As a British expat, Nick Sutcliffe knows cider, and for years he wasn’t finding enough of it in Ontario. So he and his wife, Lindsay, took the plunge, quitting their lucrative downtown careers to move to Caledon, Ont., and start Pommies in 2011.
“Our philosophy with our flagship cider, Pommies, is simplicity,” says Sutcliffe. “We just want to make the cleanest cider going.” Crafted from a blend of five apples grown in nearby Collingwood and Meaford and a nearly imperceptible white wine yeast, the signature tipple is all about letting deep apple flavours shine.
Rather than serving the cider with ice (which waters down the all-juice offering), Sutcliffe advises cracking a can or opening a bottle when it’s ice-cold.
For their second cider, Pommies Farmhouse, they got creative, using a saison yeast, traditionally made for brewing Belgian-style beers. The result is a cider with rustic notes of hay, fresh soil and tart apples, whispers of citrus fruit and prickly carbonation. And while the cidery uses a brewer’s yeast, Sutcliffe is quick to mention that’s as far as their relationship with beer goes. “We can say we are 100-percent gluten-free, because the only thing that comes into our shop is apples,” he says. “We’re proud that making cider is the only thing we do. We know how to make cider. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”