Cider, in all its fruity freshness, is in hot demand across Nova Scotia.
And to meet that demand, the Mahone Bay Brewing Company, which already operates the Saltbox Brewery and King Street Beer Company, has announced it will be opening a cidery in Lunenburg.
George Anderson, the company’s CEO, said the most recent NSLC data confirmed a truth the company had learned months ago: people have gotten a taste for cider.
“For whatever the reason, Nova Scotians have discovered cider in a big way,” said Anderson during an interview with the South Shore Breaker.
“This year, we produced a limited amount of about 10,000 litres of cider and it sold out right away. That told us we should expand.”
As per the NSLC’s year-end data, cider and other ready-to-drink beverage sales were up 80.9 per cent this past year, making it a $7.8 million industry in the province.
Anderson said the new cidery is tentatively expected to produce some 100,000 litres of cider per year and will be located at the old ABCO site in town.
The establishment will also focus on specialty European beers, particularly of a German style, and cask ales.
At this time, said Anderson, the building is expected to open next spring although several details still need to be finalized.
“It’s going to be beautiful,” he said of the location, adding it would have a full patio deck with a view of Lunenburg’s historic waterfront, parking and a taproom.
The cidery will be built to reflect the town’s UNESCO designation and will resemble the Fisheries Museum in style.
Anderson explained that this latest development was a part of the Mahone Bay Brewing Company’s plans from the start.
“We wanted facilities in Lunenburg, Mahone Bay and Bridgewater,” he said.
But completing that vision hasn’t been without a few challenges.
“When we first decided to go to King Street, a lot of people tried to discourage us,” said Anderson.
However, the company decided to go ahead with the venture, encouraged by Bridgewater Town Council’s investment in the downtown core and a number of other opening business.
The King Street Brewing Company, located on the corner of King and Dufferin, opened in May and has enjoyed success thus far.
“We couldn’t ask for a better turnout,” said Anderson.
Overall, he added, the company is aiming to build something for visitors — as well as locals — by sharing the South Shore’s heritage and stories.
“It’s all about doing something for the people of the town,” said Anderson.