The happenings, the whisperings, the events too good to miss - here's what's going on in Tasmanian Cider.


Heritage apples – making cider sexy

June 25, 2019

Heritage apples are now coming into cider.  

Heritage apples are now coming into cider.  

Tasmanian Ciders on top – 2016 AUSTRALIAN CIDER AWARDS

October 16, 2016

The Best in Show prize was awarded to Willie Smith’s French Blend Limited Release Cider in front of 100 people on Friday night at the cider industry’s gala dinner.

Willie Smith’s Organic Cider in Tasmania has scored the top prize for the second year running at this year’s Australian Cider Awards with a limited release cider. The Best in Show prize was awarded to Willie Smith’s French Blend Limited Release Cider in front of 100 people on Friday night at the cider industry’s gala dinner. Congratulations also to Pagan Cider for Class 1A New World Dry Cider. Brady’s Lookout for Class 4A/B Method Traditional Cider (disgorged). Spreyton Cider Co for Class 7A New World Sweet Perry.

The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival

July 7, 2016

The Apple Islanders celebrate cider with a mid-winter festival and have a wassail of a time.

The Huon Valley, south-west of Hobart, is the perfect place to hold a mid-winter cider festival. Apples have been grown here for more than 150 years and the region is still the major orchard centre of Tasmania. It’s also bloody cold in the Huon in July and you need to be chilly to fully appreciate the ancient ritual of wassailing. More info.


June 2, 2016

The World Cider Day on June 3rd is an international declaration of love for the popular cult drink

It symbolizes the beginning of the apple cider season all over the world. Checkout out what the trail members have going on tomorrow.

Secrets of cider flavours centre of research.

May 24, 2016

Ten of Tasmania’s leading craft cider-makers and cider scientists will gather in Hobart this afternoon to taste-test new harvest and trial ciders as part of research that is helping grow the State’s premium craft cider industry.


Cider Australia declares 2016 ‘the year of craft cider’!

May 23, 2016

Sam Reid of Tasmania’s Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider was returned for the third year as president of Cider Australia to lead the industry in a charge to define a Craft Cider category.

This is the year Craft Cider will get traction according to the national cider industry body. Cider Australia, representing over 70 local and international craft producers, growers and suppliers, held its Annual General Meeting in Melbourne last week. Sam Reid of Tasmania’s Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider was returned for the third year as president of Cider Australia to lead the industry in a charge to define a Craft Cider category. “We have recast our agenda this year towards engaging with customers on Craft Cider – what is it, what is so good about it, and how to pick out a quality craft offering when faced with the hundreds of brands on sale in Australia”, Mr Reid said. Cider Australia believes an ‘Australian Craft Cider’ must be made from the juice of 100% Australian grown apples and pears, and that an international craft cider must have similar authenticity in regards to its juice content. “Beyond the juice used, there are other factors that impact the quality of a cider such as whether cider specific apples are used, a cider maker’s management or ownership of fruit grown and a producer’s connection to fermentation”, said Mr Reid. Mr Reid noted that Cider Australia wants to see a clear Craft Cider category emerge in liquor retail outlets so customers start to see beyond the often confusing and disingenuous claims on labels. “If we can get to a situation where Craft Ciders are recognised and properly valued in Australia, producers will have more incentive to create the interesting and unique ciders that people want to drink and talk about”, Mr Reid said. Cider Australia 2016 Executive Committee President – Sam Reid, Willie Smith’s Organic Cider (TAS) Vice President – Warwick Billings, LOBO Cider (SA) Secretary – Nyall Condon, Flying Brick Cider Co (VIC) Treasurer – Shane McLaughlin, Hillbilly Cider (NSW) Category Development (new member) – Toby Kline, The Hills Cider Company (SA) Digital – Mark Ellis (VIC) For more details contact Cider Australia executive officer Jane Anderson on 0434 559 759.

Inaugural Festivale Tasmanian Cider Trail Cider Awards.

February 11, 2016

Dr Fiona Kerslake from TIA talking about the judging and announcing the winners at the inaugural Festivale Tasmanian Cider Trail Cider Awards.

  • Best Dry Cider: Red Brick Road Cox’s Orange Pippin
  • Best Other Cider: Pagan Small Batch Quince Cider
  • Best Perry: Red Brick Road Perry.

November 12, 2015

Tasmanian beer and cider trail blazers combine for thirst-quenching fun!

What do you do when the good folk of Hobart and the Huon Valley are thirsty for fun and the Tasmanian International Beerfest disappeared off the social calendar?


Create your own mini version, of course!

To celebrate the end of Beer Lovers Week, members of the Tasmanian Cider Trail and Tasmanian Beer Trail have collaborated, joining forces to give the public a small-scale festival this Sunday the 22nd of November.

Some of the state’s favourite and newest thirst quenchers will be available in the one place this Sunday at The Apple Shed, in the Huon Valley.

“Now that the Tasmanian Beerfest has moved to a bi-annual event we thought there was a gap in the calendar and so we have got some of our friends from the craft beer and cider community together for a day of good times, good food, good tunes and sensational craft beer and cider,” explained Willie Smith’s co-owner Sam Reid.

