Clinton McDougall, Dane Brown, and Patrick Connelly, the founders of Sunday Cider have a lot on their plates between producing high-quality craft cider and running Bestie, a sausage and beer parlor in China Town. Sunday cider had been in the works for a while, with the trio meeting every Sunday at Bestie to work on various other projects. Bestie was an obvious place for the trio to meet on Sunday because it was the only day that the restaurant was closed to the public. While at one of their Sunday sessions, the three friends developed a plan to create their own brand of cider which they then called Sunday cider. Your Vancouver Wine Tour is not complete without a visit to the Sunday Cider headquarters.
Sunday cider is Vancouver’s first company to manufacture and commercially sell cider. The company produces its cider from BC apples that come from Similkameen and Okanagan valleys. While most ciders of the world are produced from apple concentrate, the proprietors of Sunday Cider took a different route and opted to use apple juice. The result is a dry but balanced beverage that some would classify as the best in all of Vancouver.
The three friends source a wide variety of apples from Similkameen Valley from Porter’s Perfection to crab apples. When the apples are gathered, they are pressed to produce their juice at a farm in Keremeos. After the juice is collected, it is sent to a warehouse where it is fermented and carbonated. The use of apples from local farmers is important because it not only promotes and supports agricultural progress in the region, but it is essential for marketing the final product. The opening of Sunday cider has been instrumental in helping apple farmers in Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys to retain a sense of food sovereignty, which is always crucial for farmers that make a living from selling their produce.
So far, Sunday Cider is available on tap only, with two of their best sellers Sesh and Wild selling out faster than expected. Sesh is a session cider that has hints of citrus, pineapple and stone fruit. The fermentation of sweet apples and champagne yeast gives this brew of cider a bright and dry finish. Wild Cider on the other hand is produced from Okanagan cider fruit and has hints of apricot and banana. The wild cider they produce also has character, and it has a spicy finish.
What began as a modest adventure between three friends has turned out to be one of the most lucrative business ventures in Vancouver today.