Twin Island Cider

Twin Island Cider is based on Pender Island, and is keenly focused on showcasing the bounty and the history of their region. Pender Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands are rich with apple and pear orchards, planted more than a century ago by homesteading settlers from Japan, Europe, Hawaii, and other far-flung parts of the globe. Most of these fruits are now-obscure varieties, planted for a range of purposes including cooking, eating, juicing, cidermaking, and exporting to the mainland. Matt and Katie of Twin Island Cider seek out, care for, and harvest these orchards, ensuring that the fruit of their tall and sprawling trees still finds its expression over a hundred years later.

Their ciders are made using traditional practices. This begins just after harvest, when apples are allowed to “sweat,”  a term for allowing the apples to sit and slightly dehydrate in the warm fall air, a practice that lowers cider yield but increases sugars and intensifies flavours. Many cider batches are macerated post-milling, an oxidative process that adds rich colour and increases the diversity of wild yeasts present. Slow natural fermentations last through the cooler winter months, and preserve a depth of flavour and aroma that showcases the richness of the island terroir. Further capturing what the Island has to offer, Katie has been harvesting local clay and producing usable amphorae as a natural vessel for the fermentations.

Twin Island Cider is a form of reaching back through time, honouring and showcasing history, and carrying on a tradition of environmental stewardship that might otherwise be lost. Their ciders speak of place, as rich and vivid as the best kind of storytelling. Their work literally and figuratively keeps a piece of Pender Island alive.

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