards that Bethany was apart of deciding. With 5 categories, the winners were:

  • Dry: The Great Canadian Cider Company Nice and Dry
  • Semi-Sweet: Strongbow Gold
  • Blended: Strongbow Dark Fruit
  • Hopped: Sulkers Dry-Hopped
  • Perry: County Cider


As well, as with the day session, the winners of the People’s Choice for the Evening Session were announced. In third place, the ever-inspiring County Cider Co; taking second, was Reinharts Red Apple Light Cider; and in the coveted first place, taking the same title for a second year in a row, Heritage Estates Cider! Congrats to all the winners and all cideries, who are all deserving of appreciation and attention!

Overall, we were thrilled to connect with the cideries, the organizers (Thanks C & S!), as well as so many amazing cider fans. Without people showing up and caring so much about cider, these events would not be possible, so thank you to everyone who came and regularily supports craft cider all year long.  We think everyone left the event with a smile on their faces – including us; with tons of memories and hopefully new favourite ciders like us.

We absolutely cannot wait for 2018’s festival. In fact, tickets are already on sale here if you can’t contain your excitement for August 25th 2018 like us.

Barry and Bethany
The Cider Crate

By in News 0

City Cider Festival 2017 Event Preview

If you’re looking for a little Sunday cider adventure, City Cider – presented by Not Far From The Tree – is hosted at the Spadina Museum on Sunday Sept 17th for its seventh year.  It offers a very backyard, family friendly opportunity to sample a few ciders and keep the kids active as well.

Brickworks Ciderhouse
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Ernest Cider Co.
Duxbury Cider Co.
Collective Arts

Black Oak
Burdock Brewery
Alchemy Pickle Company


Fun for kids includes children’s songs, potato sack races, face painting, orchard tours, arborist experience for kids, observational bee colony, a traditional printing press and art-making. There will also be lots of music and a community market.


There will be lots of food on-site as well, featuring:

  • Momofuku Daisho
  • The Drake Commissary
  • The Birchwood Kitchen
  • NFFT BBQ and Apple Fritters
  • Local Food Trucks!
    *Food & drink tickets will be available for purchase on event day.

You can also tour the grounds, Spadina Museum Historic House & Gardens – that wheelchair accessible and there is an elevator that accesses all levels of the museum.

Other Ways to Participate

Want to volunteer at the event? Register here: 

Want to be apart of the Cider Squad and make cider at the event? Click here:

Learn much more on the Not Far From The Tree website

Online advanced tickets are $10 and it includes a souvenir mason jar glass! Buy them here: Tickets at the door are $15 and children under 12 are free.

More photos are here from last year.

By in News, Toronto Cider Fest 0

Surviving the TO Cider Festival

You’ve almost made it cider fans, the big day is very soon, this Saturday, August 26th! Whether it’s your first time to the festival or you’ve been in years past, we have compiled a list of handy tips for you to survive the day and enjoy it to its maximum.


Stuff to Bring with you:

  • Cash for extra sample tokens, and other purchases.

  • An empty water bottle so you drink water throughout the day! Sparkling and flat water will be available at the festival courtesy of Water Tap

  • A cell phone charger and battery pack.

  • A jacket or sweater as the event is by the lake and it could be breezy.

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses or a hat as its expected to be a bright sunny day


At the Festival


  • Drink responsibly. Know your limits.

  • Ask the cideries about their products. The more you know, the more you can enjoy the wonderful drinks.

  • Do arrive early into the session maximize your time at the festival.

  • Give feedback on your samples – directly to the cideries or on Twitter. They depend on feedback to know which way to go with future products.

  • Take tons of photos (and post them online, tagging @tociderfest if you like).

  • SMILE lots! Your smiling face will not only increase your enjoyment, it will enhance other guests’ experiences.

  • Visit the County Cider and Lonetree Cider booths for chances to win getaway trips across Canada.

  • Do vote for your favourite ciders with your cell phone for the People’s Choice Awards.

  • Visit the cider vendors and stamp at least 16 ciders in your Cider Passport for a chance to win a cider experience at The Cider House
  • Come find us and say hi!



  • Stick only to ciders you’ve already tried. This is a prime opportunity to try new ciders that you haven’t before. Break free from your comfort zone!

  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. There will be many wonderful food vendors there to satisfy your food cravings (and help the next day).

  • Don’t drink and drive. Call a taxi, request an uber or take the TTC.

  • Don’t try all 70+ ciders that will be available… thats too much.


