By Fraser Marshall-Glew
VANCOUVER — Without a determined competitor in the craft cider scene in Vancouver, it’s pretty safe to say that the boys at Sunday Cider are among the first of the city’s niche. Co-founders of Chinatown’s small sausage eatery Bestie, Dane Brown and Clinton McDougall helm the bootstrap operation with their close mutual friend Patrick Connelly (creative director at brand content creating company Make). And though the trio even experimented with apples from their own backyards at one point or another, it’s certainly safe to say that this small batch cidery is a step above your neighbour’s home-brew.
Having grown up in and around the Okanagan Valley, which was accurately described to me as “the apple basket of Western Canada,” the friends expressed their commitment in maintaining loyalty to the sustainability of local sourcing and production. “There’s a definitive interest for us in supporting local agriculture, and the orchardists,” says Connelly. They even give the pomace (squeezed-dry fruit pulp) back to local farmers to use as feed and compost. Among other admirable standards, including only ever using whole pressed non-concentrated juice, they abide by an unquestioned doctrine to never import their products, making it a product that can be proud of its Pacific heritage.
Geographical region is a determining factor in all food and drink (think Champagne being from the Champagne region of France) and it’s no different with Sunday Cider. None of the members of the cidery are strangers to traditional European techniques (Connelly, for example, developed a love for English-style cider during a residence in the U.K.) and while they all make sure to pay respects to the history and brew masters of overseas, their adherence to the rule of geography and locality is emboldened by the fact that craft cider in the Pacific Northwest is relatively uncharted territory. Not being overly strict about the classical styles of cider allows for a total freedom of expression in the craft.
Bottle production is to be introduced into stores soon, but there’s no need to wait it out. A few select bars and restaurants have already made room on their taps for Sunday Cider’s first ‘Fresh Press’. Alibi Room, Juniper, and Don’t Argue Pizza are among the names that host it and, of course, you can always swing by Bestie for a Bratwurst and cider. With any luck, you’ll run into the Sunday Cider boys and hear their story firsthand.
Sunday Cider can be found at various establishments including Bestie, Boxcar, and 12 Kings Pub.BC, British Columbia, cider, food and drink, Sunday Cider