GABS Beer, Cider & Food Fest comes to New Zealand for the first time on Saturday and is bringing a bunch of Aussie craft ciders for the ride.
Craft cider has always been an important part of GABS, and this year New Zealand cidermakers are producing Festival ciders exclusively for the event. GABS orgainser Steve Jeffares says including local product is an important part of creating a New Zealand GABS event.
Every year, brewers make beers exclusively for the Fest, served on GABS’s famous tasting paddles. Australian cidermakers were also making GABS-specific ciders, and this year for the first time cider tasting paddles were available, with exclusive Festival Ciders.
“The response to the ciders at GABS is fantastic”, Steve says. “It had kind of been happening in the past years, so this year we had some of the really great Australian cider producers ask us if they could make a special cider and register it as an official Festival Cider.”
“One of the exciting things is that craft beer fans are trying these craft ciders as well, so they’re opening their eyes to what cider can be. Beer will always be the main event at GABS but we found that showcasing the cider producers is something a large number of people are interested in, and GABS is a great opportunity to do that.”
The Festival Cider line up on Saturday will have three from New Zealand and seven from Australia. “We quickly learnt there’s not a huge number of craft cider makers in Auckland. We put out a call to a few New Zealand cider makers, and we’re going to supplement the New Zealand ciders with some of the Australian ciders we’ve worked with.”
The Kiwi contingent is:
Zeffer Apple Crumble (5.4%) – with cinnamon and blackberry leaves
Three Wise Birds Shaka Brah (6.8%) – with wakame and manuka honey.
Edgebrook Wilding Cider (6.4%) – with indigenous yeast fermented in the barrel.
And the Aussie contingent includes:
Hills Barrel-aged Sour Cherry Cider (8%) – apples and cherries aged in oak barrels for six months
St Ronan’s Split Decision (5.1%) – aged for eight weeks in gin barrels
Batlow Saison Cider (4.4%) – Batlow apples slow fermented with French saison yeast.