Further Cider Experiences

If you want to continue your cider drinking experiences post-festival, we suggest you do so at one of these better beverage bars that regularly features premium Ontario Craft Cider

  • Cider House

  • Her Fathers Cider Bar


  • Tequila Bookworm

  • Bierra Volo

  • The Only Cafe

By in Event Reviews, News 0

Ottawa Winter BrewFest 2017 Review

We stopped in opening night to Ottawa Winter BrewFest to see what was going on at Lansdowne, as we heard there were some ciders being featured.  Below (and updated on our podcast) is an interview with Mike, the event coordinator where he talked about the festival, the ciders at the festival and whats coming up in 2017.

Download episode | Play in new window | File size: 9.2MB


By in News 0

Ontario Cider Awards – 2016 Preview

Now in its second year, the Ontario Cider Awards are coming soon to the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, on Thursday, November 10th 2016. If you were lucky like us to have attended in its inaugural year, you know this a stellar event hosted by the friendly folks at Drink Inc. Ontario Cider is an ever-increasingly popular and diverse category of drinks, and this event celebrates the delicious beauty of cider by allowing the fans themselves to decide people choice winners.


Like last year, there are two main categories to vote on: traditional ciders and fruit ciders. With many Ontario cideries competing in one or both categories, the hardest task will only be picking a few favourites. The event is ‘pay-as you-drink’, with 5 tickets included in your admission price – with additional samples costing only 1 dollar for 4 oz (with some cider samples potentially costing more based on ingredients).


Last year’s awards had a variety of Ontario cideries competing for the top prizes, with us only guessing how many more entries – both ciders and cideries – there will be this year. Watch this space as we will be positing all ciders that will be available for sampling and voting as soon as they are available!

A recap of last year’s People’s Choice winners:



Gold: Revel – Spirit of the Woods
Silver: Brickworks – 501 Queen
Bronze: KW Craft – Dry Cider



Gold: West Ave Cider – Cherrosity
Silver: Shiny – Pinot Noir
Bronze: Double Trouble – Grow a Pear

Best in Show

West Ave Cider – Cherrosity


Tickets are on sale now for $35 dollars each and they include 5 4oz samples and general admission ALL DAY to the Royal Winter Fair. Get them while you can as they won’t last long! You can feel extra special about your ticket purchase knowing that a portion of each ticket will go to Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund, that provides a variety of musical therapies to people with conditions like Alzheimer’s and autism.

For more information, check out the Drink Inc Website

*Oh, and did we mention we will be covering the event?  Come find us and say hi or follow along on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Toronto Cider Festival 2016 – Podcast Series, Gallery and More

It took a lot of work and a lot of editing, but we are finally ready to present our extended recap coverage of the 2016 Toronto Cider Festival – including our Podcast Series of informative interviews about cider.

Check out the Podcast Series featuring 18 cideries who were at the festival.  You can also access it on iTunes.

Check through the gallery of all the photo’s we took throughout the day.

and if you missed it, our review is located here.


By in Event Reviews, News 3

Toronto Cider Festival 2016 Recap

The 2nd annual Toronto Cider Festival happened on August 27th, 2016, and if you weren’t there, you unfortunately missed out on an amazing day. The weather was sunny, warm and beautiful throughout the day, and the fans came out by the thousands to indulge in 40+ ciders from 19 cideries. Broken up into two sessions – with a VIP one-hour session – the all-day event was a massive success and we were there for the full 11+ hours to cover all of the action and speak to the cider makers and fans alike.

Within moments of the doors opening at 11:30am, Yonge and Dundas square started to fill with hundreds of fans eager to start sampling cider. We made our way to interview about half the cideries prior to the doors opening – with us getting to interview the other half of the cideries between the two sessions. With the sun shining down, cider fans spent hours going to each cider booth, and getting their passports stamped and munching on the delightful cuisine offering by the food vendors mixed in around the drinks. With a delightful ‘Cottage in the City’ theme, the event successfully transported us into the wilderness amongst all of the city lights, to a calm oasis of wonderful cider sipping.


With 19 cideries it was certainly difficult to know where to even start – luckily, there was no wrong choice. Among the included booths were: 14 Ontario cideries, 1 from British Columbia, 3 international companies and 1 French apple brandy company.With most cideries bringing their flagship ciders, many also brought special flavoured varieties; as well as limited kegs and upcoming releases.

While all the ciders offered to sample were amazingly delicious, there were some true standout ciders that were unique in their own right. KW Craft Cider was sampling one of their newest creations, the Snakebite Cider, which was a perfectly blended mixture of cider and beer, in collaboration with Elora Brewing Company. Spirit Tree Cider brought their recently released Pear Lavender cider (See our review here), which is a unique take on their original pear cider; as well as their Dry Hopped blend which tickles the pallet with flavour. The oldest cidery in Ontario, County Cider Company, brought four varieties to sample, which included their hit Blood Orange cider and their recently released cider, Rootbeer.


