Support Ontario Craft Cider
We are an old but new agriculture based industry for Ontario
Cider was the first alcoholic beverage produced and consumed in North America. The Pilgrims who settled the east coast brought with them apples as an easily transferable food source and by planting apple seeds in the new world started the first North American apple orchards. The orchards were a key component to their survival due to the fact that most water was not safe for human consumption. By fermenting the apple juice, and making cider, the settlers had access to a safe, thirst quenching drink. In fact, most apple orchards were planted specifically for making cider and were not for apple consumption as we know it today. Apple varieties from this time still exist; most notable is the Rhode Island Greening, a precursor to the Granny Smith, which dates back to the 1600’s. Growing apples and making your own cider was quite popular in North America. By 1775 one of every ten farmers operated a cider mill. When prohibition came to the United States in the early 20’s the prohibitionists cut down all the cider apple trees. When prohibition was repealed in 1933, it took a few days for the brewers to have drinks in people’s hands…it takes up to five years to grow an apple tree.
Over the last two decades cider has been making a comeback and is the fastest growing category of alcoholic beverages on both sides of the border. Local craft apple cider lovers are driving the industry’s staggering growth (seven fold increase over the past five years). The modern consumer’s sophistication and desire to seek out new experiences has led to the rediscovery of a part of our heritage in the shape of craft cider: a delicious, natural, thirst quenching and refreshing re-discovery. Cider is again a part of the North American experience.
Ontario Cider is Threatened
Ontario Cider is under threat. As a new industry for Ontario there isn't any legislation that recognizes cider as a distinct and unique category. The result is bureaucratic and tax inequities that threaten the long term sustainability of cider producers and apple growers. The Ontario Craft Cider Association has been working to explain to government the challenges this industry faces due to the lack of legislative recognition for over a decade without success.
To show your support for Ontario Cider please hit the Show Your Support link below.