Hit the road to discover Nova Scotian cider
Nova Scotia has quickly become a hotbed for new and exciting cider producers. Now, more than ever, cideries are opening their doors to the public and offering unique tasting experiences. You can visit many local cideries, taste their wares, and witness first hand how they make the fermented treat. It’s a blossoming opportunity for local cider lovers.
Visiting a cidery connects the finished cider to the land of its origin. The French refer to this concept. Terroir – the environmental elements that make each product unique: the apples, the orchard, the soil and the weather.
There are also human influences that make each cider unique; like the method of fermentation, ageing process, blending, additional flavourings, and the varieties of apples in the base cider.
Beyond the pursuit of cider knowledge and understanding the nuance of terroir, there’s the practical to consider. Visiting producers allows you to stock up on unique products that aren’t commonly available at your local NSLC – great for those looking to upgrade their cider cellar for summer.
With so many local cideries to visit, we put together a handy guide to a summer cider road trip that meanders from Halifax to the Annapolis Valley.
Chain Yard Urban Cidery
2606 Agricola Street, Halifax
Starting in Halifax, on the corner of North and Agricola, you’ll find Chain Yard Urban Cidery. Their bright, lively taproom serves flights (theirs is a cute tree-like sampler offering four different ciders), and you can grab a bite at Unchained Kitchen before hitting the road.
What to expect: Cans, growlers, swag, pints, flights, food, patio
Monday-Wednesday 11:30-11:00 PM
The Gahan House
1869 Upper Water Street, Halifax
Next, pop down towards the harbour and visit the Gahan House. They have an excellent patio where you can sit and enjoy their Harbour Valley Cider. It’s a rare pint for those looking to try all that NS has to offer on the cider front.
What to expect: Growlers, samples, pints, food, patio
Monday-Thursday 11:00-11:00 PM
Sunday 11:00-10:00 PM
Lake City Cider
5 Portland Street, Dartmouth
From there head east over the MacDonald Bridge and continue towards Portland Street. Lake City Cider is the newest addition to the HRM cider collective offering a variety of ciders ranging from semi-dry to dry.
What to expect: Growlers, bottles, flights, swag
Monday-Saturday 10:00-8:00 PM
Sunday 12:00-5:00 PM
Highway 101 is 310 km long, runs from Bedford to Yarmouth and is known as the Harvest Highway. It runs down the Annapolis Valley – Nova Scotia’s agricultural hub and epicentre for apple production and where the majority of local cider producers source their apple juice.
Meander River Farm & Brewery
906 Woodville Road, Ashdale
Travelling northwest on the Harvest Highway, take Exit 4 outside Windsor then turn right toward Meander River Farm & Brewery. They make a variety of organic beers and have recently expanded into making quality cider. They’re only open Friday to Sunday, so plan accordingly.
What to expect: Views, farm, samples, growlers, bottles, swag
Friday 4:00-6:00 PM
Saturday-Sunday 11:00-5:00 PM
310 Slayter Road, Wolfville
Continue west on Highway 101 until Exit 10 and take this opportunity to explore the shire-like views of the Gaspereau Valley. Make sure to stop in at L’Acadie Vineyards. Known for making fine sparkling wines, L’Acadie also makes traditional method cider. The Duncanson Brook Sparkling Cider uses 100% organic apples, is bone dry and has intense carbonation.
What to expect: Views, samples, bottles, tours
Open daily 11:00-5:00 PM
Next, head north on Greenfield Road towards the postcard town of Wolfville. Here you’ll find plenty of options for all things food and cider.
Annapolis Cider Company
906 Woodville Road, Ashdale
Annapolis Cider Company specializes in offering energetic tours and tasty flights. Their Something Different cider is a rotational product; so if you like it, grab some to go while supplies last.
What to expect: Flights, growlers, tours, swag, bottles
Open Daily 10:00-7:00 PM
Elderkin’s Farm Market
10362 Nova Scotia Trunk 1, Wolfville
A few kilometres down the road you’ll find Elderkin’s Farm, a relative newcomer to the commercial cider game. Using fruit from their orchard, Elderkins blends a large variety of apples to make their staple drink.
What to expect: Growlers, bottles, orchard, market, U-pick
Monday-Saturday 8:00 AM-9:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM-9:00 PM
Noggin’s Farm Market
10009 Hwy #1, Greenwich
Just a stone’s throw from Elderkins is Noggins Corner where they make Noggins Cider. They, like many farmers in the area, have been in the apple business for generations. They have quite the selection of apples, a quality mix of heritage varieties great for making quality cider.
What to expect: Growlers, bottles, market, orchards, corn maze
Open Daily 8:00-8:00 PM
Bad Apple Brewhouse
515 Parker Condon Road, Berwick
Jumping back on the 101, take Exit 15 at Berwick and Somerset. Bad Apple Brewhouse, like Meander River, is more known for its beer, however being so close to the Apple Capital and with a name like that, it’s only natural that they started producing cider.
What to expect: Growlers, cans, swag
Open Daily 1-6
Boar’s Back Cider
2 Croker Road, Kingston
Last but not least is Boar’s Back Cidery, a gem of a cidery in the thick of the Valley. Located just outside of Aylesford, Boar’s Back offers a traditional cider experience. It’s a little off the beaten trail but worth the journey.
What to expect: Samples, bottles, growlers, oak barrels
Open Daily – call ahead
It’s time to start the long journey home with your trunk stocked full of cider for sipping and sharing all summer long. Happy cider hunting!
Note: This is a tentative route; some locations may be available by appointment only or have irregular hours. Also, if you are planning to taste ciders along the way, bring along a designated driver.