As part of Good Beer Week, The City Lane were invited to brew our own cider at Arbory Bar and Eatery. Arbory is located on Flinders Walk, with gorgeous views overlooking the river. On this particularly sunny Melbourne afternoon, Callum and Nat Reeves from Golden Axe Cider and KAIJU! Beer took us on a journey of beer and cider, allowing us to get hands on with the brewing process behind our favourite drinks.
After a brief introduction on beer and cider, Callum and Nat explained the best type of apples to use for cider brewing – we used Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples. We were then shown how to slice the apples in a chopping/grinding machine. The crushed apples were then placed into sacks and put in a cider press to get rid of the pulp and extract the juice, which filled the air with an amazing aroma.
It was interesting to see how much of a manual and time-consuming process brewing cider is. Throughout the day, as we were brewing, we were invited to sample a range of local beers and ciders, as well as snacks by Chef Nick Bennett. The snacks included incredibly tasty, freshly sliced Charcuterie ham with gherkins and breadsticks, lamb shank and creamy cheese croquets.
My favourite drink of the day was the Golden Axe Cider, which launched in October 2012. This deliciously fresh, hand crafted apple cider provides the perfect amount to sweetness, quenching that thirst. No concentrates or refined sugar are added and only the best quality apples in Victoria used, giving it a crisp, clear taste. I also loved the colourful, playful graphics used for the design on the front of the bottle, making it stand out from many others available on the shelves.
In around six weeks time, when our cider has fermented, we will receive our very own personalised bottle of cider, brewed by us. Safe to say, we cannot wait!