Shuswap Cider

Salmon Arm, BC

The Making of the Perfect Cider

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The Making of the Perfect Cider: Your Guide to How It’s Done

Crafting the perfect cider can be an intricate process. Unlike the other big-name brands who may be producing in terms of profit, we pride ourselves on producing out of passion. That’s why every element of our cider-making practice is carefully considered to reflect who we are, and it all starts with exactly what is in the can.

The foundation of a good cider begins with sourcing local ingredients. Using products grown from our very environment is our favourite way to implement Shuswap personality directly into our product. There’s no better feeling than knowing that every sip supports local farmers and businesses.

Acknowledging and sharing the natural history behind the apples we source is another important aspect to our process. The apples grown in the Shuswap contain an important story which we hope to emulate through each unique blend.

And finally, upholding the mission of brewing with the highest quality standards, using delicacy, and patience, guarantees that all our hard work exceeds industry and client expectations. So, let’s delve into the cider making process a bit further.

Where do the ingredients for Shuswap Cider come from?
Each can of cider begins with the selection of quality ingredients. Our passion is to create distinctive blends that taste special and to come up with captivating fusions of flavours, with inspiration from our local farms. Luckily in British Columbia, there’s no shortage of exceptional harvests and choice ingredients cultivated throughout the province.

The Lavender Farm is just one example and one of our favourite Salmon Arm farms. These experts have been harvesting and processing lavender for years and have a wide selection of amazing homemade products. Once we discovered their bright lavender buds, we knew we had to use them in our very own Lavender Honey Cider.

Another amazing harvest comes out of Honey Onyx Apiary, a local bee farm from which we proudly source our honey ingredient. The Apiary has harvested honey off their farm in Falkland for over 5 years. They are a family-owned business with a wholehearted mission to raise happy, healthy bees and produce high-grade honey.

Regardless of whether it is herbs and liquid spices like lavender and honey, or blueberries and cherries sourced to make a bold cider blush; we take pride in knowing that each individual ingredient is carefully considered, homegrown, and hand-picked with pleasure.

What about the history behind the apples in Shuswap Cider Co. cider?
Once the ingredients have been selected, we take them directly from those neighbouring farms and pair them with the apples grown from our very own Shuswap trees. Our apples come from A & L Peterson Orchards, a local farm that has been growing fruit trees since 2007 and whose apple growing family history dates all the way back to 1911. Nurtured by fourth generation orchardist Allan Peterson, the apples that we pick today contain a deep-rooted history.

In the 1920’s the Shuswap area met the Golden Age of the apple; the climate had become ideal for orchardists, presenting a balance of sunshine and moisture so that little to no irrigation was required. The unique conditions created some of the most delicious apples in the world and resulted in an extremely high demand. The old popular paddle wheelers would stop along the lakeshore to gather boxes of apples by the ton and some eventually found their way to global markets in Great Britain, South America and even South Africa.

Today, we’re certain the apples are still just as delicious as they once were and embracing this history we strive to bring the Golden Age of the apple back to the Shuswap, this time through the form of our cider. We ferment using a blend of traditional bittersweet and bittersharp varietals, along with complimentary culinary apples, to create a brilliant balance of characteristics in each small batch. Plus, with approximately 6 apples in every can, you won’t be able to miss the distinct taste of the Shuswap in our ciders!

How are Shuswap Cider Co.’s ciders made?
To create this characteristic blend, the apples harvested from the orchard must undergo a series of steps before they wind up sweetly carbonated within our cans. The first step is to give them a good wash. Typically, they are scrubbed, bathed, and then rinsed to ensure that no harmful bacteria, leaves, twigs, insects and/or other residues remain.

To remove the juice, the apples are then ground up into pulps and pressed. Various types of pulp mixtures may be pressed depending on which flavour of cider we intend to brew. To produce just one gallon of cider spirit, we typically press around 11-14 pounds of apples. We then take all that juice created out of the pressing, filter the pulp, and introduce it to the fermentation process.

The fermentation process is where our cider meets true science, and we see the chemical reaction between the natural sugars within the juice and yeasts resulting in alcohol and a bit of natural carbonation. Once we’re happy with this fermentation, we transfer our cider into a settling tank which allows it to clarify and age. To complete the process the spirit then gets filtered one last time before the desired carbonation is added and the delicious cider is distributed into our beautifully decorated cans.

From the ingredient production to selection, combination, and distribution we work hard to ensure that our best goes into our products. We do this by selecting only the highest-quality ingredients from our community farms and by working closely with the true experts in our area.

So now you know, when our delicious Shuswap Cider meets your hand, it’s not just a beverage that you’re holding; rather it’s the product of locally grown ingredients, and the work of local farmers, cider-makers, and distributors.

Top Tips for Pairing Cider with your Food

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Sip and Savour: Top Tips for Pairing Cider with your Food

 

After a long day, there’s no better feeling than pouring your favourite beverage and enjoying that first sip. When the can cracks open and the sweet aromas of gala apples and fermented fruit hit your nose, the scents mix satisfyingly with the sounds of popping bubbles just as the shimmering liquid meets your glass. Cider is even better when it’s paired with the right food.

While it’s not always necessary to have each meal perfectly tailored to the beverage of your choosing, finding the right pairings every now and then can make the difference between purely enjoying your drinks, and fully experiencing them. Cider is a perfect example as it’s the ideal blank canvas for pairing.

