We poured recently at the BC Cider Festival in North Vancouver – a great event with over 2000 enthusiastic cider lovers all looking to try the bounty of BC’s orchards. Many of the participating cideries are members of the BC Farm Crafted Cider Association (BCFCCA). This organization has been running for only a few years and is led by a volunteer board, all who give considerable amounts of their time in addition to running their own businesses. To be eligible for membership a cidery has to own and invest in their own orchard, make a full juice cider (did you know that in BC in order to call your beverage a cider it only has to contain 5% apple juice???) and employ traditional methods in their cider making processes. There are currently 22 members ranging geographically from the Sunshine Coast to the Okanagan and the Gulf Islands. We all share the core values but in addition there is strong feeling of family ownership, pride and passion for their business and collaboration with other cideries common to all our members – they are a great bunch of people to spend time with and are unstintingly generous in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm. Meetings are fuelled by a constant flow of cider as we all try each other’s latest offerings!
The BCFCCA works hard to educate the public about what is a traditional cider and what goes into producing it. I think those of you who have ever tried our Elderflower cider next to the commercial equivalent will instinctively know the difference. So many folks who come to our cidery have never tried a traditional cider before and are suprised by how dry and refreshing it can be. Recently the board have launched a project to make cider tasting even more fun. They are working on a “Cider Way”. This will be a downloadable app with individual segments that focus on a specific region. Say you are on Vancouver Island and looking to taste some great cider, the app will not only bring up information on all the local cideries but it will also include fun activities, hikes, beaches, local lunch spots and great cafe’s to visit along the way. The format will be presented as a weekend road trip that can either fill a fun-packed long weekend or be cherry-picked for a special day out. We’re super excited to see what they come up with for our region and will be sure to share the app with you when its ready to launch.
If you’d like to learn more about the BC Farmcrafted Cider Association, here is the link to their webpage. We’re proud to be a member!