Since our last Beer of the Week, we’ve seen a major change occur: it’s officially Spring! And while the weather may leave a little something to be desired right now, namely the sun, we thought it would be appropriate to change things up a little ourselves, this week.
As the weather gets warmer and we lose a few extra layers of clothes each week, the yearning for light, bright, easy-drinking beverages heightens. As much as I was lamenting the transition most breweries will be moving towards—away from heavy stouts and porters—I’m still excited to see what fresh new ideas they have lined up for us. In anticipation, I’ve decided to feature one of my favourite summer beverages: cider!
Cider sometimes gets a bad rap. For many, their introduction to the world of alcoholic beverages was a 2L bottle of a mass-produced, overly sugary, soda-like version of the drink that has been enjoyed by the Brits, since before the Roman invaded in 55 BCE. It’s no wonder then, that cider is often brushed aside as adolescent and uncouth. But there is much more to cider than what you’ll find at high school house parties and there are many cideries out there who are showcasing cider for what it can truly be. Case and point, the Naramata Cider Company and their Dry Pear Cider.
Eponymously named for the city in which they reside, Naramata is the sister label of Elephant Island Winery. Embracing their town’s Cittaslow philosophy, the cidery produces lovely beverages made 100% from local ingredients, which each showcase the hard-working communal aspect of Naramata living. Front and centre are their apple and pear, dry ciders. I decided to focus on the Dry Pear, as I believe perrys are often overlooked for being too sweet. Perrys, for those who don’t know, are simply pear-based ciders.
My preference, when it comes to ciders, is bone dry. Like, picked-clean-by-buzzard-one-month-in-the-scorching-sun-of-the-Kalahari, dry. This is especially true of perrys, since I find that those that have even a hint of sweetness, taste like Del Monte fruit-cup syrup. Naramata’s take on a perry hits a huge home-run in this capacity. Dry and effervescent, Dry Pear offers a real tongue-tickling experience, in both 750mL bottles and convenient, 355mL 4-packs,. Straw coloured with a bubbly, prominent head, it makes one wonder if champagne yeast was used in its production. I often struggle to explain how pears taste; they are cool and refreshing, but I find their distinctiveness mostly stems from their texture. This is something that can’t be replicated in a perry. Despite this, Dry Pear definitely has a pear-forward flavour, as its tanginess recalls young, unripe D’Anjous. Not surprising considering that Naramata made this perry with 100% pears. Just pears. Drinking this now, I cannot wait to toss a couple of pork chops on the grill, or pair this with some nice, Southwest inspired, tempeh kabobs.
À Votre Santé!