So it’s a sight for sore eyes to see some traditional cider-making in British Columbia. And to steal their tagline, it did hit me “From Outta Nowhere.” Left Field Cider Co. is the product of the combined efforts of two sisters, Kate and Theresa, from Mamette Lake, BC (Where’s that, you may ask… it’s over there, in the middle of nowhere. But in the middle of some of the most beautiful middle of nowhere in the world, and quite conveniently between Vancouver and the Okanagan valley).
Left Field’s current availability is a duo of small batch ciders, Little Dry and Big Dry, produced from a blend of English and French cider apples and local BC apples.
I’m a cider fiend, craving everything from the orchard scrumpies of the UK and the Magners of Ireland (Where are there orchards in Ireland, anyway???) to the more cosmopolitan and world-stage ready ciders of FInland (yes, Golden Cap take a bow …oh, I forgot, you’re Finnish, never mind), and everything in between. But I digress… Anyway, very excited to see what this new Canadian cider is all about, so let’s get to the sipping.
Little Dry is the sweeter – or let’s be frank, less dry – of the pair. We’re worlds away from the sickly sweetness of Growers 2-liters, and in a whole different league of premium ciders. On opening, the artisanal nature of the cider says hello with a faint and pelasant touch of yeast on the nose that doesn’t linger. The apples take over – the real thing, mind you, not lab-made essences or extracts. It’s just honest juiciness that’s quite simply delicious.
The Big Dry is the big boy here, the drier and bolder cider. But don’t be timid, it’s all in the crispness of the apples. Big brother is actually a hair less alcoholic, and I think it’s important to point out that these ciders are both nicely balanced. There’s no heat from the alcohol despite clocking in at a couple notches above 6%. The sweetness that is more held back with Big Dry lets the rustic, barnyard-y notes through, giving it a very old world, old school feel rare in ciders these days.
To borrow a quote from Lock, Stock cinema, maybe its “Little Dry for show, Big Dry for a pro” But it’s not that serious at all. There’s a great continuity between big and little brother, and I wouldn’t hesitate picking up either in the countless stores this stuff is popping up in, in British Columbia. These are fantastic ciders, so refreshing when served ice cold but giving you more of that orchard on warming up a bit.
So keep these away from ice and, citrus wedged and straws, and get back to traditional cider, honest and oh so good. Great stuff, Left Field!
If you’re a cider fiend like me, head on over to cidermonger.com for more on cider.