27 March, 2019

Raise a glass to Tasmania along the craft cider trail

The Apple Isle is doing very grown-up things with fruit juice – come have a taste!

Whisky isn’t the only reason to tour Tassie, tasting and loading the car with your favourites. Some craft cideries have opened their doors, and the ideal time to visit is autumn when fruit is harvested and transformed into cider – including limited releases often hard to find anywhere else.

Spreyton Cider Co

Start (or end) your cider adventure just 15 minutes’ drive south of Spirit of Tasmania’s Devonport base. The family behind Spreyton Cider Co has been growing apples in the region since 1908, and still use their own fruit to brew several kinds of traditional and contemporary ciders – mostly apple, but also pear cider, also known as perry, and ginger beer too. Taste if not buy some at the cellar door, where you can also pick up their Spreyton Fresh apple juice.

Spreyton Cider (Image: Spreyton Cider)
Spreyton Cider (Image: Spreyton Cider)

Red Brick Road

Forty minutes further south in Deloraine, Red Brick Road’s new Ciderworks is a great place to buy, taste or even kick back with a glass or two among cider-making equipment and kegs. There’s dry hopped cider, sparkling cider, scrumpy (a traditional English farmhouse cider), perry, cider rosé (which blushes with a little pinot noir) and limited release ‘experiments’. A little east in Launceston, there’s also the Red Brick Road Ciderhouse, a cosy bar that sells cider to go too.

Red Brick Cider (Image: Red Brick Cider)
Red Brick Cider (Image: Jeremy Scott)

Willie Smith's

The Huon Valley, a short drive south-west of Hobart, used to be filled with orchards in the days when Tassie was known as the Apple Isle. Find out about this sweet history in the apple museum at Willie Smith’s, then have a taste of today’s adults-only apple drinks. There are four ciders to choose from, plus a perry and seasonal releases like the cider aged for 16 months in barrels used by the internationally renowned Sullivan’s Cove Whisky distillery. There’s a distillery here too, so apple brandy and apple blanco are also on the menu. Sip some at a leisurely pace over the kitchen’s dishes bursting with local flavours. Willie Smith’s big old 1940s apple-packing shed also hosts a Saturday market showcasing regional producers and artisans, and live music on Sundays.

Willie Smiths (Image: Nat Medham)
Willie Smith's (Image: Nat Medham)


Another Huon Valley cidery open to the public is Frank’s, which does tastings, sales and tasty food in a 19th century church hall. As well as classic apple and pear ciders, there’s also cherry pear and raspberry pear ciders on offer. It’s all made with Tasmanian fruit, including apples harvested from this family business’ trees planted by Frank Clark more than 160 years ago.


Also taking advantage of the Huon Valley’s remaining apple trees is Pagan, which makes traditional cider as well as perry and cherry cider. Visit their cellar door for a taste of this delicious trio, as well as seasonal, small-batch drops you’ll struggle to find anywhere else – perhaps a quince or wood-aged apple cider. Feeling peckish? Until May 2019, the Pandemonium Cafe food van is serving crepes, waffles, platters and specials to be enjoyed in Pagan’s courtyard or new event space. Fingers crossed the van is back come spring, but you’re welcome to BYO food to enjoy with the ciders in any case.

Pagan Cider (Image: Pagan Cider)
Pagan Cider (Image: Pagan Cider)

Multi-tasking breweries and wineries

Other places for tasting cider at the source include the famous Cascade Brewery, which makes Mercury cider too. You can also enjoy a grown-up apple drink at the Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Ale & Cider cellar door and bar, as well as at Winter Brook Vineyard and Hartzview winery, which makes a spiced apple mead liqueur.

Find out more at the Tasmanian Cider Trail website.

Two Metre Tall Cider (Image: Two Metre Tall Farmhouse ale and Cider)


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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