History of Crossmount Cider Company
The Crossmount Cider Company was incorporated in 2014. The first apple tree saplings were planted this same year and the cider press, washers and fermentation tanks were ordered. Our master cider maker, began their quest to produce a variety of excellent apple hard ciders which would appeal to the discerning tastes of Saskatchewanians and beyond. In 2015, the Crossmount Cider Company logo was finalized and the cider press, washers and fermentation tanks were installed. More apple trees were added to the orchards and, since our own trees were too young to produce fruit, we made the first trucking runs to the Okanagan to bring back apples ripe for pressing. By January of 2016 the first batch of juice was in the fermentation tanks and after approximately four months the cider was ready to be bottled.
Three varieties of Crossmount Cider Company’s signature blend were launched in spring of 2016. These were Flatlander Gold, Flatlander Dry and Flatlander Crisp. By summer, a fourth blend, called Citri-Hopped, was added and this was followed by a fifth blend, named Cider & Black, in early 2017.
On-site apple orchards will produce a variety of apples developed at the University of Saskatchewan. Included is a space dedicated to the growth of specialized apples for the production of ice cider, as well as a U-pick area which will be open to the public once the trees have reached maturity.
Our cider experts are constantly working on new and innovative blends, including seasonal varieties. All products are made from fresh apples pressed on site and handcrafted with the full line of production taking place in the on-site cidery.
Located on the southeast corner of the Crossmount property, our orchard is comprised of 1500 trees with apple varieties bred on the prairies.
Select cultivars include those developed at the University of Saskatchewan and the old prairie standard, ‘Norkent’. Our apple varieties possess a mixture of distinctive flavors common to traditional ciders and higher tannins that we use in our cider blends.
Future expansion of our orchard includes the addition of pears for perry production, apple varieties for ice cider production, and a U-Pick area with apple varieties descended from the popular ‘Honeycrisp’ apple.
How Cider is Made
The process of making cider is hands-on and physical – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
It begins with fresh Canadian apples that are sorted, washed and crushed. From there, high quality apple juice is collected from our traditional rack and cloth press.
The freshly pressed juice is transferred to our fermentation tanks where is it inoculated with selected yeast strains. Then the magic begins. We allow our cider to sit and ferment to dryness for approximately 2 to 3 weeks then it is transferred to our conditioning tanks to age for an additional 2 to 6 months.
Finally, our aged cider is blended and bottled into our 5 signature blends: Flatlander Dry, Flatlander Gold, Flatlander Crisp, Citri-Hopped and Cider & Black.
History of Cider
It began in Europe, particularly Spain, where cider apples were grown in cool and rainy regions where grapes could not thrive.
Here, local Europeans made cider instead of wine. A historical beverage, the Celts in Spain and France were among the first to produce cider, as documented by the Romans.
Today, cider is most popular among the British, who are known worldwide for their cider production. An ever-popular drink among Brits, their love of cider represents 50% of worldwide consumption. Here in North America, cider production dates back to colonial times and only now are we experiencing a revival of those days.