With so many ingredients out there, it can be overwhelming to narrow down exactly what you need to bring a harmonious pairing to your beloved cider. So, to make it easy on you, we’re sharing our favourite top tips and techniques.

Typically, when we think about pairing beverages to our meals, we commonly think of pairing wines, not ciders. The main objective is to achieve a pairing where the flavours complement each other, and therefore enhance the tasting experience of both the food and beverage. Although it may seem a lot less fancy, a carbonated drink can be a better choice when it comes to food pairings because they have the ability to cleanse the palate with each bite. This is just one of the reasons why we favour ciders with our meals!

Working like a blank canvas the crisp and fruity essence of a cider can be dressed up or down. Ciders also have a wide range of versatility; they can be dry and lean or rich and full. They also have varying levels of fruitiness, body, and flavour, which allows you to get even more creative with the types of dishes you pair. So, whether you’re looking to bring lightness to a protein heavy meal or just feel like perking up a classic pound cake, a cider will bring the right amount of balance to your meal without overcomplicating the dish.

There is a straightforward foundation for pairing foods to beverages and it comes from the concept of resonance. This refers to finding flavours within a beverage and flavours within a dish that are reminiscent of each other. If we think about what kind of flavours we can pick out in a cider, typically we think of fruit, especially apples. Since this is what resonates within the beverage, to create a pairing you will want to cook a dish that features or balances out that same ingredient. There are three different techniques that you can utilize to accomplish resonance: you can either pair flavours, pair intensity, or contrast your flavours to create a unique combination.

1) Pairing Flavours:

One of the most common ways to achieve a successful food pairing is by simply matching the flavours of your dish to the flavours featured in your beverage. This is a great place to begin when you start curating your own food pairings, as it is easy to pick out similar ingredients in items! For example, an obvious compliment to an apple cider would be to opt for an apple-centered dish, such as apple crisp. The sweetness of the apples in the dessert are rounded out by the dry and more bitter flavour they carry in the drink. Another way of pairing flavours in your meal would be to utilize the beverage itself while you cook. Our Semi-Sweet Apple Cider is a great choice for cooking into dishes as the Spartan and MacIntosh blend has a natural preserved sweetness that transfers nicely into light meats such as chicken, turkey, or pork. Why not use your Semi-Sweet Apple Cider to braise your next chicken or turkey and top it with extra apples, bacon, and sage!

2) Pairing Intensity:

Once you’ve mastered pairing flavours you can up the ante by matching the intensities of your food and drink. Think about this in terms of bold versus bold, a potent flavour will compete well with a drink that is equally as compelling. Flavours don’t always have to be bold, either. Similar results can even be found when combining refined and more delicate flavours. For example, we love having our Lavender Honey Cider with homemade pound cake. The floral notes of lavender cozy up to the smooth creamy honey from the alfalfa fields, and pair expertly with the sweetness of the cake. For an added layer of flavour try adding our Lavender Honey Cider directly into the cake mixture to really bring the flavour home!

3) Contrasting Flavours:

The most complicated of all the pairing techniques, finding contrasting flavours can be the hardest to successfully achieve. However, this is one of the most widely known cooking techniques, as I’m sure we’re allfamiliar with flavour pairings such as sweet and sour, or sugar and spice. Instead of matching flavours based on their likeness, you want to pair flavours that will cut through each other, bringing balance in a unique way. Take our Dry Apple Cider for example. The blend of traditional bittersharp and bittersweet varietals such as Northern Spy and Bramley, co-fermented with Gala and Ambrosia apples creates an intensely dry and crisp flavour. This dryness could be contrasted by using an opposingly rich ingredient such as a creamy cheddar cheese. In fact, one of our favourite contrasting combinations to cook up is a hard-apple cider mac and cheese!

Now that you’re an expert on the techniques of food pairings, one final thing to note when it comes to incorporating your favourite cider is the presence of tannins. Tannin is a natural preservative found in the seeds and skins of a variety of fruits including apples. The tricky part about tannins is that they have the ability to unintentionally emphasize the spiciness or acidity in a recipe. If you find that your paring is unbalanced in this way, simply boost the sweetness or richness of your recipe to compensate.

So next time you’re at home with a perfectly crafted can of Shuswap Cider, make sure you’re pairing it with an equally delicious meal. You might just find a unique tasting sensation like you’ve never had before!

Shuswap Women Who Wine

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Shuswap Women Who Wine

Kailee, Lindsay and Gena have volunteered many hours since 2018 to help bring this group to life.  Women supporting women through business networking and giving back to community groups is their passion! Together the Women Who Wine Society has raised over $100,000 for charities and projects in the community.

We LOVE Local!

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SPCA Shuswap Branch

All of our empties at the cidery are donated to the SPCA to to help raise funds for supplies to help the animals.  We hold Pet Photos with Santa events and cookie donations with proceeds going to the SPCA. $500 was also donated to flood stricken areas of BC for animals in need in November 2021. We love animals at Shuswap Cider Company!

 

Kailee, Gena and Lindsay.

Community is very important to us!

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U Grow Girl

Shuswap Cider Company has partnered with U Grow Girl to help them with their mission to raise one million dollars to help women who are survivors of child sexual abuse heal.  One dollar of every litre of Shuswap Cider Company’s Haskap Craft Cider sold will go to support this project. On June 30, 2022 a cheque for $2,700 was presented to U Grow Girl from the cidery!