wpid-img_20150118_154541.jpgI prefer a tart cider in the traditional U.K. style. Overly sweet varieties are hard to drink more than one pint of, and I swear I can feel the sugars rotting my teeth. I prefer draught cider from a pub, and please, no ice. I was very happy to discover Brickworks Ciderhouse‘s Batch: 1904 last summer and it’s one I’ll frequently order in a pub if I find it on draft. It’s also Toronto’s first commercial cidery. We split a can between 2 balloon glasses.

Batch: 1904 refers to the Great Toronto Fire of 1904 that destroyed 104 downtown buildings. In the rebuilding process, many of Toronto’s characteristic red bricks were baked in the kilns at the Don Valley Brick Works. Nowadays, bricks no longer come from the Don Valley Brick Works, but it is a great place to stop for a pint if you’re hiking the trails of Crother’s Woods or Moore Park Ravine. 5% of the profits are donated to charities investing in green initiatives. The apples used in the production of Batch: 1904 travel no more than 300 km from orchard to cidery, coming from the Georgian Bay and the Niagara Peninsula. A can will only set you back $3.10 for 4.7% ABV in a 473 ml can at better LCBOs around the city. And why shouldn’t we have more cider in Ontario? The rich farmland in southern Ontario produces some find quality apples, and it’s a wonderful gluten-free alternative for our celiac friends.

Appearance: Pale straw yellow with no head. Lightly carbonated. Served straight, no ice.

Aroma: Light tart apple scent. Pretty straightforward – smells like apples, duh.

Taste: Dry and crisp mouth feel, very tart, like biting into a fresh apple while apple picking. Very thirst quenching, especially if you’ve been hiking.

Aftertaste: Surprisingly sweet aftertaste, considering how tart the mouth feel was.

Overall: Cider is not typically my drink of choice, but I’ll take this over a Sommersby (gross) any day. I can only have one or two before my interest in cider fades, but it’s a nice break. I like to finish a night out with one final pint of cider that I can nurse slowly. I’ll continue to seek this one out on draught but the cans are a good option too.


Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around. A dedicated Booze Hound, Shawna completed the Wine Specialist Certificate at George Brown College in 2018.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com