You know that guy you meet who constantly uses his fingers to make inverted commas. He’s annoying, right? Well…if you met me I would annoy the hell out of you. You see, I do that all the time. I do it when I talk about the mass-produced “cider” that some commercial producers make, bottle and sell. Some may call it “cider” but, in fact, often it isn’t cider at all. Not really. It’s actually made from a fermented apple concentrate. That means concentrated alcohol – sometimes 12 – 13 %. And, yes, if you’re thinking the only way to water that down is to…water it down… you’re right. So they do. Which means less alcohol. Cool. But also less flavour. Not so cool.
But enough about that. Let’s look for the silver lining. Luckily, we make genuine cider.And what makes our cider a genuine cider? Well, ingredients for a start. We use the real deal. Elgin apples. Up to five different types to be exact. We even make a pear version and, yes, those are as good. For us fruit is key – it’s the backbone of our product. The quality of the raw ingredients also means that, at Everson’s, we don’t really need to add much else.
Ingredients are one thing though. You need someone to actually do something with them. We’re lucky to have a secret weapon. William Everson. Having built up a bit of cult following as a garagiste winemaker in Elgin, he realized that the same factors that come into play when creating a beautiful bottle of wine can be adapted to create a perfect cider. Things like terroir. Things like soil condition. Things like the fermentation processes. Things like climate.
So he set out to make a cider.
Starting with those Elgin apples (or pears), our process involves crushing the fruit and fermenting the juicein tanks, along with a premium cider yeast. From there the juice is aged in oak, racked and filtered. The final step is a hit of CO2 to make it a sparkling cider.
What you’re left with in the bottle is the good stuff. Genuine, proper, real cider.
This is a drink with actual flavour profiles and subtleties. This isn’t a cider that you drink when the bar runs out of beer. It’s something to be appreciated. And while we might not spend loads of cash on advertising or promotions, we hope the proof is inside the bottle. Crack one open and find something that has been crafted the old fashioned way.
With care. And love. It’s honest and it’s real. It’s delicious.
Interview: Eversons Cider
MA: Would you mind giving us a quick introduction to Eversons Cider, tell us where in SA are you from and how the brewery got started?
It’s not a brewery, it’s a Cidery! I started the business in 2009 with my wife and another business partner. We are based in Grabouw, Elgin, capitol of craft cider, a big production area for apples and pears. I studied winemaking many years ago and use my winemaking techniques to create the ciders
MA: How many years has Eversons Cider been around for?
8 /9 years
MA: What are the ranges of cider that you offer at your brewery?
We have Apple, Perry, Cloudy, Mulled and Pomegranate cider on offer. The apple & perry is the original ciders, the cloudy a blend of Apple Cider & fresh unfermented cloudy apple juice, the Mulled our winter seasonal cider and the Pomegranate a blend of Apple & fresh concentrated pomegranate juice.
MA: What have been some of the major challenges for your brewery over the years?
Educating the consumer that our ciders are made from fermenting fresh Apple & pear juice and that we do not use apple syrup concentrates like commercial brands.
MA: Micro-Breweries and locally made beer is fast becoming in demand and highly attractive. How have you seen the change in mind-set of our local beer drinking South Africans over the past few years?
We saw the growth in craft beers and with that the interest in other products like craft ciders slowly took off.
MA: You will have a stand at the Stellenbosch Craft Beer Festival this year, are yoou excited for the festival?
We have been there from the beginning and always are excited being in Stellenbosch! Students love our Pomegranate cider where it was the first time released on draft tap a year ago at this very same festival
MA: Lets make a prediction… which of your ciders would be the best seller on the day?
MA: Thank you for your time.