This summer I decided to create a 3rd travel blog series I’ve called The Ontario Cider Trail into the mix, as if things aren’t busy enough with moving into my campervan. I couldn’t help myself though!
What is the Ontario Cider Trail?
When creating this series and building the map I’d use to guide my tastebuds, I discovered over 70 cideries in Ontario, most of which I’d never heard of! Did you know we had that many in Ontario cider companies? Depending on where you live in the province, you’ve probably heard of West Avenue Cider, Thornbury Village, Duntroon Cyderhouse, and a few others. My guess is that, like me, you also may not have heard of a vast majority of the local Ontario cidery and winery and brewery destinations, thus my mission to bring these cider makers and their stories to you.
The Ontario Cider Trail is not an official provincial travel route (yet!), though I’d like to be a part of making that happen. There’s the Ontario wine trail and craft beer crawls, but I’ve never seen anything like that for cider in Ontario. As someone who has enjoyed wine-centric travels and loathes beer, I can’t be the only one interested in exploring Ontario’s cideries. As the saying goes, if there’s something you want and it’s not available, why not build it yourself? (Or something like that…) If you’re a graphic designer and interested in helping me bring this to life, please reach out and let’s chat.
Why Am I Travelling The Ontario Cider Trail?
I started drinking cider 10 years ago when I lived in Ireland.
My first night out at a pub I ordered a screwdriver, to which the bewildered bartender asked, “A what?!?”. For context, I bartended throughout university and a screwdriver was a pretty standard mixed drink in Ontario. I responded “vodka orange (juice)”. Unfortunately that only complicated things further as he proceeded to ask me “Which orange?” and rhymed off about 4 different options.
And here I thought ordering a drink in an Irish pub would be easy!
I told the bartender to forget it and asked what else was available besides beer. He suggested cider and the rest is history. I’ve been enjoying the crisp cool fruity drink ever since! Upon returning to Canada the options were limited to Somersby and Strongbow which, in my humble opinion, aren’t that great. Luckily, the Ontario cider industry has really taken off over the past 5-7 years, surpassing both beer and liquor sales in Ontario. I enjoy learning more about the products and services I consume, and with the industry being so young (sortof…but that’s for another blog post), I couldn’t resist the opportunity to chat to Ontario cider makers and share their story with a wider audience.
Tracking The Ontario Cider Trail
It’s exciting finding new businesses and flavours on the shelves. I’m guessing avid craft beer drinkers experience the same delight when they cross off another flavour on apps like Untappd. In writing this post, I wondered if there was a cider equivalent to the popular beer app. I’ve since found an app by Cider Expert and downloaded it. Other than trying out this app, I’ll be using the Ontario Cider Trail I created on Google My Maps, shown above, to keep track of each cidery that I visit.
I’ll be sharing snipits of the Ontario Cider Trail adventures on Instagram, with a story highlight created in case you miss the real time shenanigangs. For in-depth information on the people behind the businesses, the process, and the ciders for sale, stay tuned to the blog and sign up for the newsletter where I’ll share travel tips, discounts, and freebies. Check out the first cidery feature in the series, Thornbury Craft Cider.