Here’s a hard truth to swallow: not everyone enjoys craft beer. We know, we know. Craft beer has firmly established itself in the Cape but it’s not the be all and end all of the craft scene. That’s not to say craft beer isn’t awesome; it’s just that some people may want to drink something else. That’s where craft cider comes in. It’s slowly creeping up thanks to local businesses who have embraced the ‘cider revolution‘. Breaking all the misconceptions of cider, these Cape-based companies bring us authentic cider that is just as intricate in its making than any wine out there. Here are our faves:
Almost everything about Sxollie cider is inspired from Africa. The name plays on the South African slang word, the apples are sourced from Elgin and even the ‘x’ mosaic design on the bottles stems from pottery designs synonymous with southern Africa. For all its traditional elements, Sxollie is a cider for the modern urban age. An easy-drinking beverage, it’s made with Champagne yeasts to ensure an elegant flavour profile. Sxollie produces single varietal ciders so, essentially, you can enjoy your favourite apple in cider form.
2 Cluver & Jack
The collaboration of two great Elgin pioneers, Paul Cluver and Bruce Jack, Cluver & Jack cider pays homage to both family traditions. Bruce Jack’s great-grandfather was one of the first to plant cider apple trees in South Africa and the age-old Jack family methodology is used to produce their cider in the Paul Cluver winery. The drink is crisp and refreshing with a focus on natural fresh apple flavours. As a result, it’s a cider that pairs well with food. Take it on that family picnic, drink it with a great dinner, or simply open a bottle to enjoy at your leisure.
Born out of a desire to create genuine cider, Everson’s uses the best apples (and pears) to create their product. The result is an impressive range of ciders that taste as good as they look. Everson’s maintain their secret weapon is William Everson – the man who makes the magic happen. Having built his reputation as a garagiste winemaker, William soon realised that creating an incredible bottled wine can be adapted to create incredible cider. Everson’s has since branched out to a diverse range of ciders including pear, cloudy, pomegranate and brandy cask aged cider.
Windermere is a real family product: it’s made by Tamsin Mullins with apples sourced from her father-in-law’s farm, which is farmed by her husband. Brewed as a German-style cider or apfelwein, Windermere cider’s recipe contains no sugars, preservatives or additives, making it an all-around wholesome drink. Currently, Windermere has four cider products in its range and you’re sure to find one that suits you perfectly.