One of the special ‘event’ ciders was Coffin Ridge’s Strawberry Mint Cider, where only 1 keg per session was tapped – at 2pm and 8pm – and only available for a short period, as the lineups to sample started early (and lasted about 30 before it was all gone).  Another special cider only offered in a limited quantity was Thornbury’s Spiced Apple – a smoothly blended cider that will be available at the LCBO this fall for a limited time. As well, Ironwood brought their hilariously named ‘Cowabunga’ Cider made with tart cranberries, that we actually had the pleasure of sampling the evening before at Her Fathers Cider Bar.

Other special cider offerings included Brickworks Field Trip Cherry (See our review here) (Poor Brickworks brought there re-constructed 1940’s tap truck which broke down less then 500m away from the event on the side of the road and missed the entire first session), Double Trouble’s ‘Grow a Pear’ cider (recently launched at the LCBO), Duxbury’s hopped Tilted Barn, amongst many, many others (there are just too many to list!).

One cidery that really stood out to us was Heritage Estates – a new cidery located in Barrie that only launched in July – that already had two canned thumb_P1090064_1024offerings available: Dragon’s Gold and Eden’s Apple. Let us tell you that these were two highly unique ciders that didn’t taste like anything else you would have had that day. We were also impressed with Lone Tree Cider – a cidery that came all the way from British Columbia and is hoping to break into the Ontario market soon – with 4 delicious ciders for our sampling pleasure.

Fans could text their favourite ciders to a special contest number throughout the day, and the same three cideries were selected as the fan favourites in both sessions but in different orders. The winners from the first session were 3) Heritage Estates 2) Ernest Cider and 1) Savanna. The evening session winners were 3) Savanna 2) Heritage Estates and 1) Ernest Cider. We were thrilled that two up-and-coming Ontario Craft Cideries were selected, as we see big things ahead for them all!

Mixed in throughout the evening, were two special schedulings – the food and cider pairing session at 5pm for VIP ticket holders and the flair bartthumb_P1090137_1024ending competition that started shortly before 7pm. The VIP session food pairing was done by the industry expert, Doris Miculan Bradley and it included a mouth-watering pulled pork sandwich, topped with creamy coleslaw and an olive – paired with County Cider Apple, and followed with County’s bright red cranberry and raspberry Feral Cider.

Shortly after, was the flair bartending competition, where a few seasoned professionals had 5 minutes to flip and toss bottles around, all while making a delicious cocktail featuring Angry Orchard Cider. While there were a few bottles broken, it was a true spectacle to watch with tons of crazy tricks and flips.

The festival offered so much more than just cider samples, pairings and cocktails though; with delicious food vendors, life-size games (including Jenga and Connect 4), DJs, live music, tons of incredible giveaways and more, it was a truly complete and grand experience for the senses. With the festival all tucked underneath the glowing signs and lights of Yonge and Dundas square, it only made the day more brilliant and grandeur.


We think the 2016 edition of the Toronto Cider Festival was an incredible success and we thank not only the wonderful job done by the organizers and cideries for putting this day together; we thank the thousands of fans that came together to connect over a shared love of a delicious drink. Events like this are important for the cider community, as it show cider’s growing popularity and influence in Ontario. This helps grow the industry, grow allotted shelf space at the LCBO and grocery stores, and gain access to more markets and more equitable selling laws.

Thanks again to everyone involved with the Toronto Cider Festival. We cannot wait until next year.

*watch for our interviews with the cider makers coming soon!

thumb_P1090106_1024thumb_P1090173_1024 thumb_P1090139_1024

By in News 0

What to Expect at the Toronto Cider Festival

Toronto Cider Festival

So by now we hope you have gotten your tickets for the 2nd annual Toronto Cider Festival that’s happening at Yonge and Dundas Square on Saturday, August 27th 2016. But if not, no worries, there are still some left!  This years theme is “Cottage in the City” so expect Muskoka chairs, canoes, wooden logs, wooden barrels and more right in the heart of Toronto.

This years event has three sessions, and is expected to bring over 3,000 attendees 19 year of age and over

Session 1 : 11:30PM-4:00PM
Session 2: 6:00PM-10:30PM
VIP Session: 5:00PM-10:30PM (Limited tickets)


Get your tickets while you still can:

Tickets available

You may have gone to the first Toronto Cider Festival in 2015, but what can you expect for 2016? Well for starters, everything is bigger and better and there are more cideries for you to try – expect 40+ different ciders for your tasting pleasure!

Session 1 and Session 2 tickets are priced at $30
Tickets Includes 4 Sample Tokens and Commemorative Sampling Cup.

Ticket gives attendees access to 20 to top craft ciders with more than 40 taps, a handful of food trucks, and various forms of entertainment, including live entertainers, music, giveaways and contests.

VIP Tickets are priced at $60
Tickets Includes 10 Sample Tokens and Commemorative Sampling Cup.
VIPs get in at 5:00PM for early entry to the festival.

