Jenifer Dean and Grant Howes, County Cider Company
As a lover of Snakebites (quite possibly the world’s tastiest beverage of half cider and half beer), I was absolutely shocked to learn that it is illegal for our local cider and local beer to ride in the same delivery truck, en route to eager customers in Ontario. Talk about yet another barrier to local food distribution!
So kudos to Grant Howes, Jenifer Dean and the rest of the gang at the County Cider Company for landing one of the four distribution companies in Ontario who ARE allowed to legally distribute cider: “Premier Brands”.
With County Cider’s draft cider sales up last year by 118%, the current delivery person was maxed out at two fourteen-hour delivery days per week. Not only will the new relationship with Premier Brands allow the existing customers to be serviced, now the experienced sales reps at Premier will build new markets both with licensees and within the LCBO locations across Ontario. Also licensed to distribute nationally, Premier could very well be the conduit to the County Cider Company becoming a national brand.
Prior to establishing this new distribution link, Grant and Jenifer expanded their business capacity last year by occupying a space in Picton’s Industrial Park and installing a refurbished bottling line that will effectively increase their bottling capability by five times. The facility is equipped to bottle not only cider, but beer and sparkling wine as well; co-packing is a distinct in the near future as an additional revenue stream for these savvy entrepreneurs and opportunity for other small-scale producers.
With more and more Ontarians discovering hard cider all the time, not to mention the “old faithful” supporters like Toronto’s Rebel House and C’est What, it stands to reason that the doc’s orders to have an apple a day just got easier!
If you would like to invest in gastronomy in Prince Edward County, please contact me at 613.476.2148 x344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
When I think of my favorite places to drink County Cider Co.’s. hard cider, the first place to come to mind is Currah’s Lounge in Picton. But it hasn’t always been this way. Oh no- ‘The Lounge’ doesn`t jump out and scream “drink here”, but waits for you to find it – and that’s a big part of its charm. It is easily one of The County’s greatest secrets . I’m not just saying this because Chris Currah is a huge fan of the BELCH and one of SuperCider Me’s earliest sponsors.
I especially love that ‘The Lounge’ is just an apples roll away from the home tree. Tuesday night is industry night – the perfect time and place to find cider, a chill environment, great staff (Nicole Williams) and good friends (the $3.00 pints of cider in the winter don`t hurt either).
Proprieter Chris Currah has been a trailblazer on the County restaurant scene, first opening Currah’s Cafe 13 years ago. Next came ‘The Lounge’, and then a catering company. There is not an major food event around here that Chris, Lyndon, Jeff, Adam and Dave are not somehow a part of. We have them to thank for the annual Harvestin’ dinner, which just last week served 700 people a completely locally-sourced meal on the beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
And so it is with a full liver that I raise a glass of cider to visionaries like Chris Currah. They laid the groundwork, allowing Chesterfields Homegrown Cafe and many before, and after us, to thrive.
This week’s cider party was at Honey Pie Hives and Herbals where we proved the saying “If you build a strawbale house, they will come and drink cider”. Gavin North and Bay Woodyard have built a true marvel of straw-eneering with four years of blood and sweat. If this is the kind of attention to detail they put into building a house, you can only imagine the calibre of product HoneyPie Hives and Herbals offers its many loyal customers. Thanks for hosting the cider posse, Bay and Gavin.
There was cider. Well, I assume there was cider. We know there were apples.
I, Graham Sayers, resident of Picton, Ontario am 76 days into my quest to drink The County Cider Co. Cider every day for the next year. A strict “cider only” diet that consists of but is not limited to at least one cider a day. (I also eat food). When asked why, my answer is simple; because it’s there and it’s delicious! So far I’ve found a cure for heartburn, been featured in the local paper and on a popular radio morning show (twice!) and found myself talked about in blogs as far away as the UK.
I am being funded by forward thinking County businesses and individuals who believe in the dream and have become cider sponsors. I have a lovable Cider Posse who keeps me focused and picks me up when I’m down (literally).
This blog will serve to document our adventures with cider, chronicle my life as a family man and restaurateur making a life in Prince Edward County, and highlight the many wonderful people and businesses doing the same in this creative community that has given me so much in such a short time. I’ll gradually get caught up with the summer’s shenanigans, but this series of videos will give you the basics.