It’s been nearly a year since Ashdale’s little gem, Meander River Farm, expanded its brewhouse to make room for more cider and you can raise a glass of its latest one-off release—a tasty 5.5% blueberry cider—to celebrate.
“With our expansion last year we were able to do more small lots with fresh ingredients from our farm or local ingredients,” says Meander River’s Campbell Bailey. “There was a great blueberry harvest in the province this year, despite some frost, and we were able to get berries from an Annapolis Valley farm.” Twenty pounds of blueberries went to work in this latest creation, a pale pink drink that Bailey calls dry and crisp and full of Nova Scotia-grown apples with “a little bit of that fleshy, inside of a warm berry on the palate.”
“We’re not re-inventing the wheel, but we’re adding things that make sense to us,” she adds, shouting out other experiments like a recent rose petal cider and coming soon lavender and honey infused Lavendula. They’ve also got some blackberries ready to go.
Bailey says the brewery is planning for a big year ahead, building barrel-ageing into its program and using its bronze medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards (for its experimental smoky chipotle porter) as inspiration to keep pushing boundaries.
“It’s been a crazy busy summer, it’s so nice to see how many people you get through the door in the summer,” she says. The farm will likely be just as busy with visitors straight through to Christmas. “It’s great to see that people still want that authentic experience.”