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Salmon Arm cidery earns gold with B.C. fruit-based beverages

Wins mark Shuswap Cider Company's third anniversary

A Salmon Arm cidery recently won some significant hardware at a northwestern cider competition. 

Close to the three-year anniversary of when its doors opened, on June 20 the Shuswap Cider Company received several medals for three of its small-batch specialty ciders at the Northwest Cider Cup in Portland, Oregon. In the Fruit Cider/Co-Fermented category, Shuswap Cider's Blueberry cider won a gold medal; its Fireside Spice cider won gold in the Spice category; and its Perry (pear) cider earned a silver medal in the Perries/Low-Tannin category. 

The local cidery was one of more than 50 companies competing at the event, with more than 270 ciders being judged. 

Cidermaker Kailee Ramsell, who started the Shuswap Cider Company at the Westgate Public Market in 2021 with fellow co-owners Gena Ginn and Lindsay Wong, said it was an honour to have seen all their hard work pay off, and that they are grateful for the support and recognition received from cider professionals and enthusiasts. 

"We just built the cidery three years ago and that's when we started making cider  – none of us had any experience – so it's pretty cool," Ramsell told the Observer. "The other big companies that won a bunch of awards at this particular competition were 2 Towns  Ciderhouse and Bauman's Cider Company, both out of Portland, and they are huge cideries in the industry… Obviously they have huge teams and the quality of their cider is quite incredible. So it was really neat to know… we're up there with these guys and that's quite an honour because they've been around a long time."

This wasn't the first time Shuswap Cider Company has seen success in competition with its products. In 2023, the cidery earned platinum and gold medals for their Haskap Berry cider, a gold for their Cherry Rosé cider and silver and bronze medals for their Lavender Honey cider.

Ramsell explained the secret behind the local cidery's success has to do with using only fresh-pressed B.C. fruit, producing in small batches and paying attention to trends in the market.

Asked if the recent success could mean increased production of the medal-winning ciders, Ramsell indicated it's a possibility. 

"People are used to seeing flagship ciders (Dry Apple, Semi-Sweet, Lavender Honey, Cherry Rosé)… certainly now, winning these awards, it has given us a better reach and maybe we can up the production of those small batches," said Ramsell. 

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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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