All about cider

Why cider?

My natural curiosity led me to start home brewing over 30 years ago – there were some ok batches, some not so bad batches, and some good brews too like that Stout in Robert’s Creek. This then led into home wine making, fermentation and then into cider making.

I grew up in Apple Country Canada (Southwest Ontario) where we always had home grown apples to pick. Later with trips to Oxford, England and the UK I got introduced to and hooked on cider. Now, as a real university trained chemist/ biologist I put my skills together with a love for apples and cider and now make some pretty good and very original cider.

The hobby quickly became a passion. Then people began asking can I buy this? Do you sell this? As a result I found myself constantly running out of cider. So I thought, lets do this on a bigger scale.

Now, the goal is to create a Cider House here in Dresden, where we make high quality, hand-crafted hard apple cider from local organic apples and supplies all the way down the line! A cider we can be proud of to call our own. I want to support my community and the people here, because in the end they will be the ones to support me by drinking my cider/ their cider.

But I don’t just want to make cider. I want to take the best of the old traditional methods such as hand-pressing, malolactic fermentation, bottle conditioning and combine it with the best of modern technology such as German Krupp stainless steel and glycol jacketed temperature controlled tanks, from the likes of Speidel, to create truly great ciders. I also want to create ciders for the local people with local ingredients, local tastes, local flair and with a decidedly German twist, hence “Quitten – Cider” and “Ciderweizen“.

This passion has now become a profession. I have taken courses through University of Oregon and at the Cider and Perry Academy in the UK, under the instruction of Peter Mitchel to become an even better Chief Cider Maker. So now the goal is to make this dream become a reality and open Dresden first family run artisanal Cider House.

We will start small, quality will always be our number one goal, but we will grow. We will begin by producing six varieties, and then adding other varieties and versions through our Artisanal series taste trials till we have a cider for everyone’s taste. I hope when all is said and done that we will have a mobile cider wagon to bring our ciders to you at all the local fairs and festivities that Dresden and Saxony has on offer. As well as being able to open the doors of our Cider House/ Cider Fabrik for tours and tasting and then in the future complementing our Cider House with a small bistro and Cider Garden where you can enjoy our ciders both inside in a unique setting as well as outside.

What is cider?

Cider is a fermented beverage produced from apples, and/or apples with pears. It has been around for centuries in countries across the world. It is generally seen as an alternative to beer and wine. With its alcoholic content ranging from 2.5 – 8.5% but occasionally it is found with higher and lower ABV’s.

apples in baskets

Cider can be still (perlant), slightly sparkling (pétillant), or fully sparkling like a Champagne. It can also be sweet, medium, dry, clear or cloudy, and it can be made from a blend of apples of a single variety or by combining apples with other fruits. It can be flavoured, hopped-up, aged in oak, fortified or even distilled into spirits. But, one thing that it has in difference to beer is that it is Gluten free and apple-based. And “real cider” should be apple-based not sugar or water-based – look for this on the label.

bottles & fruit on table_5:3

At Sachsen Cider we define our ciders as being produced from a blend of 100% organic local apples, pears and other fruits or fruit juices. We don’t add any water, or artificial flavours or colours to our ciders. Our carbonation is produced naturally by the yeasts through a process of bottle conditioning like the traditional methods used to produce Champagne in Normandy, not by injecting it with CO2. Our ciders are unfiltered, and combine the best of the old traditional methods in their production with modern technology to put only the best into the bottle. They are created as original recipes in small batches and are aged anywhere from 6 months to a year or more. We are confident that you will taste this difference in our ciders.