Not only is craft beer taking Ontario by storm but cider is right on its tail! We produce over 15 apple varieties across the province thanks to the climate created by our Great Lakes. Combine that with brilliant minds from Ontario producers and you’ll find incredibly tasty concoctions you won’t be able to resist. From Niagara-on-the-Lake to the shores of Georgian Bay to even as far north as Lake Superior, there’s plenty of amazing Ontario cider to try!
Ontario Cider You Need to Try
SOMETHING TO NOTE: Just to clarify, this article is about hard cider brands in Ontario. All of the suggestions below are for those 19 years of age or older and should be enjoyed responsibly!
Ardiel Cider House
Address: 496350 Grey County Rd 2, Clarksburg, ON N0H 1J0
The apple-esque counterpart to the grape vibes of Georgian Hills Vineyards in Grey County, there have been apple trees growing in the family orchard for almost a century. As each generation takes the reins, new varieties are planted and growing techniques are adopted as they embrace the cool northern climate of the Blue Mountains. Each of their ciders is made from these apples, ensuring a crisp, dry flavour in every sip.
Believe it or not, Ardiel Cider was one of the first Ontario ciders I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Despite enjoying my tasting in the dead of winter, I immediately was a fan and can attest to how their ciders are the perfect patio drink! They currently have three ciders available though my favourite is their Big John Hop Cider. This pear cider has the floral aroma that hops are known for with a citrusy, tart flavour.
Address: 614 Sandford Rd, Uxbridge, ON L9P 1R2
Did you know that traditional cider making almost became a lost art? Most ciders you drink nowadays are made with ‘table apples’ whereas a true cider apple is more flavourful – and most true cider apple trees were cut down during the Prohibition Era. Luckily, Banjo Cider has preserved this unique taste which is why they’re certainly one of the best Ontario ciders around!
While I haven’t been able to visit Banjo Cider personally, I have had the pleasure of enjoying some of their ciders and wow – they are seriously amazing. I may or may not have indulged in a little too much of their Rouge cider because I just couldn’t get enough. Dark cherry juice mixes and mingles with apple as they slowly ferment for one year to be topped off with a touch of maple syrup. If your mouth isn’t watering right now… well, you just need to try it yourself!
Address: 709 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H1
To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Brickworks Ciderhouse. There’s nothing wrong with this Toronto cidery, I’ve just had a number of their ciders and found them to be a little dry for my taste. However, they made it on this list solely for their Stadium Island Peach Cider.
If you grew up in Canada remember the peach tea from M&M Meats and how addicting it was, then you’ll love this cider. It legitimately tastes like the adult version of it and way better than the peach tea from M&M Meats now. Yes, they changed the recipe and I’m still salty about it, but luckily Brickworks Ciderhouse allows me to relive a tasty part of my childhood while also fully embracing the bliss of adulthood.
Clafeld Cider House & Market
Address: 3013 Prince Edward County Rd 8, Waupoos, ON K0K 2T0
It was a brilliantly sunny day the first time I visited Prince Edward County, and I stumbled upon the Clafeld Cider House. Located on a gorgeous 100-acre waterfront property with Waupoos Estates Winery, Clafeld Cider House is an ode to the apple orchards that once stood before the vineyards were planted. They’ve been serving delicious cider since 2014 and their line-up is incredible!
Their offerings are definitely for those who prefer dry cider to sweet. I’m normally not a big fan of the very dry, tart ciders, but Clafeld Cider House’s rosehip cider is absolutely delicious. This cider is extremely tart and will have your face mimicking the guy on the Warheads candy wrapper with every sip. They also have a London fog cider which, as a self-proclaimed Earl Grey fanatic, will be my first choice next time I visit! While there are a few options for great Prince Edward County cider, you can’t go wrong with Clafeld Cider House.
Collective Arts Brewing
Address: 207 Burlington St E, Hamilton, ON L8L 4H2
While Collective Arts is known more for their craft beer in hypnotizing illustrated cans, they have some serious craft cider game too. This grassroots craft brewery believes that creativity inspires creativity. Whether you’re passionate about beer, art or anything in between, Collective Arts thinks your passion will inspire others. This is why they work with local artists to design their awesome cans!
Stop by and see them along the shores of Lake Ontario in Hamilton and enjoy a flight in their taproom. If you’re a fan of street art, be warned – you’ll never want to leave the artistic bliss you encounter. So settle in, grab a pint and enjoy! I highly recommend their apple and cherry cider.
