3262 Meaford, ON – N4L 1A5
Living in the Beaver Valley, you learn to appreciate the many ways that one can use apples. From making and eating apple pies to pressing apple cider, there are countless ways to enjoy Beaver Valley apples. James McIntosh came up with the idea of Duxbury Cider when he was touring France at the age of 14. While he was there, he (legally) discovered hard apple cider and wondered why there wasn’t something like that in the Meaford Area. Duxbury truly came together when James got talking to his neighbours who are all apple growers. He broached the subject of selling apples and they said they didn’t really want to, but they complained about the price of apples. James said he’d buy them for a different price and then turn them into cider. Today, Duxbury Cider is one of the most popular hard apple ciders in the area.
James was born and raised in Toronto, but spent his summers at his Grandmother’s farm in Meaford. He moved full time to the area in 2005 and after reading a book on making cider, he started tinkering with home wine equipment and an apple cider press. It took a while before James found his perfect recipe and he fermented the different varieties separately so he could understand the characteristics of each type better. James has now been making cider for 13 years, and started selling to bars and restaurants in kegs 5 years ago. On top of that, he also has one product stocked in the LCBO in the southern Georgian Bay and Toronto.
Duxbury Cider has 3 different varieties of ciders right now. If you are drinking Duxbury Cider at one of our great local restaurants, you are drinking the Heritage 1650 which is a dry, tart, crisp and clean champagne style cider with a green apple flavour. Their main cider that can be found on LCBO shelves is the Sideroad Original Dry Cider which is a little bit sweeter and more aromatic and uses apples very central to the area such as Spies, Galas, and Macintoshes. Finally, the third variety Duxbury Cider creates is the Tilted Barn which has been done in partner with local Big Head Hops of Meaford. This cider is a dry hop cider, there is less sugar and is the driest cider but it actually tastes the sweetest. It is created by putting in the hops after the cider has fermented and then leaving them there for 3-4 weeks.
Speaking of the Tilted Barn, that cider is actually named after the dilapidated and ’tilted’ barn that they have on their production site. The just got their production site operational last October and for now it is solely a production site. They plan to have a retail facility within 2-5 years which will be where the tilted barn sits now. It will be a fantastic site to taste test Duxbury Ciders and take in one of the best views in the entire Municipality of Meaford overlooking the bay. Currently, onsite they have a 1000 sq/ft fermentation facility with 32,000L of fermentation space in 4 tanks along with a carbonation tank. Their carbonation tank is a Charmont tank that will one day allow them to do a champagne style cider where they do one fermentation in one tank and then a second fermentation in that tank. They also have a canning line in that building that will do about 18 cans per minute and 2000L per day of cans and kegs.
One thing that I love about Duxbury Cider is their subtle notes to local history in their practice and branding. The name Duxbury Cider actually came from their location. The road that their facility is on is now called Side Road 25, but it used to be named Duxbury Cider after the Duxbury Family that first settled there and farmed the land. Furthermore, at the bottom of the hill from the cidery there’s an orchard on your right with a barn and old wagon in front which is where their logo comes from. As James put it Duxbury is “just trying to go back to the old times”.
Duxbury Cider is available at restaurants in Meaford, Thornbury, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Markdale, Durham, Bayfield, and Toronto and as stated earlier is available at the LCBO. If you want to learn more about Duxbury cider, or would like to contact James you can visit http://www.theduxburyciderco.ca/.