Cider provider: Newfoundland company celebrates launch of first drinks

A new beverage company taps abandoned apple trees for cider production.

N.L. cider market growing, says partner in Milton operation

Marc Poirier, speaking to CBC's On the Go on Friday, says he thinks the Newfoundland and Labrador cider market is growing. (Daniel MacEachern/CBC)

For Marc Poirier, one of the founders of the Newfoundland Cider Company, the apple trees around Milton, N.L., were an untapped treasure — until now.

"In the Milton area, it's amazing," Poirier told CBC's On the Go on Friday.

"I know of at least 40 trees that are abandoned or neglected in the Milton area. Must have been people who lived there 50, 60, 100 years ago, planted these trees, and the forest has actually taken over, so you can walk through the woods in Milton and there's apple trees all over the place. It's quite amazing."

The Newfoundland Cider Company is celebrating the release of its first products. There's the Old Tilt, which Poirier says is a more basic cider, barrel-aged for three months.

Newfoundland apples

But the Forager is different, said Poirier — it's made from Newfoundland apples, hand-picked and hand-pressed, aged two years in bourbon barrels.

"There's no cider like that one. That one's pretty special."

The company — Poirer's partner is Chris Adams — held an official launch party in St. John's on Friday night, but the products are already in stores. Poirier says he hopes cider lovers will enjoy one or the other — or maybe both.

"The Old Tilt, we're trying to appeal to the broader scope, so people who like a sweet cider probably appreciate that one. But the Forager … that one's a little dryer, and not nearly as sweet. You'll really taste the bourbon and whisky in that one."

Poirier says he thinks the Newfoundland cider market is growing.

"It's increased over the past five years, for sure. And what we're noticing, especially in our sales this weekend, is that it's going really fast, and there's a lot of comments on Instagram about what we've put in the stores. Some stores are sold out already."