Three years ago, Justin and Cynthia made their first keg of cider for a pop-up bar at The Mount Albert Street Food Station. The crowds absolutely loved it and so Bohemian Cider was born. Since then, it’s been a steady progression from selling at Farmers’ Markets to supplying kegs of fresh unpasteurised cider to local outlets, like Tahi Bar and the Leigh Sawmill Café.
The next exciting phase for Bohemian Cider is about to kick off with the opening of a new production facility just out of Warkworth. “The new Cidery will allow us to expand our small pack production so we can supply bottles to local outlets and in the city,” says Justin. “We are also hoping to open a Tasting Room and Cider Fillery at the site.” Cynthia is excited about the new location of the Cidery. “We feel lucky to have found our dream spot for the Cidery - it is surrounded by beautiful native bush with waterfalls and glow-worms. We were amazed when we found out that the new Cidery was built on the site of what was once New Zealand’s largest apple orchard. The apples were sent to Auckland via boat on the Mahurangi River. That’s some great history for us to be associated with.”
So what about the cider? “We do wild fermentations with Organic Apples including the skins and pulp – like a good red wine. This gives our cider way more flavour than a conventional fermentation,” cider maker Justin says. Their natural cider making philosophy continues with no filtration or added sulphites. “Our Original Cyn apple cider is often praised by cider drinkers from the West Country in the U.K. – the home of cider!”
Bohemian also has a focus on innovative cider flavours. “The great thing about cider is how well it combines with so many different flavours. The sky’s the limit on what you can use. Look at our Tamarillo Cider with Amarillo Beer hops. People are initially curious about this cider but are blown away once they try it. It’s actually converted a few beer drinkers to cider,” says Justin.
Some of Bohemian Ciders' other flavours include the trophy winning ‘Twig and Berries’, an Oak aged ‘Blackcurrant Cider’, ‘The Acid Drop’ which is infused with locally sourced lemons and limes and the ‘Oatmeal Cookie’ which is a delicious combination of golden oats and cinnamon. Once the production facility is up and running there are plans for more seasonal cider releases, a cider made from unique local heirloom apple varieties and a champagne style bottle fermented cider.
Look out for Bohemian Cider in local liquor outlets, at the Matakana Farmers’ Market and at selected bars and restaurants.