With fall comes the changing of leaves, sweaters, grapes coming in from the vines and apple harvests in the orchards. One of my favourite ways to enjoy local apples is in a hard cider! With so many orchards in the area, it is no surprise that we are seeing more and more cideries opening their doors which makes it easy to go on a cider-focused tour.

Here are five recommends to add to your itinerary:

1. Scenic Road Cider

This cidery opened in 2016 when the owners re-purposed the original 8-decade old packinghouse into a tasting room and production facility for their delicious cider. They produce three ciders including one where they blend raspberries and apples.

2. Broken Ladder

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This cider was developed to celebrate the passion of 3 generations and over 500 growers in their BC Tree Fruits family. The BC Tree Fruits launched their Cider Company in 2015 with one thing in mind: to hand-craft a premium hard cider from 100% BC apples that were picked in their own orchards and crushed in their own mill. The result is a cider as traditional as the sixteen-foot ladders they climb at harvest time. Their tasting room is located in Downtown Kelowna where you can taste and pick your favourite of their three ciders.

3. Dukes Cider

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This cider is created by the same team that brings us Tree Beer and was designed for those looking for an alternative to beer, or a complementary beverage for their beer drinking occasions. Made with 100% apples from Kelowna, Dukes Cider is crisp, clean, refreshing, and has a subtle apple flavour with a dry finish. Available in three flavours you can pick up at Tree Brewing Beer Institute in Downtown Kelowna.

4. Wards Hard Cider

As part of The View Winery, Wards Hard Cider is situated on a fifth-generation family orchard that was settled by Great Grandad Ward in 1918 in East Kelowna. Wards Cider is made from 100% tree-ripened, handpicked, cider-specific apples from the family orchards. It is the perfect all-natural and gluten-free alternative to beer and remains true to their old family recipe of back-to-basics and wholesomeness. They have five flavours to choose from and you can try both wine and cider at their tasting bar.

5. Double Cross Cidery

This cidery opened in 2012 and is located off of Highway 33 as part of the Function Junction business which is home to a fruit stand that is stocked with tasty apple juice. They create four fruit-iced ciders and a hard apple cider which you can pick up in their tasting room after you pick your favourite.

To celebrate the apple, there are several annual events that focus on ciders. April 28 - May 6, 2018 is BC Cider Week and each fall, Scenic Road Cider hosts their annual Appleooza. Both events offer great opportunities to learn the history of apples in our area, while you discover and try this delicious local beverage.

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