Cidery of the Year
Best New Cidery
Best New World Cider // Semi-Dry Apple
Best Specialty Cider // Cheeky Pash
Four first place finishes in five cider categories is quite an accomplishment—and it is even more impressive when you consider that Banditry Cider has only been open for one year! Clearly, they’ve got a good thing going in Gibsons.
Founded by Kim Scarrow and Jamie Armstrong, Banditry’s four-acre cider orchard includes 40 varietals of heritage fruit trees, including some rare perry pear trees, a large variety of semi-dwarf cider apple trees, plums, cherries, quince, and table apples. The property also has ducks and a pond with bridges and a tiny island—in other words, it’s a perfect outdoor sipping space.
Making the cider is Matt Cavers, an ex-brewer who has fallen hard for apples in recent years. His brewing background shows up a bit in hopped ciders like Bramble and Bine and Cheeky Pash, which won the Growlie for Best Specialty Cider. Cavers says he chased tropical fruit notes in IPAs for so long that adding passionfruit juice to cider just seemed right. Plus, he adds Strata hops for a couple of days of cold infusion to enhance those tropical flavours even more. (You might remember his name as a regular writer in these pages—check out his article “Wild Fermentation 101” elsewhere in these pages.)
The cidery’s name is inspired by the farm’s flock—or “banditry”—of chickadees, resident pest controllers that sing beautifully and add even more charm to this idyllic spot. —Joe Wiebe