Participating Cideries (19 in total)

  • Pommies Cider Co.
  • The County Cider Company
  • Thornbury, Shiny Apple
  • Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
  • Brickworks Ciderhouse
  • Ironwood Cider
  • Forbidden Dry Cider
  • Duxbury Cider Co.
  • Revel Cider Co.
  • Grow A Pear
  • Magners Irish Cider [Ireland]
  • Angry Orchard Hard Cider [USA]
  • Magnotta Brewing Co.
  • Shiny Apple Cider
  • Ernest Cider
  • Lonetree Authentic Dry Cider [BC #1Cider]
  • KW Cider
  • Calvados Boulard
  • Savanna Cider [South Africa]

Some of the unique and interesting cider flavours that will be on tap:

  • Cherry
  • Blackberry Peach
  • Cranberry
  • Ginger
  • Strawberry Mint

…And many more to be announced and discovered!

What to look for:

The event itself has a lot of things to get involved in – not just only sampling new and classic ciders. (Note that 4oz sample tickets are 5 for $10 or 10 for $20).

Food Pairing w/ County Cider
Hosted by special guest Doris Miculan Bradley (industry professional who teaches at George Brown College and is the Canadian Brand Ambassador for The Wines of Vinho Verde), this session is special for those with VIP access, giving you  a demonstration on how to pair delicious foods with the right cider blend.  This session is expected to have 2-3 different cider tastings accompanied with various cuisine.

Bartending Competition
Attendees of the late session, 6-10:30pm will be treated to a flair bartending competition, sponsored by Angry Orchard. Expect flying spirit bottles, unique cider cocktails and maybe a splash zone if you’re in the front row (kidding, hopefully).

The festival will also feature special entertainment by ONQ, including live music by bands like Stereo Flavour and Sevens, one of Toronto’s best DJs – DJ D-Smooth

Food vendors

  • Pili Pili
  • Wood Oven Pizza by Aristocaters
  • The Mustache Burger
  • SnakAtak


The Magners Ireland Adventure Giveaway contest: Complete a ballot after purchasing a Magners Cider sample at the Toronto Cider Festival and submit the completed ballot to the Magners Cider Booth for a chance to win a 4-night stay with round-trip flights for 2 to Dublin, Ireland.

The Prince Edward County contest presented by the County Cider Company: complete a ballot after purchasing a County Cider sample from at the Toronto Cider Festival and submit the completed ballot to The County Cider Company Booth for a chance to win a 2-night getaway for 2 in Prince Edward County at Jackson Falls Country Inn with complimentary tastings at the County Cider Company and other select wineries

The Passport Contest: Visit each cider vendor at the Toronto Cider Festival and try their cider to get your passport stamped. Collect all 19 stamps and bring your completed passport to any Toronto Cider Festival token booth for a chance to win an international cider experience with food pairings for 2 at Her Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen

People’s Choice Awards presented by The County Cider Company: Visit the 19 cider booths and pick the one you love most. Then text a designated number (647 360 2929) with the booth number that had your favourite cider for a chance to win an awesome prize pack from The County Cider Company

Angry Orchard Instagram Photo Booth Contest: Take a picture in front of the Photo Booth at Toronto Cider Festival and upload it on Instagram with hashtag #AngryOrchard and #TOciderfest. The most creative and hilarious picture will be selected to win a special prize pack by Angry Orchard

Official Sponsors

  • The County Cider Company – Proud Sponsor of the Prince Edward County Contest Giveaway, the VIP Food and Cider Pairing Session, People’s Choice Awards Giveaway and the Notable Toronto Cider Festival Pre-Event Launch Party
  • Angry Orchard Hard Cider – Proud Sponsor of the Flair Cider Cocktail Competition and Instagram Photo Booth Contest
  • Magners Irish Cider – Proud Sponsor of the Ireland Giveaway Contest
  • Indie 88 – Officia Radio Sponsor

The fun doesn’t stop here, as there will be an Instagram photo booth; along with live entertainers, musicians, contests and Giveaways all day long at your cottage in the city. Arrive early each session, and plan accordingly to get home safe!



Keep up to-date with the Festival social media pages or visit there website for tickets
Social Media :
Facebook event:

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We are getting there … launching soon

You may have seen that the shell of the site is here, but no content.  We will be looking to start really filling it out, it just takes time to make sure we are doing the reviews correctly (need to test the testing method, make sure everything looks good etc), so we hope to have an official announcement soon.


By in News 0

So it begins

With the website starting to take shape, it is time to start filling in the content.  Here is a quick photo of some of the ciders located here in the Ottawa, ON, Canada region we are going to start to review and post.



If you are interested in providing feedback to the project, please do not hesitate to contact us.