Crafting a career in craft cider

Crafting a career in craft cider

Melanie Eelman, Phd, is the Head Cider Maker at Annapolis Cider Company

"It’s really neat to be involved in this venture that supports local producers and the local industry.” - Melanie Eelman

Fast Fact

After completing the Hard Cider Made Easy course in 2015, Melanie became the head cider maker at Wolfville, NS-based Annapolis Cider Company,

With sales up 44.4 per cent from 2015, Nova Scotia’s cider industry is experiencing considerable growth.  Hard Cider Made Easy, a Continuing Education course offered at Kingstec Campus, is providing aspiring cider makers such as Melanie Eelman with the knowledge to tap into that growth.  

Since completing the course in 2015, Melanie—who also has a PhD in chemistry—has become the head cider maker at Wolfville, NS-based Annapolis Cider Company, which opened its doors in April 2016.

“The course was really beneficial in describing the history of cider and cider making,” Melanie says. “It was incredibly informative and very fun. You get to taste a sampling of ciders from around the world.”

Wide appeal

“One of the biggest trends I have noticed is how much cider seems to appeal to everyone. People of all different ages and backgrounds are coming in and enjoying it,” Melanie says. “You’re reaching out to all of the populace as opposed to a subset.” 

An increasing awareness of and appreciation for the bubbly apple drink is driving sales province-wide and the trend parallels the local and craft movements. “Cider fits very well in both categories,” says course instructor Dominic Rivard, owner of Bulwark Cider and Muwin Estates Wines Ltd.

“Apples grown in the Annapolis Valley are of excellent quality. Nova Scotian customers know this and seek out products made from the fruit.”

Keeping it local

Melanie says cider’s success is closely linked to the Valley’s produce. “If we can use the apples for cider, it just makes great sense. It’s an exciting new industry we as Nova Scotians can build upon, and we’re proud to offer what we have.”

Having moved to the Valley with her family four years ago, Melanie is happy to continue her career in Wolfville. “It’s a very vibrant setting; there’s so much going on,” she says. “It’s really neat to be involved in this venture that supports local producers and the local industry.”

Cheers to success

Dominic says the Hard Cider Made Easy course gives new cider makers the knowledge and confidence to pursue the craft. “Several students have gone on to work in the industry and many others are in the planning stages,” he says.

“The cider-making class is a positive contribution to the overall wine, beer and cider industry, and it is my hope it will expand further and generate even more interest from the general public.”

“We’re the kind of small start-up business in the Annapolis Valley that is really thankful to have NSCC around. The number of people that have worked on this project, getting it up and going, and who have passed through the door of NSCC is tremendous. It helps keep Nova Scotia’s economic engine going. We’re very thankful for that.” says Sean Myles, co-owner of the Annapolis Cider Company.

03/12/16

"It’s really neat to be involved in this venture that supports local producers and the local industry.” - Melanie Eelman

Fast Fact

After completing the Hard Cider Made Easy course in 2015, Melanie became the head cider maker at Wolfville, NS-based Annapolis Cider Company,

Comments

Submitted comments are approved by the moderators of NSCCNow.