Howell Road Cider Company
Address: 225 Howell Rd, Saint George, ON N0E 1N0
Head to Brant County where you’ll find Brantview Apples and Cider. For almost 200 years, the Howell Family has been supplying the local area with apples, baked goods and most recently… cider! The Howell Road Cider Company is as wholesome as it gets. Generation after generation, the Howells have been a staple of the community. You don’t want to miss out on visiting The Apple Shed to get a taste of their latest concoctions. They’re always coming up with some new and amazing, plus they have a number of great apple-themed items you won’t want to miss out on.
If you’re a fan of dry cider, you’ll enjoy their beverages. While their flagship cider is great, I absolutely loved their raspberry lemonade cider! Whenever you find yourself heading towards Brantford, this is a detour you don’t want to miss.
KW Craft Cider
Address: Various Location Across Ontario
As the only cider producer in Waterloo Region, I’ve had KW Craft Cider more times than I can count. Unfortunately there’s no specific location you can visit them at, but luckily they’re easy to find in Southern Ontario. They’re the go-to cider offering for a number of restaurants in Kitchener, Waterloo and beyond! Click here to see a full list of locations where you can enjoy their cider.
While most of the time you’ll find their flagship apple cider or their pear cider, be on the lookout for their more creative flavours. I enjoyed their Thai ginger cider at a restaurant in Kitchener and it absolutely blew me away! They weren’t kidding when they said ginger! If you’re a lover of ginger beer, this is a cider worth seeking out. I’m also eyeing their new wild cherry cider which is now available at the LCBO!
Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery
Address: 1074 Cranberry Rd, Bala, ON P0C 1A0
You may have heard of Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery thanks to the Bala Cranberry Festival or even their gorgeous outdoor skate trail in the winter months. However, if there’s anywhere that embodies everything fall in Ontario, it has to be Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery.
That being said, it’ll come as no surprise that they have one of, if not THE best cranberry cider I’ve ever had in Ontario. While they’ve only been brewing it since 2018, their cliff jump cranberry cider is top-notch and will win you over right away. It’s probably thanks to the 100% Ontario apples and 100% Muskoka-grown cranberries that really make this cider full of fall flavour.
Address: 62 Dawson Rd, Guelph, ON N1H 1A8
While you can’t visit Revel Cider itself, you can enjoy their small batches in a number of local restaurants in the Waterloo-Wellington area. I’ve been thankful for their ciders a number of times that I’ve visited Arabella Beer Bar. There’s no denying that the Kitchener-Waterloo brewery scene is fantastic, however this gal will almost always take cider over beer. I’ve had more than one glass of their Mithras Cider, made with a copious amount of nectarines and Saturn peaches from Niagara. You’ll be treated to a tropical flavour that will never go out of style!
Shiny Apple Cider
Address: 1242 Irvine Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
I first visited Small Talk Vineyards thanks to a Groupon and a quest to explore more wineries in Niagara. Little did I know I’d discover one of my favourite cideries in Ontario! Shiny Apple Cider began with their flagship apple cider but quickly expanded into additional, exciting flavours. It seems as though they’re trying something new every time I turn around!
I have to say while I’m impartial to their cranberry cider, their bootleg whiskey cider is absolutely incredible. They have since made crazy flavours like a salted lime sour cider and icewine cider! It also helps that it’s super close to my parents’ place, making it easy to stock up when I need my fix. You really don’t want to miss popping by Small Talk Vineyards for some top Niagara cider whenever you’re exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Spy Cider House & Distillery
Address: 808108, Side Rd 24, Clarksburg, ON N0H 1J0
What do you get when James Bond ditches his shaken martini and opts for cider instead? A brilliant Ontario cider spot known as Spy Cider House & Distillery. Their mission? To produce some of the best ciders in the free world province. Powered by geothermal energy, they use their own apples (and sometimes a few from local farmers) to create amazing ciders with the same finesse that goes into winemaking.
While Spy Cider House has three ciders available, my favourite is their Raspberry Never Say Never creation… but you’ll have to visit in-person to get it! Since they have a fabulous patio, it’s definitely a good life choice to stop in when exploring the South Georgian Bay area.
Address: 4057 Third Line W, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 5K8
Sault Ste Marie may feel like my second home, but I always miss the abundance of local brewers like we have down in Southern Ontario. I was happily surprised during my most recent visit however as I learned there’s now a local spot for cider! Say hello to Thomson Farms. For over 40 years, they’ve been providing fresh fruits and vegetables but most recently they’ve delved into the foray of cider.
In the warmer months, you can enjoy a flight of their apple, strawberry and even a pumpkin spice cider in their adorable wine barn (yes, there’s wine too!). If you’d rather enjoy it from the comfort of your home, just head into their store and get some to go. There are also a few restaurants in Sault Ste Marie that also offer their cider!
