Monday, 15 July 2013

Meet the Maker

Drew Henry - Henry of Harcourt (VIC)

1. What got you into making cider?

Bought an old orchard 20 years ago and wisely decided not to plant wine grapes. Saw most of our fruit graded out and sent to juice makers and decided to have a go at value adding.

2. How long have you been making cider for?

Almost 15 years since we made our first batch, opened our cellar door in April 2003.

3. Can you give a brief run down of your ciders?

All made from fruit that we grow ourselves with a small amount purchased from some neighbours in Harcourt. The emphasis is now shifting from being dominated by culinary apples to cider varieties. All are slow fermented to dryness and then bottle conditioned.

4. What is it you like most about making cider?

Growing the different varieties of cider apples (now 43), making the individual varietal ciders and learning how to blend them to best effect. Making a quality product that people appreciate rather than a bulk alcopop product.

5. What has been your most memorable ‘cider’ moment

When a young lady in our cellar door, on trying our Kingston Black for the first time, said "Wow, this is really a cider for grown-ups".

6. What is the most common question you are always asked about cider?

"Do you have Sweet, Dry or Draught?" or "What flavours do you make? Drives me nuts.

7. What are you views on the current state of cider in Australia?

Mostly "Alcopops"

8. What makes cider so popular to consumers?

Cheaper than Alcopops

9. What are your reasons for the sudden surge in cider popularity?

Dominance of the big brewers and their advertising dollars chasing their share of the Alcopop market.

10. Where do you see the Australian cider industry in five years time?

Assuming that the industry is not taxed out of existence, a lot of the opportunistic producers will have moved on, the big brewers will remain as they are and the quality producers will maintain their niche market place.

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