A couple of weeks ago owners Janet and Rick and the staff at Merridale Cidery hosted a special event for folks in the tourism industry to come and see what Merridale is all about. Never having done the full tour at Merridale, even though we’re practically neighbours and many of our guests have visited the cidery, we just had to go!
In spite of the pouring rain at times, it was a fun and informative event. The tour had been set up as a bit of a scavenger hunt as you had to pay attention to complete the questions about the cidery on the little map you received at the start, as the winning team members were going to go home with a free bottle of tradional cider!
Rick gave us the tour of the Brandy House. Merridale is one of very few craft distilleries in BC, which means that they both ferment and distill the fruit on the premises, and they have been working at this new passion since 2005. Their pear brandy recently won a Best of Class and a gold medal at the American Distilling Association competition, while their cider brandy won a silver medal. Pretty impressive results!
We had a cider tasting at the cider bar, while Janet told us about their orchard, their bees and gave us a tour of the cellar. Thankfully all of it was pretty much under cover as it was raining pretty hard by then! Great snacks and hors d’oeuvres were circulated to balance out all the liquid tasting we were doing!
We’d like to thank Janet, Rick and their staff for hosting us! And yeah, red team for the win!
(We’re also working with Merridale Cidery on a package that is now available until the end of June. Check out our “Specials & Packages” page for all the details on the “Taste of Cowichan Cider” package!)