Thornbury Village Cider House
Address:90 King St E, Thornbury, ON N0H 2P0
Along the shores of Georgian Bay, you’ll find a lovely little cidery named after the village it resides in. Originally a wooden apple storage building, it unfortunately burned down in the 1920s. Luckily it’s been reborn amidst 7500 acres of beautiful apple orchards.
How does a cider that tastes like liquid apple pie sound? Delicious? I can say for certain that it is which is why you NEED to try Thornbury’s spiced apple cider. It is a little sweet though so I often mix it half and half with their original cider. Or if you’re looking for a taste of summer any time of the year, their blueberry elderflower cider is not to be missed. Thornbury Village Cider House is a must-visit when exploring Grey County!
Address: 525 Argyle Rd, Windsor, ON N8Y 4Z8
There are few cideries west of Kitchener so when I visited Windsor and Essex County, you can imagine how excited I was to hear there’s one place you can get cider. Head over to Walkerville Brewery where you can enjoy their Argyle Apple Cider. Crafted using 100% Canadian cold-pressed apples, they use a champagne yeast to ferment it which helps to create this semi-sweet, refreshing cider.
The only downside? You can’t get cans or growlers to go so you’ll have to visit the brewery itself to enjoy it! You’ll be rewarded for your visit though as they often have another cider from Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery. When I visited, they had a delicious cherry cider that was absolutely to die for!
West Avenue Cider
Address: 84 Concession Rd 8 E, Freelton, ON L0R 1K0
Winning best cider in Ontario three years in a row, you know you’re in for a treat at West Avenue Cider. Of all the cideries on this list, I’d consider West Avenue Cider to be the ‘foodie’ of the group. What I mean by that is they’re the most experimental as they focus on small batches with exciting flavours. You can enjoy 6 ciders on tap but they have 20 ciders available for you to enjoy. They even have barrel-aged and cask-conditioned ciders!
The biggest struggle will be deciding which ciders to try but I absolutely love their Cherriosity which uses Niagara Montmorency cherries. Their bourbon barrel-aged wild blueberry cider Bluet Sauvage is a close second!
Which Ontario Ciders Do You Want to Try First?
As you can see, there is plenty of amazing local cider to try in Ontario… and the list keeps growing! In case you’re wondering where you can find the best cider in Ontario, here’s a recap:
- Ardiel Cider House in Clarksburg
- Banjo Cider in Uxbridge
- Beaver Valley Orchard and Cidery in Grey County
- Brickworks Cider House in Toronto
- Clafeld Cider House in Prince Edward County
- Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton
- Howell Road Cider Company in Brant County
- KW Craft Cider in Waterloo Region
- Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery in Bala
- Revel Cider in Guelph
- Shiny Apple Cider in Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Spy Cider House & Distillery in Clarksburg
- Thomson Farms in Sault Ste Marie
- Thornbury Cider & Brewhouse in Thornbury
- Walkerville Brewery in Windsor
- West Avenue Cider in Freelton
While these are my top picks, there are a number of other great Ontario cider brands I just haven’t had the chance of visiting yet. Is there a favourite cider of yours that hasn’t been included? Let me know and I’ll have to give it a shot! Here are a few of my top Ontario cider picks that I can’t wait to indulge in soon:
- Hard Current Cider from Archibald’s Estate Winery in Clarington
- Folkin’ Hard Cherry Bomb Cider from Bonnieheath Estates Lavender Farm and Winery in Waterford
- Cider Slushies at Crimson Cider Company in Prince Edward County
- Flying Canoe Hard Cider in Spencerville near Ottawa
- Le Houblon from Lincoln County Cider in Niagara
- Legendary Cherry from Slabtown Cider in Uxbridge
- Barrique Apricot/Peach Cider from Steel Town Cider Co in Hamilton
- Sweet Cider from Toboggan Brewing Co in London
- El Escanciador from Ugly Apple Cidery in Lanark County
- Bear Claw Hard Cider from Wooden Bear Winery in Simcoe
While cider is a fantastic adult indulgence all year round, fall is my favourite time of year to enjoy it. There’s just something about the combination of sweater weather, delicious apple cider and the smell of spice in the air that screams fall in Ontario. However, June is officially Ontario Craft Cider Month.
Organized by the Ontario Craft Cider Association, it’s a great opportunity to get out and taste locals ciders you may not have tried before! You don’t have to wait until June though – get out and plan your adventure using the Ontario craft cider map below! Or if you can’t make it to these local destinations, head to your closest LCBO where you can find many of these products in-store.