We sat down with Ben Day, owner of The Brunswick St Cider House, to find out a bit more about the cideries he has hand-selected to appear at River Graze this year. Ben knows his stuff, as he's been instrumental in developing the cider industry in Australia since the early 2000’s. Years before the word “craft” made it into the mainstream, he was one of the visionaries that first introduced artisan beers and ciders into venues in Australia.
All cider makers showcased at this year’s Cider Orchard are local, independently-owned, artisan producers from across Australia. Some of Australia’s oldest & finest fruit growing regions will be on display including The Huon Valley, Yarra Valley, Harcourt, and Mornington Peninsula.
Most are brands you will have heard before – and for good reason. Kelly Brothers, Willie Smiths, Franks Cider, Flying Brick Cider and St Ronans Cider are at the forefront of cider making and production in Australia. They are the biggest brands in the market today and are also recognised for their development of old and new world cider products that continue to claim top honours at The Australian Cider Awards.
That’s because most of these cideries are actually 3rd and 4th generation apple and pear growers who really understand the raw product. They have been producing cider in the family since the ‘60s, and have a passion, knowledge and quality of product that is world-class. They’re also independently owned which means that the person that owns the company, makes the cider. The fruit is taken straight from the farm to bottle with no added concentrates or other undesirables that can compromise the end product. The ethos is simple, if the fruit isn't good enough the cider doesn't get made, quality always comes first.
Make sure you get down to Southgate Cider Orchard, support some great Australian-owned cideries, and try some beautiful matched tasting plates from Southgate restaurants Bluetrain, ENA Greek St Food, Hophaus Bier Bar Grill, La Camera, PJ O'Briens.
Cideries on show: