Josh and Zoe Young from Ohana Winery & Cheeky Tiki Cider in Bundaberg.
Josh and Zoe Young from Ohana Winery & Cheeky Tiki Cider in Bundaberg.

Bundy craft cider celebrated on Australian Cider Day

First there was the craft beer revolution, and now craft cider is growing at the same rate according to Dan Murphy’s sales data from the last 12 months.

Local cider brewers Zoe and Josh Young of Ohana Winery and Cheeky Tiki Cider have also noticed an increase in sales at their cellar door since the pandemic.

“The increase in domestic travellers to our cellar door has been insane, everyone is out supporting local. As a result, we’ve been able to showcase our cider to so many more people, and now we have a really healthy ever growing list of Cheeky Tiki cider fans,” Zoe said.

“Add to that the support of bottle shops like Dan Murphy’s promoting real Australian cider, Australian consumers have never had more opportunity to support smaller producers such as ourselves.”

Zoe said that in the last few years, Australian consumers had become increasingly aware and educated about the beauty of Australian craft cider.

“People now realise there is a major difference between craft and commercial cider. Craft cider uses fresh Australian grown apples, as opposed to many mainstream brands that use fake flavours and concentrates,” she explained.

Zoe and Josh started making cider in 2017 after a botched effort to make pineapple wine.

“Our first batch of cider was inspired by the purchase of an apple mill that we were trying to crush pineapples with. Needless to say it didn’t work, so we thought it was time to start making cider,” she recalled.

After that, the couple connected with Nicoletti Orchards in Stanthorpe for their apples, and now only use fresh local apples from their orchards, all of which are crushed onsite the winery.

“As we are winemakers, our cider style is made very similar to a sparkling wine -very fruit forward, crisp and refreshing as opposed to more old school farmhouse cider styles which have an element of funk to them, she said.

“Of course, we also make a range of apple based fruit ciders.

“This is our specialty – gathering local Bundaberg fruit, combining it with Stanthorpe apples and turning it into delicious all natural fruit ciders.”

Cider Australia’s Jane Anderson said the covid pandemic had accelerated the growth of craft cider.

“Many smaller, craft cider producers that have traditionally sold most of their cider in restaurants and bars had to explore takeaway and online sales channels and as a result, a broader range of craft ciders have become available in local bottle shops – helping customers find new favourites,” she said.

Dan Murphy’s craft beer and cider category manager Billy Ryan said they had almost 100 Australian craft ciders in their range and customers were loving them.

“The rise of craft cider is part of a wider trend of customers wanting to support independent, locally-made and grown products. We also see customers drinking less, but better,” he said.

In its second year, Australian Cider Day – launched by Cider Australia – took place on Saturday 13 March and is the perfect opportunity to seek out and celebrate Australian craft cider including Cheeky Tiki.

In June 2019, Cider Australia launched the 100 per cent Australian Grown trust mark to help consumers identify and buy local products, and it is now displayed on hundreds of ciders across Australia including Cheeky Tiki.

You can visit Ohana Winery and Cheeky Tiki Cider at 5 Alexandra St, Bundaberg East.

Cheeky Tiki Cider is also available at Dan Murphy’s.

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