“We love Beerfest and it’s a shame its not on this year so we thought we’d have a mini festival and, best of all, the event is FREE!”

Busses will be available from Hobart for $15 return leaving from Campbell St, next to the Grand Chancellor at 11am and returning by 5pm. Tickets for the busses need to be booked by COB Thursday the 19th of November to allow time to arrange them and can be purchased by searching for “Brews @ The Apple Shed” on eventbrite or by following this link:

Food on the day will be supplied by Mr Burger and Harvest and Light will be cooking up a load of BBQ Ribs.

Beer and cider featured on the day include: 

  • T-Bone Brewing Co.
  • Spreyton Cider Co.
  • Spotty Dog Brewers
  • Red Brick Road Ciderhouse
  • Devils Brewery, Tasmania
  • Frank’s Cider
  • Hobart Brewing Company
  • Pagan Cider
  • Last Rites Brewing Company
  • and Willie Smiths.

“There will also be a peoples choice award for the best beer as chosen by the attendees and the winning beer will go on tap at The Apple Shed as ‘Beer of the Month’,” Mr Reid said.

Local favourites ‘Craicpot’ will be entertaining the crowd with their upbeat Australian Folk rock, and are sure to keep spirits high throughout the day.

Ryan Morgan, Director of Beer Lovers Week says he’s happy the week will conclude on a high.

“We are thrilled that the Apple Shed is hosting an event like this during Beer Lovers Week. It is a great opportunity to showcase some of the best that these two industries have to offer, all in a beautiful setting that oozes history,” Mr Morgan said.


Willie Smith’s 18 Variety Cider wins Best in Show!

October 13, 2015

Willie Smith’s cider crowned best of best!


A special edition cider using 18 different cider apple varieties sourced from across Tasmania’s Huon Valley has scooped the pool at this year’s Australian Cider Awards.

Willie Smith’s Organic Cider has at its core the ambition of restoring Tasmania to its former glory as the Apple Isle.

On Friday night Willie Smith’s took another step towards that goal, honoured in front of almost 100 people at the national awards gala dinner, with its Willie Smith’s 18 Varieties limited edition taking out the Best in Show award.

Willie Smith’s 18 Varieties also won another two trophies – Best Cider and Best Australian Cider or Perry.

Willie Smith’s co-owner Sam Reid said the prestigious award was a great reward for the entire crew at the Huon Valley business, which is located on a fourth-generation organic apple farm.

“We couldn’t be happier with this product because it showcases what is great about Willie Smith’s – we are small enough to make really interesting cider but large enough to get it out to enough people to start to educate and influence the category.”

Judges said the product was very true to type – a medium cider in the traditional style – describing it as “lifted … with a lingering fruit flavour and an attractive bitterness on finish”.

The Huon Valley business is renowned for pushing the envelope with its cider production, having received rave reviews for previous offerings including cider matured in whiskey and port barrels.

The new 18 Varieties is the first cider made completely of cider apples.

Apple varieties being used in the rich and complex offering were grown on the historic Smith family farm at Grove, as well as surrounding orchards.

They include:

  • Sommerset Red Streak
  • Cimitiere de Blangy
  • Cremiere
  • Antoinette
  • Frequin Rouge Amer
  • Yates
  • Dabinett
  • French Crab
  • Yarlington Mill
  • Kingston Black
  • Sweet Alford
  • Browns Apple
  • Improved Foxwhelp
  • Clossette
  • Martin Fossard
  • Grosielle
  • Michilin
  • De Bouteville

Willie Smith’s chief cider Maker Dr Tim Jones says 18 Varieties is its best product yet and the team is excited about how it will be received by the general public when it is released in the near future.

“This is why I joined Willie Smith’s – to make amazing cider in the more traditional way,” Dr Jones said.

“I couldn’t be happier with this product and I think this is the start of the next phase of development in the category.”

Dr Jones explains that Willie Smith’s 18 Varieties limited release is the result of the establishment of purpose grown orchards consisting of French and English cider apple varieties, combined with the development of cider making techniques based on traditional cider making methods.

“It is made from pure fresh apple juice and exhibits a deep golden colour,” Dr Jones said.

” It is a medium sweet cider that balances fruit sweetness with drying well-structured tannin.  It displays complex apple flavours and lifted fruit aromas with subtle caramel notes.

“Our focus with this cider has been to showcase the characteristic complex flavours and deep aromas of these varieties and to capture the naturally derived golden colour that results from oxidative maceration of high tannin apples.”

18 Varieties will be available in limited quantities from leading independent bottle shops – 750ml for $40 (5.8% ABV)

Read Max Allen’s take on the cider here:


The Tasmanian Microbrew Fest

September 22, 2015

The Tasmanian Microbrew Fest is coming up on Saturday the 26th of September and it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend.

Spreyton Cider Co are heading down, Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale & Cider will be there along with Pagan Cider who will have their quince, cerise (cherry) and strawberry ciders on tap, and bottles of quince and blueberry.

The event will be at Princes Wharf 1 on the Hobart waterfront from noon- 5pm on Saturday 26th September.

It is an all ages event.


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