It’s summer, it’s finally hot in Calgary and I’m on holidays. What could be better than hanging out on the patio with a cold one? Last year my summer was filled with bubbly prosecco but this year I am all about the humble cider.
I have always enjoyed Strongbow and have been drinking it for many years but this past year cider is becoming trendy and a lot of different kinds have been appearing on the shelves. I am going to talk about two different kinds of cider that I am enjoying this summer, one that has been around for a while and one that is relatively new on the scene. Both are local and both are tasty.
A few years ago I went on a tour of the Big Rock Brewery for a party and afterwards we could sample their product. I am not a big beer drinker so I was not really excited. However, I did sit down and had a conversation with the person behind the bar. He asked me what I liked to drink and I said Strongbow. He poured me a pint of their cider and I enjoyed it, it was my drink for the rest of the night.
Then I forgot about it. But this summer I have rediscovered Big Rock’s Rock Creek Dry Cider. It’s light and refreshing and can be found everywhere, at least here in Calgary. It’s made with apples from the Okanagan and pears. It is sweet, golden and made a little extra bubbly because of the champagne yeast they use. Last week was particularly hot and we did a charcuterie board for supper and this was the perfect pairing.
The other cider that has taken up residence in my fridge is Left Field Cider. My Twitter/Instagram buddy @qbots was out touring the interior of BC and started posting awesome pictures of this cider house she went to visit up at Mamette Lake. It caught my attention and I wanted to try it. At that point they had just started to distribute to a few places in Calgary, Highlander Wine and Spirits and J. Webb Wine at Casel Marche. I was due to make a trip to my friends at Casel Marche so off I went. And I was successful, I cleaned out their fridge of the three bottles of the Big Dry cider they had in stock.
This cider is a little heavier but delicious and it is also made from apples from the interior of BC. We paired it with a traditional summer meal, smokies and a wedge salad. It is perfect for sipping outside and enjoying the sunshine. Left Field also makes a brand called Little Dry which I read is a lighter cider but I haven’t seen it yet, I am watching out it for it though.
But the good news is since I first started looking for Left Field here in Calgary they have expanded to more stores. You can find them at some of the speciality wine shops in town and I was excited to go get some from a new to me shop, Vine Arts, at 1310 1 Street SW. But that’s a story for another day.
So yes, cider is filling my summer but what a great treat! And I am happy to support these local producers. Get out there and find some for yourself.